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Challenger 4 — South Coast DofE Residential

By Kate Stewart - February 22nd, 2022 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Read how the young people onboard Challenger 4 have been getting on since they started their TSYT voyage on Monday (21).​

Day 1

Monday 21

We arrived at Gunwharf Quays Marina at 13:00 where we took Covid tests. We then boarded Challenger 4 where we carried out team introductions. Once this was completed, we split into two teams of four and took turns touring the yacht, both above and below deck.

Following our tour, we got fitted with our foulies (foul weather gear) and lifejackets. We then walked to Old Portsmouth and Southsea, stopping at a D-Day landing craft where we read about the history of this particular vessel.

Starboard watch then prepared and cooked sweet and sour chicken, noodles and prawn crackers.

Thus far despite not leaving the harbour due to Storm Franklin, we have thoroughly enjoyed our sailing and learning experience.

By Brett and Roisin​

Day 2

Tuesday 22

We started off the day with cereal for breakfast, before heading out into the water.

It was very windy all the way through the day and we got splashed a lot.

As we passed Cowes, we had to keep out of the way of a massive Croatian cargo ship and we did this by staying outside the channel, which meant doing a lot of tacks.

We had lunch which was soup and rolls and later in the day, we had a quick break for tea and biscuits but it was very difficult to open the packets because it was really cold and our hands weren’t working.

It became sunnier later, but remained very cold and windy. We arrived at Yarmouth at roughly 16:00 and put down the sails before going into the harbour.

We packed the boat away and had showers, before having a great dinner of sausage, mash, peas and carrots.

We then played cards for the rest of the evening.

By Lucas and Niamh

Day 3

Wednesday 23

We left Yarmouth this afternoon at 13:00 after waiting for the tide to increase the depth of the harbour mouth so we could safely depart.

The water was relatively calm and there was little wind. Overall, morale was good for the crew as we felt the conditions were better than on Tuesday.

Given the practice from Portsmouth to Yarmouth, we were more knowledgeable about equipment, procedures and marine slang. More people took part and we worked efficiently as a team.

We did our first Gybe today, given everyone was more experienced and we were sailing downwind. We dropped the sails outside of Cowes around 16:00 and then went into the harbour.

We packed the boat away and Gordon’s watch cooked a dinner of spag bol. Gordon’s cooking was outstanding as usual, and the atmosphere around the table was lively as the crew has begun to develop into a group of associates rather than strangers.

After dinner, we went for showers and then had a lively game of cards. Whilst playing cards we devoured large chocolate chip cookies which the Skipper kindly bought us from Sainsbury’s.

By Shivam and Stanley

Day 4

Thursday 24

We went upstairs and it was raining immediately, sleet pouring into our faces. It was briefly sunny as we headed out of Cowes. Though this was short-lived as a massive storm front swept over us and there was HAIL everywhere.

The boat tipped over sideways and it felt like we almost capsized, but we didn’t! There was water coming up the other side of the boat. We let the mainsail out to prevent the boat from tipping too much and where we had two reefs in, the sail filled up with water and ice which then spilled over us like a giant slushy smoothie, ice-cream cold and completely drenched us.

Thankfully we escaped the storm alive and were able to refuel at Cowes. It was still freezing but no longer raining. We spent over a thousand pounds on diesel which is crazy!

We then planned our night voyage and set out into the darkness at 18:30. We had to navigate between a million tiny flashing lights against a background of Portsmouth and the shore which had even more lights.

As we arrived at Gunwharf Quays, we tried to reverse the boat twice into our space but the boat wouldn’t go in so we turned around and went in forwards. Once the boat was secure, we had a great dinner of chicken curry, poppadum’s and naan bread. This was followed by a selection of hot fruit pies and custard for desert. Now it’s time for showers before going to bed. Throughout the day our relationship was updated to friends.


By Arne, Josh, Josh, Lucas and Niamh​

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