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Challenger 3 – Explore the English Riviera 14-17 Empowerment – CF414

By Ellie Crowson - April 10th, 2024 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Young people aged 14-17 join us on an Empowerment voyage (the second stage of their three-voyage journey). Read what they are getting up to in their daily diary blogs below. 

Day 1

Monday 8 April

Dear diary, we LOVE George. Who is he I hear you ask? Well… He is a Kevlar legend! Why? It is windy and blowing a gail, but for now, let’s head back to 1600 today, 08/04/2024. It’s our first half day on-board challenger 3’s empowerment voyage. When we arrived, we were greeted by a ginger, inspirational and empowering but full of soul and life, Riley! We boarded the boat and met the rest of the crew who we would be spending the oncoming week with. We were excited and slightly nervous just because it’s new people, but thankfully after getting to know each other, we all talked and bonded over biscuits and squash. Later on in the day the wind started to pick up a bit and our mooring lines are well… to put it lightly, suboptimal…

Then came our SAVIOUR, George. Our skipper went to the marina office to ask for some assistance and in the office there stood the KEVVLAR LEGEND himself. He very kindly offered us four, FOUR Kevlar mooring lines. Not only that, he went to get them in a forklift, drove it BACKWARDS and delivered the lines to our boat (not actually to the boat with the forklift). BIG UP George. Whoop whoop!

After our new KEVLAR mooring lines were attached to our boat we had dinner. Tonight we ate Goulash and bread rolls, and of course, there was squash. It went down a treat, t’was delicious, filling and warming. Our taste buds were enlightened by the flavour. Shout out to Soph for cooking this delectable meal that we treasured so deeply.

Our night though long, has only just begun!

Signing off,

Crewmates Mim, Josh and Mia

Day 2

Tuesday 9 April

Today we woke up at intervals to check the lines none snapped thanks to George who gave us Kevlar lines after that we had breakfast had an intriguing conversation about empowerment wiles we listened to some rock music then we had lunch after lunch we had a walk to a near by light house then we came back and did some charter stuff then had dinner were to bed for 10:30 for an 7 o’clock wake up then to Brixham should take around 8 hours (not including faffing time).

During lunchtime we had a waffle not literally. We picked the gender neutral blob we are and which gender neutral blob we want to be. We also did lots of things and it was enjoyable like the shower we all took and we no longer smell smelly (hopefully). And the showers had adjustable temperatures which was nice. We also shampoo in our hair and conditioner too. It was nice. We also put on deodorant to ensure a pleasant scent. We were um successful. Josh was not.

For dinner, we cooked bangers mash and peas and put it in a bowl and ate it together. And Alex did boat things/is the best​

Day 3

Wednesday 10 April

Waking up in Plymouth Marina was certainly a lot nicer than the night before. The wind had shifted and instead of it being blown away from the pontoon and snapping lines, we were blown onto it, which made getting around the boat a great deal easier. Deck prep was accompanied by some strong winds and soaking rain. As soon as we left, it got a lot choppier than it was in the safety of the marina so trying to navigate around below and above deck was hysterical.

The mainsail was soon hoisted, followed closely by the yankee and the staysail. A few crew members (conveniently the ones to be writing this blog) then felt rather green and soon retired to their beds to try to rest it off. Not much sailing was done by us from that point, until we got close to Brixham, which is when Sophie sent people to wake us up.

When we resurfaced, the majority of the crew on deck were rather chilly and they had created a government with their time in the rain. As we neared Brixham, sails were taken down while mooring lines and fenders were hoisted up through the sail hatch. Soon after we moored, Mamma Mia was put on the speaker to speed up coiling and sail securing.

We had chicken fajitas for dinner which was very messy some people need to have an advanced class in wrapping wraps.

Some trips to the shower and washing up later, boat murder was handed out and we now all have trust issues.​

Day 4

Thursday 11 April

Happy Thursday! ….. is it Thursday? Or Wednesday? We don’t know anymore, it’s been a long day but a good one. It started in Brixham, even before we left our pontoon, we saw a bright orange object in the water behind the boat, at first, we thought it was an orange plastic bag but as a family with a dog in a rib was going by, we asked them to take a look and they very kindly did a 180 and fished the large orange basket out of the water for us. Later, we got the main up, with a couple of dolphins escorting us, it was a beautiful sight, The water was calm….. in the beginning. Everyone was fuelled on cereal, biscuits & tea and we were heading 90° all the way to Weymouth.

One of the crew members on board, Josh, has a dad in the Royal Navy. His name is Steward and he’s a left tenant on-board HMS Hunworth and they were nearby to our location…. While he may not be George, we all were very excited to see a warship come close to us. They very kindly altered their course and joined us for a wave by. Our mate Alex, even lowered our ension and a poor sailor ran up the warship to dip their ension as a sign of seamanship. It was a very cool moment, and grateful that they took time out of their day to do this for us.

We arrived in Weymouth……backwards! George would be proud of Sophie’s (our skipper) reversing skills! Parked alongside challenger 2, packed the deck, and made dinner, it’s chicken curry tonight, eat it, it went down a treat. Many people going for seconds. Now, it’s time for us to finish for the day and rest ready for a fun day tomorrow in Weymouth.

Good night / Nos da,

Written by some of the Challenger 3 crew,

Mark, Mim & Hannah.​

Day 5

Friday 12 April

Today we woke up late after a long awaited lay-in, with Challenger 2 alongside we began a day of competition and challenges. Breakfast consisted of hot croissants and a very popular jar of Nutella ( to no surprise ).

After eating, we went for a beautifully warm shower, and the moment we got back it was time for 3 of the crew to clear out the WHOLE sail locker and even flake the yankee 1, which is MASSIVE by the way. It was then time for a trip into Weymouth, where Josh bought a cap for Sophie, which she really appreciated.

Then Riley’s watch was sent off to ASDA to get the ingredients for the last of the weeks meals. We found a way of printing a picture onto a sponge cake so you can only imagine how that turned out, considering Alex was with us. We did end up being 30 minutes late, which Sophie was terribly pleased with but the cake made up for it luckily.

We took a quickish trip to the beach with the crew of Challenger 2 and did some teamwork challenges kindly organised by the skippers, mates and watch leaders (with special mention to Riley), which we won by the way ( I know right!? Go Challenger 3!!) After that we hoisted the dinghies out of the sail locker, and had some great races. Then fish and chips was devoured by the hungry crew aboard Challenger 3.​

Day 6

Saturday 13 April

We had the bestest day, and the boat did many boaty things. Alex iz da best. We had cake. – someone with no sense of grammar (Alex…duh)

We started off the day by prepping the breakfast whilst the other watch was waking up and getting ready for deck prep. After deck prep was done we sat down and had some delicious bacon rolls yum!!! Our lines were slipped as we waved goodbye to Challenger 2 and Sue & crew.

Whilst under sail, we headed straight to the needles. We had many a cuppa, as well as a fantastic flare brief from Riley. As we entered the calm Solent we came to a democratic vote and it was a unanimous decision to go straight into Lymington instead of faffing. We had a bit of a faff still as our attempt to moor was subpar (not the fault of the wonderful skipper) as the man on the pontoon made a very vague attempt to help us but then walked off. – Hannah

Went into town and saw people, there was quite a few of them. Went and bought chorizo and then continued walking and bought some ice cream, had 2 ice creams today because they tasted nice and were cheaper than Brixham. Yum.

Kind regards, sailing people (Sam) J

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