Challenger 3 – The American School in London

By Kate Stewart - March 30th, 2023 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

This week onboard Challengers 3 and 4, we have two groups from The American School in London joining us onboard for a three-night residential adventure.

Check out this blog to read what the boys onboard Challenger 3 have been getting up to so far.

Day 1

Tuesday 28

After an hour-long train ride, we arrived in Portsmouth and got to meet the crew. We were then given a mandatory safety briefing and got to learn about the different parts of the boat and how it all works.

Next, we went below deck and claimed temporary sleeping hammocks. The crew then split our group into two watches (Port and Starboard).

It wasn’t long before we fuelled up the boat and got to motoring. Eventually, we were able to put up the sails and start actually sailing. Some of us took turns steering, while others were in charge of adjusting the different sails. We sailed round the edge of an island, then lowered the sails and dropped anchor.

Finally, we divided into our watches and one watch cooked while the others rested. The first day went very well and we’re all looking forward to the rest of the week.​

Day 2

Wednesday 29

We started the day at around 08:15 with some charting lessons while waiting for the fog to clear. After a few shanties, we went on bringing the Mainsail up to reef 1 for the first time.

After setting sail with both headsails in place, we realised we were over canvased for the wind of 90 knots and dropped to reef 2.

Before leaving, we had briefed our man overboard drill. After a few gybes and tacks heading in the right direction we grabbed lunch, as was brilliantly prepared by Gadget (Watch Leader).

As we were heading upwind on a close reach, we saw Ocean Youth Trust’s clipper vessel, Prolific. The crew taunted us with the Macarena prompting us to tack around quickly and chase ‘er down. As we overtook them, we mounted the ship swords drawn, cutlasses gleaming, raided their stores and cut their sails, leaving them adrift. Laden with their gold, we made a deft gybe to escape (not really).

Right after, as if nothing happened, no glorious plunder, no nothing, we went on with our man overboard drill. We prepped one to hop over the edge and recover the buoy we had tossed. We managed to heave to, crash drop our sails, and get right up alongside the buoy.

After our drill, we motored towards Yarmouth Marina. Coming in with a rear entry, we moored the boat without problem, bricked the front sails, cleaned up the deck, and explored the town.

Tonight, we’ve prepped some spaghetti bolognaise with onions and carrots for dinner.

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