Challenger 4 – Sprint around Eddystone Rock and back

By Tall Ships - August 14th, 2018 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Day One

When we climbed aboard the boat we were kindly greeted by one of the crew members who directed us below deck to the saloon (living area), to find our ship mates who are getting to know each other. We introduced ourselves and soon everyone was chatting to us and making us laugh. We picked our bunks, which are nice and snug, and made ourselves at home. Then we were taken up to the deck, found out our watches, group leaders and the basic structure of the days. We split up into our watches, were shown where everything is and how to use them (the toilet takes a while, not the luxury of a household flush!). Also a simple safety briefing to make sure we know how to deal with an emergency such as a man over board. After a quick break to top up on sun cream and water we got stuck in hanking the sails on, learning and practising how to use a winch and preparing the boat for a quicker departure the next morning. We rounded of the day with a friendly chat while some of us helped prepare a dinner of spaghetti bolognaise.

Written by Hannah and Sarah from Port Watch

Day Two

Wednesday the 8th and Thursday the 9th of August blog CF458

We slipped lines at Brixham at 11 o’clock and headed at of the harbour, where we raised the main with some reefs in the sail which we shook out later in the day. We waited for the other boats for a Le Mans start with both the yankee and stay sails still on the deck and the crew ready to hoist the sails. Both sails were quickly raised by the watches and we were sitting on the windward side of the boat against the guard rails when the sheet track came apart and the stay sail started flapping. After a quick examination by the skipper and first Mate it was decided that a drop was required to reseat the block onto the track and then occurred what was perhaps are fastest and most efficient drop of the stay with the boat healing at 30 degrees and water splashing over the bow. The fleet started to split and in not long the sails of the other boats were all that could be made out and we started to see pods of dolphins around the bow. The sea state was rougher than we had experienced and combined with the 20 knots of breeze some members of the crew experienced sea sickness with vomiting on both sides of the boat. Later on it was decided that it would be not advisable to continue to Eddystone rock and therefore we turned around with our boat being closest to towards it. The wind then started top drop and the crew fell into watches with 3 hours sleep and the 3 hours on deck for what was a cold and mainly uneventful night. However when the starboard watch was on deck from 10-1 they saw dolphins which were glowing blue with bioluminescent algae. Throughout the night the wind continued to drop and the motor was used increasingly as speeds dropped to under 2 knots. The stay was hoisted by the starboard watch to accompany the yankee at the bow of the boat but these were both later dropped by the port watch when the wind fell. The main sail was dropped when the boat entered Studland bay where we anchored. For those of us that wanted to, we climbed the mast. We later left the bay and continued under motor the whole way back to Portsmouth which totalled around 4 hours of sailing which was spent doing a deep clean of the boat and preparing to come into port where we moored in the marina next the 78m charter vessel Ameraylls. Bringing us to our last night on the boat with a day of cleaning and goodbyes ahead.


Join our mailing list

Get the latest updates and news, straight to your inbox.

Add your email and we'll do the rest!