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Challenger 4 – Round UK Sailing Challenge Portsmouth to Brixham

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

Day One

We started at Torbay when we met the other young people who we were going to travel with. The journey which took 5 and a half hours to Portsmouth was really interesting as we got time to know each other, joke about and have a laugh. As soon as we got here we met the crew which we got to know and they were pretty funny (for old people) after we broke the ice with the crew. We got shown around the ship and what thing did and what to push and not to push (like the big red button) after that we were set sail to Cowes (moo moo) on the journey we learnt about the surrounding area and a couple of us was lucky enough to helm the ship and learn what to do as they was helming. When we was getting closer we had to get the fenders and rope ready.

Joy and Aaron​

Day Two

We began are day waking up in the early hours of the morning, preparing ourselves for the day ahead. People headed out for showers while the starboard watch prepared breakfast.

After breakfast we geared up and prepped the deck for sailing; bringing out the sails for the front of the boat and clipping them to the wires that connect to the mast, and readying to set sail.

After all the preparation was done we headed out for Weymouth. The winds were going to be strong and coming in the opposite direction today, so the skipper made a plan where we were going to work against the wind current and zig zag towards Weymouth.

We worked with rope and sails, people got to steer the ship and we also got lesson on different types of knots.

As the day progressed the wind got stronger and the waves got choppier. We were fighting with the elements and had to be reading to change the direction of the boat at the skippers command. We had lunch around noon and by that point you could see that some of the young people were feeling the effects of the waves and wind. Within an hour over half the group headed under to have a rest as they felt sick.

The close we got to Weymouth the wind finally settled down and previous people that felt sick, were able to come above deck and help put the sails down, prepare to anchor at the docks, clean up, and also get ready for dinner. A lot needed to be done in a short amount of time, but with us working together we were able to get it all done.

After docking we finished up with dinner and everyone was finally able to relax and settle for the night.


Day Three

We started our day early (at 6:30am) where some of us went for showers, while the others got breakfast ready for everyone. After breakfast we had a little time to ourselves where we all met in the galley to play cards.

We met our new skipper (Neil) and got shown what we were doing today and got to break the ice with him.  We then set up the ship to head out of Weymouth to do some sailing. Once we left; Adam, Jasmine and I (Joy) got to Helm the ship, where we learnt everything that it entailed.

The others got to learn what certain ropes do on the ship, for example the main sail halyard that raises the sail. Also we got to learn to use the log book and got taught why it was important.

After a while of sailing, we docked at Portland and tidied up the ship. Afterwards we had dinner and were able to relax and went for a walk to watch the sunset.

Day Four

We were able to stay in the port a bit later today and started the day at 8am. We all had breakfast and then made our way to the showers (which were lush!). When we got back, we had some free time so we all made our way into the galley to play cards and chill.

We then got ready to leave the port and by 12pm we were had set sail toward Dartmouth. We had already been informed that it was going to be a long journey but the crew explained more in detail on the journey and what time we were expected to arrive.

More of us were able to helm today, while the rest put up the sails and got to relax on deck. The day started out sunny but did get a little rough later on. Because of how long we were going to be sailing we had lunch and dinner while sailing. This was an interesting experience as the boat was rocking so we were thrown about and some of us had to go back up on deck as it made them feel sea sick. Because of sea sickness, many people could not help with food prep/cooking and clean up, so that meant a couple had to do more. (Troy and Aaron were stars today!)

Later on (Around 7/8pm) while sailing we came across a pod of dolphins which swam next to us for a little while and was an amazing sight, especially with the sunset on the horizon.

We arrived into Dartmouth for just after 9pm and tidied up (Which was made much more difficult because it was night, which meant everything was less visible)

My favourite part of the day was sailing during the evening because it meant we were able to star gaze.


Day Five

We were up early today because we had to be out of port by 8:45am, this meant being fast about getting ready and having breakfast. It was lovely and sunny as we set sail.

It was a very chill day today as it was only a couple hours of sailing before we arrived into Salcombe, this meant we were all able to enjoy the sun and relax before arriving. We arrived into Salcombe at 12:30pm and tied onto a buoy. We all had lunch and then were able to catch a river taxi across to the port.

We were able to explore the gorgeous town and enjoy the sun, a few of us went to the showers and then the rest of us split up into smaller groups and started to wonder around the town.

Once we were done exploring, we each caught the river taxi back to the challenger and prepared dinner, by this point it was just after 5pm.

After dinner we just got to chill we ended up playing cards and in the evening we star gazed before bed.

Day Six

We woke up at 7am and the skipper (Neil) treated us to some great bacon butties that he cooked himself. We didn’t have much deck prep to do as we were just tied up to a buoy so we set sail pretty quickly and started the trip to brixham.

It was smooth sailing today, as it gorgeous weather and the wind was behind. We all enjoyed bathing in the sun and enjoying our last sail on the sea. We were all sad when we realised it was soon going to be over and made the most of it.

We played cards together one last time, before going back up on deck to enjoy the last time we would sail and took some photos to remember the good times on the trip.

We soon reached Brixham harbour and docked at the port. We then split into our watches and set to clean up and sort out the ship. Half way through we took a break for lunch where we made sandwiches and after that the watch that was on washing up cleaned the entire inside of the boat and the other watch cleaned the entire of the top deck and packed away all the sails ropes and equipment that we used throughout the week (The biggest and happiest hour of them all).

After the big clean-up was done, we set out for shower. Some of us were able to go home to shower as they lived in Brixham, while the others set off to the communal showers at the docks. After the warm showers, we had time to relax so some of us met up and explored Brixham a little and grabbed a bite to eat before making our way back to the boat. There a few of us who prepped and cooked dinner, while the rest of us relaxed and played games in the galley.

We then had dinner and once that was done we headed out to the beach, relaxed and skipped stones on the water. After a while we headed out into Brixham to explore more before heading back to the boat and sitting on deck watching the stars and making many jokes. We had a tactical nap on deck in the cockpit until it got too cold then we decided to retreat to our dorms.

Adam, Joy and Grace

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