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Challenger 2 – Devon and Somerset Air Cadets

By Tall Ships - August 20th, 2019 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Day Six

The boat slowly departed the dock driven by Sam. The final frontier began when the sails were hoisted, the Yankee and stay sail. (Not the big important main sail as it broke yesterday and was not fixable). The wind blew us along the salty sea towards the Solent between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. Many people took helm there was one natural, amazing, intelligent, astonishing helmsmen discovered.

We saw on our journey many ferries, oil tankers and the Isle of Wight hovercraft.

The time passed quite quickly but the weather as forecasted was picking up making the sea moderately rough with the wind gusting up to 26knots, and then it was LUNCH. Which went down a treat.

After Lunch had been digested it was decided to head for Portsmouth harbour.

The two smaller sails were then put away for the last time on our voyageL .We then headed into Portsmouth harbour and docked in very, wet conditions, mirroring our moods as a result of the end of the voyage.

As a whole we would like to thank Tall Ships Youth Trust and the amazing crew of Imo, Sam and Gavin who is a very, very, very good cook from wales. Everyone gained something from this epic experience and everyone would love to come back soon and would recommend it to anyone!

Until next time…..

Day Five

Today we set sail from Weymouth at 1100 hours and arrived in Poole Harbour shortly before 1800. The plan was to go to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight but unfortunately due to tidal circumstances we had to go to Poole.

We had a relatively smooth sail, with slight to moderate waves. The Main sail and Yankee Sail were hoisted by Portland Bill. We averaged at about 7 knts all day and made very good time once again gaining time and mileage on the other Tall Ship Challengers.

After 3 jibes we were about 5 nautical miles away from Poole when we started a M.O.B (Man Overboard) drill where a dan buoy was thrown into the water. During this exercise the boat experienced a mechanical issue.

The main sail had to be collapsed and flaked meaning it was no longer flapping across the boat. After the situation had been stabilised we then went back to rescue the buoy. Motor power was used as it was not safe or appropriate to use the sails.

The Dan buoy was rescued successfully. At this point the skipper praised the cadets on their quick and calm reaction to both the M.O.B and the block shearing and we made our way into Poole harbour for the night.

Tomorrow we set sail for Portsmouth hopefully at 0830 for another long day of sailing in the wind and rain. The weather is expected to be adverse and conditions will not be ideal. The main sail will not be usable due to the damage caused today.

Day Four

On day 2, it was very windy and the challenger was rocking side to side. On our journey from Warsash, most of the shipmates suffered sea sickness. We were going to try and sail to Brixham, but due to the seasickness on board, altered our course to Weymouth Harbour instead. We arrived in Weymouth at 7pm and after finishing packing the boat away we had dinner. Then it was time for showers and bed, which everyone is looking forward to.  This change of route probably means tomorrow that we can explore the town as well as getting up to activities, as the weather is scheduled to be bad.

Day Three

We started off the day with a cold, foggy, rainy morning.  We waited around for the other (slower) challenger boats to head off before we could get out. However once we did get out we zoomed past the others and ended up arriving in Weymouth around an hour and a half before the next boat. Close to the land we thought the water was quite choppy but once we got out into the channel the previous waves seemed small.

Because of the wind the process of putting up the sails was pretty difficult but with teamwork and Gavin we managed to get them up in good time. The weather worsened as the day progressed. The white bumpy waves crashed against the boat like Santa giving kids coal at Christmas.  The wind blew strongly as the sails flapped about, however we kept cool and kept things together and we got through it. Halfway through our voyage we encountered some slithery, slimy dolphins. They were really cute but we only saw them for a couple of seconds.

One crew member wasn’t very well but managed to contain it within her coat!

As we entered the harbour the day came to a close and we packed up the boat and had a warm shower followed by some good old bangers and mash and chips. Thanks #Gavinmonster!

Day Two

Dear Diary,

Today has been very busy! After having breakfast we soon set to work getting our boat ready for the day ahead. By following the Pre Sail checklist we completed the necessary steps to get the boat ready.

Excitedly, we set off (slipped moorings) on the big boat out of Plymouth. The weather was not the best at the beginning however it did improve as the day went on.

We then had some well taught educational lessons about the use of flares and seamanship.

On our travels we were lucky enough to pass the odd lobster pot and dolphin.

Gybed into Dartmouth and then dropped all the sails and then prepared to come into Dartmouth. Came into Dartmouth did some weird u turn thingy and then parked up. The other of the big boats challenger 1 and 3 then attached oneself to our boat. now we are here cookin food and writtin a blog and is looking forward to second dinner in Dartmouth.(Not a mixed donna kebab tho sad face )

Role on tomorrow. Fingers crossed for good weather!

Day One

The first thing we did once we arrived at the boat was to go through a “meet and greet” and get to know the staff and fellow cadets, and get a rundown of the activities we will have participated in. We then got split into two watches for the week: port and starboard. After having been split up we were shown around the ship, being taught and warned about the dangers and shown the safety precautions. We then proceeded to prepare the sails (a very good learning experience, although a bit tricky for first timers), as well as blowing up the raft, ready for the next activity.

After blowing up and preparing the dingy, in teams of two, we practiced rowing by going back and forth between two opposing pontoons. We each had two goes at doing this before the final race between; us, challenger 1 and challenger 3. When the race started, despite being the farthest away from the finish line, we maintained a large lead throughout the whole race, right up to the very end.

After we got back from the race we split up into our watch groups, one group made the crew a very delicious dinner on pasta and meatballs with yummy garlic bread! While the other group had showers in the harbour facilities. Once the dinner was ready we all sat down at the table and ate and conversed about the race and ourselves as we were still getting to know each other. We finished our meal with a quick brief of how the next day will unfold from our lovely skipper Imo. After our chat we once again dispersed into our watch groups, one group washed up from dinner while the other went and had showers.

Our first day has given us a small insight to what the rest of our fun filled week will include and we cant wait!

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