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Challenger 3 – Exploration and Adventure Voyage

By Kate Stewart - April 6th, 2023 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

We have a group of individuals aged 16-25 joining us onboard Challenger 3 this week for an Easter voyage.

Read their blog to find out what they’ve been getting up to so far.

Day 1

Monday 3

Finn: It was a great start today, having not done any sailing before. We met at Gunwharf Quays Marina in Portsmouth at 13:00 and after some training and tours, which may have slightly flown over my head apart from the ‘danger zone’, we set off at 16:15.

The crew was awesome and helpful with explaining everything onboard including what the different knots are used for. Plus, the weather was great! I look forward to tomorrow.

Rose and Caitlin: ‘Twas a lovely end to a fun day of sailing. We took orders from ‘Chef Harry and made beef curry, which was quite spicy. We chopped the vegetables. Onboard is a gas stove, which was very different to the kitchen hobs that we are used to. It was very interesting to use.

We had a nice wander around Cowes and were intrigued by the number of shops centred around sailing! The cabins onboard are cool in that they have a red light , which is very helpful for being able to see without disturbing people who are already asleep.

Today dawned with bright blue skies, not a cloud in sight. We’re planning on sailing to Poole today, after our bacon sandwiches of course! We’re excited to see how today’s sailing conditions will differ from yesterday, and how Poole’s port will be different.

Day 2

Tuesday 4

Today, we set sail around 11:00, having got everything on the boat ready, and fuelled by a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs on toast. Once again, we had an almost cloudless sky, which was amazing and made the day that bit nicer and more comfortable!

From Cowes, we sailed past Bournemouth and Yarmouth before reaching Studland Bay from where we had an incredible view of Old Harry’s rock. In the bay, we set down our anchor and had a bit of a rest (with more cups of tea and coffee), before packing away the Main, and then Yankee sails.

After a while, we then pulled up the anchor and set off for Poole where we are staying the night. On our way, we passed Sandbanks and couldn’t help judging all the seaside mansions! We are now about to settle down for a dinner of fish and chips, before heading to bed after another day of hard (but very rewarding) work.

Hopefully tomorrow the good weather will continue.

By Amelia and Caitlin.

Day 3

Wednesday 5

After a good night’s sleep and an early awakening, we set sail to a calm Poole Harbour. With the brightness of the rising sun peeking through the clouds, it was very peaceful and tranquil as we departed.

The Jurassic coast was on our sightseeing tour today and just after seeing Old Harry’s Rocks, the chefs started cooking breakfast. While one watch took in the sights of colossal white Jurassic cliffs, the other watch was busy cooking the crew’s breakfast – American Pancakes!

After breakfast, the whole crew put their teamwork into practice, raising the Mainsail. The reward was worth it as the Mainsail stabilised our yacht through what was rather bumpy conditions. Once the Mainsail had been set, some of our crew were given the chance to pilot the yacht, learning manoeuvrability a more navigational skills through the compass.

As we came into Weymouth Harbour, we once again came together as a crew and put the Mainsail away. It was a tad gloomy and bleak afternoon as we arrived into Weymouth, almost out of a Hollywood movie, but the colourful houses and variety of boats made the town feel very picturesque and welcoming.

We took a break for lunch and tea, but were once again outside learning new skills. This time, we were raising the Spinnaker pole and were even given the chance to harness up and climb to the top of the pole. A special mention to Finn, who made us question whether Spiderman was onboard with us.

A few of us then decided to explore and immerse ourselves in local culture. A McDonalds and a KFC were the highlight of the tour, as we truly were capsulated with the local’s’ way of life.

After being battered by so much culture, we decided to make a local and national delicacy, Spaghetti Bolognese and Garlic Bread. Harry was on the executive chef onboard today, as well as the DJ. New Orleans Jazz was on the speaker today, with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and John Coltrane making appearances, the crowd was loving it. Jazz is a favourite of the Chef and just like the music, the food went down like a storm!

What a day, if you’ll pardon the pun! Now we are all tired and looking forward to what adventure awaits us tomorrow.

By Harry (Head Chef onboard Challenger 3 ‘The Bringer of the Jazz’).

Day 4

Thursday 6

Yesterday, we got up after a night of encapsulating the warmth and vibrant vibes that quaint Weymouth emitted, and then had a breakfast of bacon and fried egg rolls along with delicious fruit salad and yoghurt.

Before leaving Weymouth, we did some man overboard practice on the pontoon and Harry’s life jacket went poof (it was deliberate don’t worry). We also tried various methods for retrieving someone from out of the water, some were much more comfortable than others!

We then experienced the freezing conditions – to a much lesser extent – by putting our hands in the sea for two whole minutes; our hands were numb and sore by the end of it, but it was a good deterrent and demonstrates the urgency of a man overboard situation. It is worth noting, we did all this in front of a curious audience, who were waving us off as we began sailing on our long voyage.

We sailed out of the harbour without the engine (using just the power of the wind!) accompanied by the overwhelming sense of awe as so many people came to see the mighty Challenger 3 depart. We then sailed all the way to Yarmouth where we tied up to a mooring buoy. On the way, we passed the famous Durdle Door – a GCSE Geography staple!

Dinner was sausages and mash with a tantalising onion gravy, seasoned by none other than Harry the Head Chef.

Afterwards, we did a night sail, having stayed dry despite the oncoming storm, which was really cool in more ways than one.

Just after 01:00, we finally moored up in Gunwharf Quays, having dodged the various racing buoys and steering by moonlight – which made for some very impressive photos!!

The next morning (Friday), we had a slight lie-in, waking up at 08:00, before getting ready and having some cereal for breakfast. We then started the process of cleaning the boat; every surface should now be absolutely spotless!

We have had such a lovely time this week: great food, great people and even greater sailing.

By Caitlin, Amelia, Rose and Harry.​

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