Challenger 4 – Manchester Watersports Club

By Kate Stewart - October 27th, 2023 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

A youth crew from Manchester Watersports Club joined us on board Challenger 4 for a residential adventure.

Read their blog to find out how they’ve been enjoying life on the ocean.

Day 1

Monday 23

When we got on the boat we had a tour, and then looked at some of the charts at the places we would be sailing to this week. We did a short sail to Holy Loch, and had chicken stir-fry and noodles for dinner. ​

Day 2

Tuesday 24

We were up before sunrise at 06:00, and sailed as the sun was rising. We had bacon butties for breakfast, cooked as we were sailing. After we ate, we put the Mainsail up for the first time. It took all of us pulling to achieve it. It was sunny by this point, and the wind was very strong. With all the sails up, the boat was going very fast. We sat at the front and got hit by the spray. It was very exciting.

We had tortellini for lunch, we went into watches and had a couple of hours off as we sailed. We got to Bangor at 19:00 and had curry. Then we went to a theme park!!! It was amazing. We got delicious donuts, and there was this ride that swings really high and I went on it twice. It was great! Then we went to ASDA and almost everyone bought a notebook because notebook.

Day 3

Wednesday 25

First thins in the morning, we spotted a cat on the boat and named him Jay. We then had scrambled eggs on bagels for breakfast and channelled the food energy into lifting the sails. We looked at the charts, and Sophie showed me the diesel tank.

We had a busy morning of boat stuff, and after a lunch of delicious chicken goujon wraps, we had a conga around the boat that broke up at the mast. It was fun though. We did the Macarena and had a competition to see which pair could hoist the Staysail fastest. That was great!!!

Day 4

Thursday 26

We saw dolphins!!! We spotted them in the distance and they tapped the side of the boat. I was looking over the side of the front of the boat and a dolphin swam right up to us, really, really close! It was so cool, and then four dolphins swam up to us, and we were very excited. We saw a lot of dolphins a while later, that would jump out of the water near us. They were beautiful. I love how they come so close. So friendly!!!

We had pasta bolognaise for dinner.

We saw some dolphins when it got dark, so cool! I have heard of bioluminescent dolphins and earlier I had told jack about them, and when we saw them in the dark, Jasper said “they don’t glow in the dark, do they jack!”… So obviously it had been a debate. Several people laughed. I whispered “I told him they glow in the dark”.

I helmed in the dark for two hours. I am very proud of doing that. It was great fun. The waves were the biggest I have ever seen!

After that time, we all started getting very tired but we were nearly there. When we were going into the harbour, we had to pause our jobs and hold on so we wouldn’t fall. I fell asleep. Literally. And woke up and carried on what we were doing. I know at least two other people did that too.

When we were moored and finished, we all stuffed our things unceremoniously into our boxes and fainted into our bunks.

We woke up and had porridge for breakfast. Noah wanted me to include the fact that he burned it.

Then, we climbed the mast and it was exciting, and even people who were afraid were brave and went up a bit. It was very fun!

Our favourite moments from the trip

Willow: Helming in the dark as the Dolphins swam past

Jasper: Noah getting whopped by waves

Jack: Seeing everyone being hit by waves

Harry: Seeing the dolphins

Lochlann: Standing at the very front of the boat with Harry, being hit by waves

Macy: Sailing in the dark

Jemima: Singing the harvest festival song (below) in the dark

Chloe: Probably the night sailing!

Beth: Enjoying the music when we were dancing

Noah: Driving the boat out of port in the morning

Group Leader Martin: Watching the whole crew do the Macarana

Group Leader Beth: Sailing in the dark, with the boat tipped over, looking down at the sea, wondering if I will fall in

Watch Leader Paul: All of the crew digging deep at midnight top get the sails down

Watch Leader Sharon: The enthusiasm on the night watches with all the singing

First Mate Sophie: Seeing the young people go from being nervous on board to doing the conga around the deck while sailing

Skipper Paul: The Macarana!

Our Harvest Festival Song

Cabbages and Greens,

Broccoli and Beans,

Cauliflower and roasted potatoes, taste so good to me,

Apricots and plums,

Ripen in the sun,

Oranges and yellow bananas, good for everyone,

It’s another harvest festival, where we give our fruit and vegetables,

Cos we want to share the best of all the good things we have been given.

It’s another opportunity, to be grateful for the food we eat,

With a samba celebration, to say thank you Persidon the father.​

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