Challenger 4 – The American School in London

By Kate Stewart - March 30th, 2023 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

This week onboard Challengers 3 and 4, we have two groups from The American School in London joining us onboard for a three-night residential adventure.

Check out this blog to read what the girls onboard Challenger 4 have been getting up to so far.

Day 1

Tuesday 28

The winds were rough, ropes flying everywhere. Our fingers were filled with the sensation of the blistering air. We were confused. Who could understand such a complicated and intricate environment? Thankfully, our wonderful mentors from Tall Ships Youth Trust were there to guide us.

We spent the day learning the basic sailing techniques and terms. Dressed in big waterproof overalls and bright red coats, we were able to take part in this experience first-hand. We learnt about various knots; bowlines, slips, and a monkey’s fist.

Not once did we feel uncomfortable or dissatisfied with the knowledge we were acquiring.  Our TSYT crew were more than understanding and patient with the tons of questions we were pouring towards them. Even with our off-key singing, they managed to put up with us.

Nevertheless, we worked hard as a crew and managed to figure out the intense set up of the boat. With our very own hands, frozen like Elsa’s heart, we pulled and pulled ropes, until finally the sails were up. And we sailed! Into the unknownnnnnn (Frozen reference)!

After a long day at sea in the crisp breeze, we sang along to some Megan Trainor and put in a group effort to make the delicious fajitas, which we enjoyed later. In the warmth and company of everyone, we were left with a tint of orange in our hearts.

By Sophia, Kanak and Siena.

Day 2

Wednesday 29

Hi Parents! It’s day two of big boat sailing and we have docked on the Isle of Wight. This means that we’ve been able to shower in bathrooms with clean and hot running water!

This morning was a hard start as we were sleepy from our anchor watch shifts throughout the previous night. However, the day improved as soon as we set sail. Thanks to the strong winds, our boat tipped at an angle frequently, making it a really fun ride for us in the cockpit. Some of us had a chance to steer the boat, and some even had the chance to climb the mast!

For lunch, we had pasta with toppings of our choice, most agreed it was our best lunch yet. As we mentioned before, because the boat was tipping, the cleaning was quite sickly to say the least, but we held through.

Our afternoon was followed by a ‘man overboard’ drill, in which Bob the buoy sadly would not have survived if real. Later on, it got a little chilly and we settled down with some hot, warming drinks.

As we sailed into Yarmonth Marina, the boys onboard Challenger 3 had been there for a while and had already tied up their sails for the night. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side and it started to rain just as we packed up. This made our job twice as difficult.

Tonight’s dinner was a Green Thai Curry with vegetables and noodles, which was successfully executed by Zoe, Allie, Paola and Galilea. Currently, we are just relaxing until bed time at 22:00.

By Zoe and Galilea.

Day 3

Thursday 30

Today started at around 08:00 with overdone porridge and half-warmed bagels for breakfast, and then Port (India’s) watch prepped the deck to sail back to Portsmouth. Due to horrendous weather, our fabulous trip to Cowes was CANCELLED. Our hearts were broken, like the boys’ spirit when we beat them back to Portsmouth.

Our dearest Bob, the fender, was washed away by the cruel waves, we were as depressed as Mr. Wolf watching the boys flake the Mainsail. With our heads hung low, we sat around saloon table, prepared to learn about navigation, yet the only thing we could think about was Bob. Allie and Maddie, the two bravest of all us grieving souls, ended up being the two who fully-planned our journey. The rest gathered on deck and completely set the boat up to sail, after a not-so-worth it walk around town. Bob would want it that way, for us to move on. He was one with the sea now.

Despite the hard morning, we pushed on, making it through the rough waves. The sun had started to peak out, a blue sky matching the sea. When we had finally arrived back in Portsmouth, we smiled, knowing full well that we had beaten the boys. We had arrived before them, (cause obviously we’re better than them), #WomenInSailing. They tried to cover their shame, like they did with their outrageous Mainsail flaking. Over all, we learnt that boys suck. The end.

By Maddie, Siena, Sophia and Kanak.​

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