We left Dene Magna school at 9:10 am, we departed school via a mini bus, to drive for the next couple of hours only stopping for a short break at services, where we purchased foods to last us for the last leg of our journey to Portsmouth. We arrived out Portsmouth at 12:30 pm, ready and prepared for our voyage across the Solent. We met our skipper, Imo and our Mate, Sam: who really likes bad cheese jokes, which none of us thought were that funny! We also met a volunteer Watch Leader called Chris. We all got split up into two groups between Sam and Chris so we can split the chores. Then we went below deck to have a look at the Saloon, the Galley, the Heads ( toilets ) and the Sail Locker. We also got a look at our new sleeping accommodation, a tight, close proximity that we would share with our fellow crew mates. After having a few discussions between all of the crew we were ready to start sailing around the world! Not quite, but it was a good start to get us ready for the new journey.
On our first day we got to learn loads of new things to do with sailing, an example of the things we got to learn is a few different types of knots, one of the most common type of knots you will find in a boat is a clovehitch which we were able to master, as well as one turn and a two and a half inches which you will be able to see all over yatch boats like our own.
We set sail and got to work immediately, having to learn new skills at hand, and memorising important things that we might rely on later, or if Sam or Imo sporadically quizzed us. We arrived at Lymington before night and parked up ready to rest.
We finished off the first day by having an amazing dinner of Fajitas which everyone happily enjoyed. Then before sleep we were lucky enough to have the opportunity of having a shower, on land! Stretching our legs by shaking off our sea legs and walk the land of man, as well as talking to the boys on the other boat who also go to Dene Magna.,
After that exhausting first day we were finally able to sleep ready for our second day a head.
Waking up on a boat and not feeling sick was a great accomplishment for everyone all round, before we all had to get straight to work. Getting dressed into our water proof, thermals and most importantly our Foul Weather gear, this helps keep us dry on the boat just in case any water passes over the sides if it got a bit bumpy. With the weather forecast for the day not looking to great, we decide to delay our journey down just in case of hitting hard wind, we were able to clean the boat from settling in, so that for the next night we were able to relax.
After the wind settled and a quick walk around the city, we were able finally get back on the sea. Having to be careful so none of us got hurt or a man over board. Between having a surprise health and safety meeting for a man over board situation, and having both breakfast and dinner we were able to set sail, with all of us trying new things than the day before. Some of us even got to steer the boat! While others got less exciting tasks others did jobs like tying rope in a variation of the new knots we had learnt the day before.
Not taking us that long before we arrived at our new destination, Cowes. We docked up and put away the deck and kept up with boats maintenance, otherwise known as putting the boat to bed.
Then before bed we had a delightful meal of fish and chips, with some of us opting out of the fish part! After wards we played a fun variety of games before heading of to blissful sleep.
Our third day on the boat went almost as well as the previous ones, not counting for the weather. With heavy wind to set in later and maybe even a little bit of rain to begin with, we had to be careful for the journey ahead. But before that we started of with a excellent bacon bap, or to everyone else a bacon sandwich, made by our very own Sam. Then with a full stomach we set off into the town of East Cowes, ready to collect our selves some souvenirs, wandering into town we saw some amazing sights that one can see in East Cowes. The town was quaint and quiet, it being a bit early in the morning for the people of East Cowes. Wandering in and out of the local shops and meeting the people of the town.
Heading back to the boat with our bundles of new stuff, and then actually managing to find it, we were a little bit chuffed with our selves. Yet soon enough we had prepare the boat for a new challenge: Man Over Board Demonstration. With us learning a more in depth ways and reasons behind saving people once they’ve fallen over in the water in various different states, like being unconscious, we were now ready for anything: including lunch! Stuffing our faces with the delish dish of tortellini, made for us by the amazing leading crew of Tall Ships.
Afterwards we prepped ourselves for on board work by getting ready in our Foul Weather gear and prepping the boat for the new, slightly more dangerous, adventure awaiting us on the open sea.
It was smooth sailing from their on out, or not so much, after setting off we still had so many new things to do and learn.
One of the many things that we learnt was about the all-important Flares, Imo showed us the different kinds and what they were used for, just in case of anyone ever needing to use them, although we all hoped we wouldn’t.
As the day dragged on people grew more and more tired, wanting to sit down and rest for even a couple of minutes, but sailing with a boat, the boat will need constant attention, especially when your sailing with the main sail! An exciting difference from the days before was that today we got to put up the main sail, this involved us getting far ,more technical within the boating system. This involved us learning new skills, like tying different knots and us working much quicker than in the days before, including when we were tacking.
The daily finally finished when we were able to pull up to the harbour in Yarmouth. The rest of the day was filled with chatting, laughing and a bit of cooking for dinner, with Sam’s group serving and excellent meal of bangers and mash!