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Challenger 2 — Festive Voyage

By Tall Ships - December 22nd, 2021 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Day 1

Sunday 19th

Port watch

We started the day by checking vibes and swab testing. We were then able to choose a bunk (which Amy later rejected due to her ‘back pains’) and make ourselves familiar with the boat, including detailed instructions on using the ‘heads’ aka toilets. Once we finally arrived at our destination of Cowes, Port watch set about making a leng (great) tea of spag bol which warmed our mouths and our hearts.❤

Starboard watch

We started our trip with lateral flow tests on the pontoon and following 14 negative results we made the perilous trip to Cowes under motor. Amy and Jed had a go helming (and if you ask me Jed was by far the best). Shortly after mooring, we settled down and tucked into spag bol cooked by the crew on Port watch. By this point we settled down with tea and a riveting game of Uno.

It was after this game that we discovered that there was not only one set of twins, but two amidst our raft. The ‘posh boi’ Sir Will IIV found this almost incomprehensible. The two sets of twins are the equally charming Tristan and Sebastian and the ‘good and bad’ twins Mathew and Amy respectively.

The night was an interesting one, largely due to the lack of sleep on all accounts, apart from Grace who took to sleep talking; serenading us with her ‘low-key’ dulcet northern accent.

Day 2

Monday 20th

Port watch

Day two started bright and early with us leaving Cowes at 08:00. With a long day of sailing ahead and the wind behind us as we sailed downwind. Port watch (those who could stomach being below deck for long enough) prepared a lunch of pasties and beans. We then went to Weymouth where were able to spend some time in the local shops ashore. Despite only having to put fish in the oven, as the chips came premade from the chippy, Starboard watch still managed to serve cold almost inedible fish.

Starboard watch

Starboard watch were on breakfast duty to be served at 06:45, which we took very seriously and took great care when opening the packets of cereal and bagels. While Port watch were washing up, we prepared the deck and soaked in the knowledge provided by our walking encyclopedia James.

We set off at 08:00 and during the day, under the command of our stoic right-hand man, the undeniably handsome Luke, we travelled to Weymouth arriving at 16:00. ‘Lady Mayo’ aka Chelsea summoned a pod of dolphins who danced majestically providing an excellent end to a hard day’s sailing. During our voyage we found that our first mate/best mate Guy is partaking in the golden globe race and we all wish him the best of luck!

As the day drew to a close the crew were treated to chips from the local chippy and cold, soggy fish courtesy of the ship’s uninspiring oven (Gordon Ramsey would not be a happy bunny). The almost traditional game of Uno was won by ‘the good twin’, Mathew.

Day 3

Tuesday 21st

Port watch

Despite the promise of a shorter day, the day was in fact long, cold and hard. Grace can’t put up a sail or do much on the boat other than hold a fender for 20 minutes at a time. Will rigged and hoisted the main sail and then put up the Yankee sail with Jed’s help. The wind today felt a lot stronger and Will sailed us into a lobster pot. Seb was just an all-round gem and helped everywhere. Matthew didn’t stop talking about Starbucks which we didn’t even get in the end because we got back too late. To finish off the day, Port watch cooked another highly regarded and top tier scran (meal) which was hot *TAKE NOTES Starboard*.

Starboard watch

We were allowed to sleep in until 07:15 (what a privilege). The sail from Weymouth to Poole was largely upwind in choppy waters, all of which proved too much for ‘Manchester Lass’ Emily, who when below deck turned a peculiar shade of green. ‘Lady Mayo’ spotted a ‘seal’ tethered to a lobster pot, which disappointingly turned out to be no more than a buoy. When our skipper Tony ‘parked’ in Poole, we got decidedly friendly with Challenger 3, which we gave a ‘loving tap’.

Day 4

Wednesday 22nd

Port watch

Grace and Emily took Amy with them for their daily gossip/30 minute facial routine/self-love time, to start the morning. We then set off from the port after looking at all the boujee (fancy) boats and Harry Redknapp’s beautiful Christmas tree, and house. We were low-key swift at putting the sails up, mainly because Will wasn’t doing it this time. We made the time back and ended up arriving in Cowes for some time on the Isle of Wight. This was when the day really began as Emily and Grace treated our ears to a moving, Tony-worthy rendition of Mamma Mia in the showers.

After scranning our tea (which, don’t let Starboard watch fool you, was all made by Guy (Mate), not them) we began to wash up. During this LENGTHY process Tony’s three-eyed pirate cake was fingered by Will and then Emily preceded to SIT directly on top of it. This led to Grace having to wipe her bum in the galley. You can imagine the confusion of Tristan when he came down the companion steps to see Emily having a runny brown substance wiped from her behind by Grace. To end an eventful evening, we waited for Starboard watch to actually prepare our hot chocolates (we haven’t had them yet but I think it`s fairly safe to assume they will be lukewarm and substandard.)

Port watch would like to extend a huge thank you to Guy, Tony and Sharon who have not only made the trip possible but also made it an amazing and memorable experience.

Starboard watch

We woke up at 07:15 and rushed to get the boat ready to make sail. Much later, Will decided to raise from the dead and join the land of the living. We made record time in prepping the deck however, we were held up by a traffic jam caused by the Sunseeker boat captain’s curry (need I say more). Once out of Poole dock we made quick progress and the strong winds and choppy waves made it an interesting trip. Later on when we had dinner, Luke educated us on his deep hatred of slow walkers. James talked about the stats of slow walkers across locations dependent on age.

The tea was to quote Grace ‘ermm like low-key ermm good’ (think the Starboard team redeemed themselves with that one!) The specialty was Guy’s immense Brussel sprout stir fry. As the day turned to night, we pondered on the last few days and thought we should mention the incredible efforts of Sharon whom worked tirelessly to make hot beverages and teach us how to coil lines.

From both the Starboard and Port watch we wanted to say a massive thank you to Tony, Guy and Sharon along with anyone else who helped plan such an amazing trip. We have all had such a great time and made a load of memories!

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