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Challenger 2 – Empowerment Voyage – CF695

By Hannah - January 4th, 2024 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

On board Challenger 2 this week we have a group of individuals aged 16-25 joining us for a pre-Christmas adventure on an Empowerment voyage. Read all about their experience here!​

Day 1

Sunday 17 December

For dinner we had spaghetti bolognaise. On the journey from Portsmouth to Cowes; we stopped at Gosport in order to refuel. Rapidly it became dark and Hannah helmed for the North Cardinal. We practised at our knots and became efficient at mooring and leaving from a pontoon and along the journey; prepped to put to stay-sail up as we were sailing to Cowes.

Day 2

Monday 18 December

We have survived the rocky and choppy ordeal from Cowes to Poole. Jim had a bit of a faff when it came to the shore power, and Jasmine and Eli have recovered from their seasickness on the open water. We had wonderful Cornish pasties on route, and bangers and mash for dinner after my watch had finished deck prep for tomorrow, after which we cleaned the pots. We had to leave Cowes nice an early so that the tides would be with us on the way out of the needles.

Day 3

Tuesday 19 December

We left Poole in the pouring rain, it was definitely a challenge to drag ourselves up onto the cold deck after a cosy breakfast in the saloon, but our resilience pulled through and we headed out to face the day.

Whilst still in port, we ran through the man overboard (MOB) procedure, before setting off to do one in real life – Evie (our rescue swimmer) retrieved Bob the Bouy with great haste. The rest of the sail was spent practising tacking at all stations and spotting lobster pots – by the end we were seasoned sailors!

After a soggy park back in Poole, we had truly earned our dinner – fish and chips from the local chip shop – and our lovely first mate Rachel popped our sodden gloves in the tumble dryer so we had nice, toasty gloves for the next day. The evening finished with a lesson on navigation and weather, and plenty of time to chill and chat – a cosy end to a soggy day.

Day 4

Wednesday 20 December

We started the day in Poole, with some shore leave to go shopping for Secret Santa. (£2 for the best possible present – woolly socks and sweets galore!) On our return, we kitted up – always fun putting back on wet gear – and prepped for a downwind sail to Yarmouth – even planning the passage ourselves!

It was quite a relaxed sail, made even better by being joined by a pod of common dolphins, swimming right next to us (with their babies) – which we’re told is an unusual sight to see this far east. After our visitors, we learnt how to jybe, which was exhilarating. We did our second MOB drill, and it was cool to see the progress we’d made as a crew after our previous practise – Annabelle (our rescue swimmer) got Bob the Bouy in one go!

After admiring the beautiful sunlight on the needles, we dropped the mainsail and headed for port. As we parked (tricky in the wind, but the crew was prepped and ready to go) we started on a late lunch of pesto pasta – a classic! After finishing putting the boat to bed, the crew gathered around the pot of steaming pasta, before having some quick lessons on flares, flag etiquette and checking our knots before handing out Secret Santa and spending the evening playing cards.

Overall, a happy day!​

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