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Challenger 4 – Channel Islands Voyage of Empowerment – age 16 to 25

By Kate Stewart - August 23rd, 2023 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Individuals aged 16 to 25 coming from far and wide across the UK are joining us for a residential voyage across the Channel this week!

Read their blog below to learn more about their adventure so far.

Day 1

Sunday 20

Rations low, supplies low, morale high. Hunger spreads throughout the crew. Watches drawn up, with the adventurous naming, Port (Ian’s) and Starboard (Lee’s). The first day was predominantly safety briefings and introductions to the boat, but afterwards we set sail for Studland Bay with all three sails hoisted.

To the general shock horror, there were many, many degrees of heel, however this was most felt by Starboard watch, who were below deck cooking the frankly delicious and otherworldly fajitas. This was eaten as we were still moving.

The wind blew a fairly constant force 3, with occasional gusts of force 4, so we were able to leave the engine off until the very end of the journey.

After we had anchored up in Studland, the young crew found themselves witness to a police deployment: helicopters, police boats (in no rush), land vehicles (seemingly late) and on-foot-officers patrolling the beach. After this late, late show with the fuzz, we all retired to our bunks for a very well-earned sleep.​

Day 2

Monday 21

04:00 start, 04:30 breakfast, great fun.

We divvied the time working on deck between the two watches, switching every two hours; first watch together then Lee’s, then Ian’s, and repeat.

Again, we powered on underneath all three sails: Yankee, Stay, and Main. However, powered is a slight reach, as the wind dropped to a light force 1, an easy breeze, so we looked to our engine for speed.

As we raced for Alderney, Lee’s watch made spinach and ricotta ravioli, which went down a treat amongst this tired team.

As we came into Braye Bay, Alderney it was revealed a lucky one of us will have to be dangled (not a more exact term for it) over the Starboard bow of the Challenger to attach us to a mooring buoy. This was Emily’s fate, or an example of her fortune; depending on your outlook.

Once tied on and firmly attached, we were picked up by a water taxi and let loose on the streets of Alderney. Heading to town for some welcome, unhealthy foods we spotted a lovely beach and decided we’d go for a swim. By the time this was all done, we were ready to shower and head back to the boat, again via water taxi.

Tea tonight was sausage pasta with a bolognese-esque sauce, another delectable meal for our hungry souls; very lovingly prepped and made by Port watch.

We all look forward to a0 7:30 wake up tomorrow, after which we will explore more of this very, very, very hot island. Almost Mediterranean.

Will and Tom, Out.

Day 3

Tuesday 22

Compared to yesterday’s 04:00 start, we woke up at 07:30 in the morning with a nice breakfast of crumpets and cereal.

Afterwards we took the water taxi to Alderney where we hired some bikes to travel around the island. Apart from losing Jonathan to photography and Thomas to a loose chain, the forts were interesting and the scenery was striking. We stopped at a nice café which had heart-warming hot chocolate and refreshing ice cream.

The hills were difficult but we managed to overcome them with sheer determination. Afterwards some of us went for a swim and dive off the harbour wall into the sea whilst the rest of us had a nice late lunch at the local café; the pizza was delicious!

Once we set off on our way to Guernsey, we raised and lowered the same sail multiple times to develop our leadership and teamwork skills.

On arriving in Guernsey, inflating the dinghy to get ashore was extremely time-consuming and we had to borrow a pump from the French man moored opposite, but fortunately he spoke good English!

We originally planned to have fish and chips for dinner but instead had Thai noodles as some of us went to a chippie for lunch. Tomorrow, we can look forward to a relaxing day ashore, exploring Guernsey.

Seb and Freya, signing off.

Day 4

Wednesday 23

Today we had the entire day ashore, where we split into groups. We started at Saint Peter Port in Guernsey – one group went exploring the local high streets, followed by pizza for lunch before we caught the bus to Pembroke Bay for an afternoon swim on the beach.

The other group set off to La Valette Underground Military Museum, where we saw various artefacts from WWII, and after that went to Castle Cornet where we learned many facts about Guernsey and its history. We then went to a fancy French restaurant for lunch and got the bus to Vazon Bay for afternoon swimming, before both groups returned for dinner.

Tonight on the menu was fish and chips (or chicken goujons for those who preferred them). Port Watch prepared the food tonight, and some in our watch ventured to a nearby chippy for some chips whilst others cooked the fish in the oven. Starboard were clearing up after dinner, then we had our evening briefing. That’s it for now, peace out!

By Toby and Jonathan

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