Onboard Challenger 2 this week, we have a group of students from Jack Hunt School, in Peterborough.
This four-night voyage has been supported by Cross Keys Homes.
Read their blog to find out more! 😊
It is no wonder that so many writers were often inspired by the sea and its beauty, why the ancient Athenians set themselves to dominate the Mediterranean, for the sea is, simply put, gorgeous.
In all its grace and elegance, one could find themselves completely lost in its poetic magnificence. As we embarked on our first sail across the coast of Portsmouth there was a challenge among the occupants of Challenger 2, to learn and to love the sea, to prevail against all hardships and to remember that “man is not made for defeat”* that our life for a week will be defined by our first day.
We spent our day lifting the Staysail in turns in our two watches (teams), the aptly named Spinosaurus’ and the Velociraptors. Once up, we were allowed to truly bask in the glory of the English coastline, an expressionist painting of yellow wheat fields blending into the trees and the sea. Slowly swaying within the soft waves we relaxed before the chaos of the evening ensued and sure enough it was chaotic.
While one team cooked, the other cleaned. The heat and the tiredness had set itself into our bones, we were ready for sleep and for our new week of adventure to truly begin.
*Ernest Hemmingway ‘old man and the sea’
Only two days in and we’ve already had so many different experiences; living as a group of strangers soon to be friends, hoisting the Main and Stay sails, mooring in where we sleep for the night and many more.
Today, we all took part in hoisting the Mainsail, which is a lot heavier than you would expect and we also climbed the Spinnaker pole, which is easy for some, but as you would expect some of us struggled.
Each of us had the chance to take the wheel and lead us to our destination of Weymouth, a coastal town thriving with extremely happy and welcoming people.
We had the chance to sit in the sand of a lovely beach and just relax, although we, the students, went out and swam in the sea and really enjoyed ourselves. It was a great day out on the sea and we were able to release all of our built up energy while at the beach.
You can become lost at sea quite easily, the lucid beauty off it all melts into one mass of infinite blue. The small sea side towns on the sand bank only ever make the coming of land more welcoming and as you climb the mast, like we did today, these small seaside towns reveal their true size and glory. The uniqueness of each house, all painted with pride, the colours highlight and complement each other perfectly, it becomes enough to make Monet cry.
Over the mirror we went, sailing in the solitude of the sea until we dived into the glass sea and allowed the cold, hard current to take us, the sea became tight and intimidating inside of it, as it held our life in its hand like a mother holds its child.
The view was immense and overwhelmingly pretty, nothing can be more glorious than the English countryside. We came to a halt and anchored down for the night ready to appreciate the super moon (perigee syzygy), you begin to wonder how much of this earth’s magnificence has been missed, how much of the ordinary we forget to appreciate. If the sea, land and sky can be this beautiful what else can be?
Once it is time,
Let the gentle tide carry us!
Over the mirrored water,
Let not fear carry us under.
Watch as the waves,
Pass us by,
Violent in their nature,
But delicate unto us.
And, as Orion comes out to hunt,
Listen to the waves,
Sing their melancholy song,
Of travellers gone from the past.
As she yearns for the moon,
Our lost ocean,
She becomes a sweet hymn,
Of lovers gone by.
Give us Poseidon’s water,
Take us by the hand,
Let your beauty be seen,
Once it is time!
Distant upon memories,
High upon love,
O’ Ancient Ocean sing your praise,