Challenger 2 is being crewed by a group from the National School Association (NSSA) this week.
Check out their blog to see what they have been up to so far on their four-night adventure.
As the crew settled onto CH2, and took in their first impressions of the boat, they were surprised the accommodation was not the same as the boats they’d cruised on in the Med!
Ned commented; “most likely because it’s a racing yacht and doesn’t have YOUR comfort in mind Tom.”
After having a tour and safety briefing from the three Paul’s and David (he felt left out that he wasn’t called Paul), we rigged the head sails ready for departure. We left Gunwharf Quays after getting approval from The Navy (therefore not being blown up by f-35 fighter jets). We sailed out past some anchored ships with high spirits. Dinner was spectacularly cooked by Stefan, Sophie, Owen and Tom. We had not yet turned down wind therefore everyone was still a functioning human being, however this all changed…
As the sun set, the swell began; this is where our problems started. The Starboard watch team were ordered to go down below and sleep from 21:00 – 00:00. Owen didn’t make it to the bed and was violently sick all over the deck, shortly followed by Enya, then Josh, then Ned. Owen continued to be sick for the next 12 hours. By the time he had recovered it was 9:00 and he hadn’t slept a wink.
As we neared Guernsey, we were early due to our spectacular sailing and Ned breaking the water speed record hitting 10 knots. Skipper Paul decided it would be a good idea to take a lap of the private island of Brecqhou, and we navigated Gouliot Passage, which was very thin, we thought we were going to run aground, but we had faith in our very experienced Skipper.
We made it to the harbour at 09:25, and before that, we flaked the mainsail, whilst shouting merrily. We had some breakfast and got the tender pumped up ready for our adventures ashore.
Once ashore, we were all keen to shower and use a toilet that didn’t need pumping. Then we set off to explore St Peter’s Port, as we left the harbour, we searched far and wide for a place to have a quick meal and a refreshing drink.
Following this we adventured into the town on the hunt for ice cream, Tom wasn’t pleased with the limited options of ice cream, but cheered up when we arrived at a shop for supplies.
We then headed back to the boat for 6:00, where we prepared breaded fillets and chips. This left us with minimal washing up, which was completed swiftly. We then concluded the evening by filling out some questionnaires and playing some card games, before heading off to bed for an early night.
We were rudely awoken by the sound of Bon Jovi on the boom speaker, mainly because we were a bit late and Mate Paul was stressed that his passage plan would be RUINED.
In record time we left the dock in Guernsey and motored all the way to Alderney. The wind decided it didn’t want to play today. After motoring to Alderney, we made it to the mooring buoy where our Skipper complained that a yacht much smaller than his own was on his mooring buoy…Ned was then hung over the side of the boat by a harness to attach the mooring lines. This provided great entertainment and was aptly named ‘the battle of the bulge’.
After getting the water taxi to the shore we went to the beach and Tom was surprised that the water temperature wasn’t like that of the Caribbean (it was cold). Alex flexed his big lungs by swimming an obscene distance underwater. We then heavily supported the local economy after looking at the big bunker which was cool. We then made our way back to the boat and Sophie, Tom, Stefan, Owen and Paul made a delectable spread of homemade spicy meatballs of which there were 35 of (that Enya complained about) and 46 normal meatballs (that Enya didn’t complain about surprisingly)…that’s a lot of meat.
After eating it descended into a karaoke evening, Ned was the best singer according to Sophie. He did a lovely rendition of ‘Paradise City’ which was definitely not pitchy or too loud for the interior of Challenger 2.
We then went to bed after a merry and jolly night full of good food and laughter.