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Challenger 1, XF240529A – Radius Housing, Belfast

By Ali - May 31st, 2024 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

This week a group from Radius Housing are joining us on board Challenger 1 for a voyage around the Southern Ireland coast. Read about their adventure below!

Day 1

Wednesday 29 May

​We first got on the ship in Belfast Marina. After a few minutes taken for photos and getting our bags onto the ship, we got a tour. I first got a tour of below deck, followed by a tour of the deck itself. We got brief introductions from the crew members and then introduced ourselves. We chose where we would be sleeping and then got fitted with waterproofs.

The lifejackets confused a lot of people at the start, but the crew were able to explain them to us in a simple way. Our introduction to sailing was simple. I didn’t take long at all for us, as a team, to prepare the ship. We learned how to put up the Yankee sail and how to tie the appropriate knots for each rope used on the ship. We headed from Belfast to Bangor Marina.

When we arrived, we were assigned to different watches (port and starboard). Those in port had to help tidy up the ship, starboard had to make dinner. For dinner we had chicken fajitas, they were surprisingly good for a group of people who have never cooked together before.

After dinner, we got some time to talk to each other, majority of us sat on the deck. Lights had to be out for 10:45, so we all slept.

My favourite part of day one was probably learning how to take the sails down, even if I did nearly fall off the ship! It was a really good start to our voyage, and I think most people would agree.


Day 2

Thursday 30 May

Wake up time was 0700 so that port watch could make breakfast for 0730 we then sat up deck and unplugged stuff like water hose and electric extension lead , getting ready to set sail.

We then pulled in the fenders and went over to the fuel station and put 1400 litres in, that was a struggle in a half took about 30 minutes because the wind was so strong, and skipper had to do a 360 turn.

Then we headed out of the marina, we started to put up the main sail, I was in the snake pit “my favourite part”.

It was very scary when the boat tipped to the 1 side I felt a bit queasy  but it was fun, we came back in to Bangor and starboard then cooked lunch ,after that we went on shore for a few hours, came back made dinner and Cameron made apple crumble for dessert. We then went to bed.


Day 3

Friday 31 May

On our third day on the ship wake up was set at 0730 at Bangor marina, Breakfast was at 0830 and was toast, potato bread and scrambled eggs, we then took the sail covers off got the bow and stern lines ready to slip then once we had slipped the lines we set off for Strangford Lough where we would anchor for the night, after we had left the marina we set the main sail with 1 reef and headed down wind towards Strangford lough we then put the Yankee sail up which meant we increased our sailing speed we also jived the boat so that the wind was always into our sail rather than against it so we could move as fast as possible. After a few hours of sailing, we put our sails down to decrease our speed as we headed into the lough, Once the sails were down we used the engine to go into the lough and looked for a couple spots to anchor the boat. Once we found a good scenic spot to anchor in the lough we dropped the anchor, made sure the boom was secure and we started making dinner, for dinner we had chicken curry that was made with a curry paste by Phil, Stuart and Lewis, it was great!

Cameron “Cookie” Cooke, Oliver Rawle

During the few hours we were sailing the seas got very rough and the boat was tipping from side to side. There were a couple of times where it was so rough and windy that the water was rushing over the galleys portside window, it looked scary but exhilarating at the same time. I was on lunch duty preparing lunch for the rest of the crew, so I was below deck for a good while. Not being able to see the horizon of the open ocean really makes you feel dizzy and a bit sick but it’s a small price to pay for a great time.

Joseph “Beans” Corr​

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