Challenger 3 – King Edward School

By Tall Ships - July 5th, 2019 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Day Four

Today our destination was Weymouth from Alderney. We set sail at 8:30, hoisting our main sail in the marina. We then came out of the harbour and were hit by heavy winds and a large swell. We then hoisted our stay sail and our Yankee sail, this was hard in heavy winds. We then set sail on our course for Weymouth. Due to heavy winds our boat was very heavily heeled over to port. This was really exhilarating and very fun. Everyone who spent longer than 2 minutes below deck instantly felt sick. Therefore we had a tasty lunch of pasties and beans up on the deck. After we finished lunch we were about halfway across the channel with tides about to turn. An hour later we had to cross a major shipping lane, we passed behind a rather large vessel. After this we saw the Portland bill and the final straight to Weymouth marina we then dropped the stay and Yankee sail and motored towards the port, were we then took down the main sail and headed into the marina.

Day Three

When we arrived yesterday I was extremely excited for today. A whole day dedicated to relaxing in the bright, burning sun soaking in the radiation that would eventually kill us. Luckily, we had sun cream so death was avoided. There is so much to do in Alderney, from admiring the old napoleon defences that were reinforced by the Nazis in WW2 to trailing mindlessly around the many shops that could offer a wide range of provisions, equipment and entertainment. Admiring the architecture of German design, I marvelled at the strength and ominous affect the imposing impact the fort had. When imagining the bunker crammed full of Germans waiting on machine guns, posts or any surveillance strategies I realised what an effect it would have on the prisoners of war. As well as German architecture, there was many Napoleon engineering still evident from the time. One of the things I found most interesting (and I am sure that many others found interesting) was the tactical positioning of the posts. Out of sight, stable, well built, and positioned in places to give the most view of enemy. These were all in moderation as many seemed very obvious to the naked eye. Although, as I understand it, there would have been plenty of plant growth to hide the powerful. After enjoying the facilities and walking through many beautiful places, we prepared to head back to the boat. The ride was drenching with many of us getting soaked straight through. Overall it was a relaxed, enjoyable and exhilarating day.​

Day Two

Today we had an early start at 06:30 to ensure we could get the most out of our day. We started off by preparing our boat to sail. Around 20 minutes later, we all worked hard on setting up the main sail. When we finally set up the sail it was very satisfying and although there was not much wind, it made us go slightly faster so we could get to the Channel Islands sooner as we were all excited to explore the island Alderney. During the journey there wasn’t much to do, so we spent a lot of the time talking with friends, watching over the sea and we occasionally took control of the wheel and steered the ship. Later in the day we were taught about different types of knots and their different uses, and a couple of us were completely new to knots so we learned lots of very useful types of knots. Later we then learnt about map reading where we were taught about how to route plan and how to check for obstacles that might be in your way. Then we had a competition to reinforce our knot tying skills where we competed against our opposite team to be the fastest to complete the random knots that were chosen by the mate. We had lots of fun playing this, especially since the waves were very harsh so it was easy to fall over.  The next thing we did was put down the main sail as we started to get close to the Marina. We did a full 180 degree turn as we needed to face the wind to put the sail down. It was a lot of effort to get the sail down, but in the end we finished very quickly, so we reached Alderney very quickly. Unfortunately, when we arrived there were no taxis available as they closed at 18:00, so we spent the afternoon either preparing for dinner (curry) or relaxing on the deck.

Day One

We arrived at Gunwharf quay at 12:30 after a 2 hour long coach journey from Bath, which didn’t feel that long at all. After taking a lunch break, mainly consisting of buying and engulfing a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, we went through a quick briefing, tour and the safety requirements, then prepared the yacht to leave. Setting sail at 3:45, we learnt the basic skills needed to man the boat. With every hand on deck, as well as one for the boat, we learnt how to attach the sail to the rope and hoist it up into the air. Soon, everybody knew how to change the position of the sails catching the wind and propelling our boat forwards. We learnt to tack and manoeuvre the boat according to the wind direction and speed. Feeling the wind grip us in its fingers, -we still had all ours intact- the wind strummed at the sails, pushing us along. We learnt the very useful skill of how not to lose our fingers or any other bodily part. After a while, everyone began to get tired, hungry, or sea sick, so we began to make the preparations necessary to mooring the boat and preparing the dinner.

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