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Challenger 3 – London to Portsmouth Tower Hamlet Schools

By Tall Ships - October 24th, 2018 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Day One

Good Afternoon,

Firstly we began to find our way to the boats on Sunday 7th October and many people began to get lost and sadly we finally found out that we stressed for no reason as we’re not even leaving today!!!

Later on students from several schools checked what boat we were going to stay on for the next week and we looked around the boats for exploration and to see where we were going to sleep. After that students began to meet their new crew members and surprisingly it was not awkward as expected, but of course there were some unnecessary loud people in our boat (Muna and Inas)!

Next the crew members started the very long irrelevant speech but we still had to respect them as that’s how most kids were raised. Once the crew staff finished talking, not only were we glad we also had a tour of the boat with safety rules in place. We learnt how do use each thing on the boat, and let me tell you… the toilet is just something else, they really expect us to pump down our own waste at least 20 times!!! After that, all the students began to wear their rain coat jackets which were extremely heavy and then we proceeded to look at ourselves in disgust and realised how terrible we looked.

Later on each boat started to unravel the inflatable boats and manually pump them up for a race which was going to occur against the four teams. Unfortunately by the time we took out our boat, all the other groups were already out on the water so we couldn’t get any practice time; but that wasn’t a problem for us as we came out striving at 1st place in the race… or maybe second place (same thing) anyway that’s beside the point. Also I forgot to mention the teachers also had a race on the dinghies and it was very unfair as some of teachers began the race too early even though some of them weren’t even on the boat yet, like really?!!!

Once we finished racing, everyone began to pack away the dinghies and that’s when the physical work came in and let me tell you that was not an easy thing to do. The students then began to cook their dinner (well most of us did) while the others were messing around on land. It was a really good time at dinner as everyone was talking and joking around with each other. After we finished eating, we were told some of us had to clean up and one person was to write a blog for the day and that was me!!! (Sameer).

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, don’t forget to read the upcoming blogs for this adventurous journey which is yet to come. But I probably would not be wasting my time writing this every day!

Written by Sameer

(Partly helped by Aqeel)

Day Two

Today, we woke up to a duck alarm sound. After breakfast, we had to prepare the deck for our voyage and we learnt a few knots. We had to also learn to attach a sail and find our way around the snake pit.
Going through the lock, which was broken, was extremely aggravating because it took ages. We sailed for 7 hours and that may sound boring, but we got to sail all along the river Thames. There was also an opportunity to steer the boat with a huge wheel. Even though it was cold, we had to wear overly big waterproofs coats and heavy trousers to make sure our clothes didn’t get wet. We passed a shipwreck that was full WW2 explosives and bombs. We learnt to take the fenders off. Also today we learnt how to tie a various types of knots for different occasions. There was a lot of physical work to do with winches and we had to learn how to tie rope around winches and to make elephant ears. We learnt how to use a running back-stay.
After we arrived in Queenborough, which is in Kent, we had the opportunity to look around the town and visit the near-by shops. With our friends, we got to talk about our day and see the mesmerising sunset.
After the long day at sea, we came back to our ships and ate sausages and mash for dinner in the saloon. Some people also had some spare spaghetti bolognaises from a rival ship.

This was our day 2 at sea.

Written by Aqeel, Ilyaas, Ella, Rawahah

Day Three

Yesterday morning after breakfast, a few of our brave crew members, (mostly girls), climbed the 95 foot mast. After that we prepared the boat to leave Queenborough. We motored out of the River Medway into the River Thames and from there into the North Sea. We passed the wreck of the WW2 ship, USS Montgomery, which contains tons of unexploded bombs and some wind farms. We then sailed around the Kent coast, without Alice squealing loudly.

A few girls had naps during sailing. Later on, the night shifts began, as we sailed west in the English Channel. It started with Paul’s watch, who were on watch for 4 hours. Then, Mike’s watch began while Paul’s watch slept. It was very cold up on deck even though we were wearing lots of layers. Many of the crew vomited during the night, including Muna, who was sick several times and the Skipper still didn’t let her go to bed. He didn’t let her go to bed, because it is better to be on deck when you are sea sick. We also have timetables of when we have to clean the toilets (which is disgusting) and the rest of the boat. You will also have to prepare and cook food, but so far, because the Watch Leader and Mate are so kind and it has been rough, they have cooked. While we were on watch, we saw dolphins and shooting stars. We saw the sun set and later the sunrise, while sailing and it looked amazing.

The next morning, while we were sailing, the Main sail broke, with the canvass tearing and so we had to take it down. Then we had to take the Yankee sail down and pack it away. It was a lot of work and afterwards we were so tired and wanted to sleep but the Skipper would not let us sleep. Whilst we were still sailing towards Cowes, we passed a massive American aircraft carrier and it had lots of planes on deck. Fortunately, it was not too long before we arrived at Cowes in the Isle of Wight. We were allowed to go ashore to have showers. We had fish and chips with garden peas for our evening meal. Then we played ‘Uno’ before going to bed.

WRITTEN BY Muna, Alice, Inas and Mike.  (10/10/2018)

Day Four

I can’t believe I’m writing this… but here we go!!!

Firstly we woke in the morning by an awful, loud music playing and we were forced to get ready for breakfast. Yahya & Carlos did all the work for breakfast whilst the girls took ages getting up because they are lazy. Next Mike’s watch had to clean the boat and I (Sameer) had to do the heads meanwhile Paul’s watch had to get the deck ready to go sailing.

We also erm… Lindsey taught us a load of helpful and skilful techniques for sailing and survival from fires, gas, sharks, sinking and tornadoes which was very interesting (not except from the sharks bit which never even happened… sadlyL.

After that we left the marina with high spirits and was excited for the adventurous journey ahead. During the journey we had to put the tri-sail up as we shredded our main sail the day before. Along the way we did some tacking (if you know what that means) and three gybes. Then we dropped the sails down beautifully and efficiently and placed it down wonderfully in the hatch while eventually arriving at Yarmouth!

Once arriving at Yarmouth we had free time which went horrendously wrong due to the fact it was pouring with H20 (Water). After the free time was finished, Paul’s watch started to cook dinner (which wasn’t that great) while Mike’s watch went off flying into the showers which were very hot and bliss. When we came back from the showers we finally ate the decent food (Spaghetti Bolognaise) which the girls spent very long with (just to cut peppers & onions).

The End (we only finished typing because the teachers want to go sleep)

Written by SAMEER & YAHYA!!!

Day Five

Today we woke up to an ear piercing sound of Lindsey’s music (Captains mate-the hard worker), after that we had an exquisite breakfast of cereal and eggy bread which was delicious, with a little side of orange juice & apple juice.

After breakfast we had to prep the deck with the rest of the crew, which was annoying and tiring but orders are orders and we are respectful young and mature adults (well…some of us). Afterwards we all helped to get the sails out which required a lot of physicality and strength to pull the hard ropes which scraped our fingers. Once we finished we had to turn the winch handle which was very painful. On the other hand most of the crew members were sitting on their backside the whole time. Later on we pulled up the fenders and turned the motor on. For lunch we had soup and bread with salamis which were absolutely delicious. During the sailing we all went on the edge of the ship and felt the waves which were really massive and we all were soaked in sea water and had a great time.

During sailing we saw two huge English warships from the English navy and saw two massive cruise ships and a fairly big hovercraft which was moving in a rapid speed. We saw hundreds of ferries full of Lorries and cars. We then arrived at Gunwharf Quays. We each were given a job to do on the boat. We cleaned the whole ship. Me and Inas had to both clean the heads (toilets) which was really difficult and smelly.

After we put the sails down the hatch, my watch mike’s watch had to prepare dinner which was delicious and tender. It was sweet n sour chicken noodles which I helped cook while Sameer and Aqeel set the table. After dinner we got to go to the showers to take a shower and then prepared to go to bed.

Written by Ilyaas, Carlos , Yahya

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