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Challenger 2 – London Nautical School

By Kate Stewart - October 30th, 2022 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Joining us onboard Challenger 2 this week for a seven-day adventure at sea, we have a group of young people from The London Nautical School.

Check out their blog to see what they’ve been getting up to onboard since their voyage began.

Day 1

Monday 31

We woke up at 07:00, then at 07:30 we had a breakfast of various cereal, fruits and drinks to ready us for the day.

Due to the unfortunate heavy weather circumstances, we were unable to set sail on the first day, however we had a briefing, which informed us of the schedule planned for our week-long voyage.

We also got told lots of information about the various parts and inner workings of the vessel, internally and externally, such as winches, lifesaving equipment, navigation equipment and how not to clog up the heads (toilets).

After the briefing we had lunch, which was cleaned up by one of the two groups, dependent on which cabin you’re sleeping in (Port or Starboard), and these groups will now influence who is cooking and/or cleaning.

After clearing up, we would prepare the vessel for tomorrow’s voyage to Falmouth, which required two of the sails to be removed from the inside of the sail locker and opened to be rigged onto the lines.

As well as setting up the boat, we studied some rope techniques, some of which are ‘elephant ears’ and how to correctly use them onboard.​

Day 2

Tuesday 1

We started the day at 07.30, with breakfast. Afterwards, we went and prepared the boat for our voyage. We started by pulling the Mainsheet cover off and preparing (by winching) the ropes needed for the voyage. Then we nucleated the boat from the port, finally engine checks were carried out before setting off.

We used the motor of the vessel to travel 4.7nm offshore, before releasing preparing the Staysail and beginning our voyage. At which point, everyone began to get seasick. Everyone took turns to manoeuver the vessel via the staff member’s tuition in order to gain experience at the helm. The total time taken was six hours.

Finally, upon reaching our destination of Falmouth, we had to bring down the Mainsheet along with the Staysail. We had to adjust the parking space of the boat, due to other boats coming in. Once we were docked, we had lunch followed by a game of monopoly.

Later on, we had dinner and went to bed.

By Shan and Arshia.

Day 3

Wednesday 2

The day started with an 08:00 wake up, followed by chargrilled chicken sausages cooked by Starboard watch. Then after a brief introduction to navigation, those who had not studied it before made attempts at simple math, which partly went right and partly went wrong.

The distance between points seemed to vary amongst the crew members between 110 nautical miles and 160….. quite a large difference, but the outcome was somewhere in the middle.

This was followed by a short break and then a lunch of chicken goujons and fish finger wraps. The fish fingers were lacklustre.

The National Falmouth Maritime Museum (not technically linked to the one in Greenwich, but has ties) gave the TSYT crew free access to the museum for the day. We explored the different displays and played with the remote control sailing boats for longer than we should have, with Joe becoming very competitive at points.

Once the competitive edge had been lost and everyone had retired to the ship, it was time to plan meals. For the next few days we have an arrangement of turkey bacon and stir fried chicken, along with the finest quorn mince and beans.

For dinner, we had an incredible spag bol cooked by Starboard watch.

By Joe.​

Day 4

Thursday 3

We woke up at 05:00 ready for deck duty, leaving Falmouth and their lovely Musto shop at around 06:00. Making our way into the sea, we were a couple of miles out by 08:00 and started working in four-hour watch systems, starting with Elspeth’s watch crew from 08:00-12:00  and Joe’s taking over from 12:00-16:00. After this, we went into three-hour watch systems.

It started to get dark at around 17:00 and it was pretty windy as we averaged 8-10 knots with winds of  20-30 knots. There was some heavy rain, but it was intermittent. As it got darker, our nav lights were on (a steaming light for a vessel under sail).

At the helm was Sue, a very competent and experienced Skipper, who could tell you anything you needed to know, we all struggled to see the fishing vessel’s aspects as they had their decks lit up for fishing and we couldn’t tell whether a vessel was coming towards us. We called our Mate, Sophie to check their headings and give us vectors using AIS.

Over the VHF radio channel 16, a US warship called a fishing vessel and their response was “I’ll call you back in 10 minutes” This was funny because it was said to a warship, which could end in dire consequences.

We then went in to Stokes Bay to drop anchor, at about 06:00 and had three hours sleep, before pushing to make the last journey to Portsmouth. We finished with 400 nautical miles covered, 16 exhausted but happy people and 12 new official Competent Crew members, who will hopefully pursue their maritime dreams thanks to the confidence they’ve gained from their time with Tall Ships Youth Trust.

By Marquis.

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