Friday, 6 April 2012

Day 1 - The first day...

The start of our expedition was a shock system as expected. The majority of us hadn’t seen 8 o’clock for around a week now, let alone the time of day we had to get up at! We arrived at school early (!), meeting each other with perfectly straightened or curled hair and the friendly smiles of Mira and Dan. The weather wasn’t showing much promise at this point, but knowing the North West, it could change any second. Leaving the waving parents behind, we set off in the minibus which smelt like Patterdale. For those of you who know where Beaumont Road in Bolton is, it isn’t very far from school is it? At this point we learnt that Jess doesn’t have a problem with eating sweet things very early. She had already polished off a bar of Caramel Dairy Milk! We powered along the motorway making three toilet stops and to buy a well needed Starbucks. By this point, we had swapped instructors and met our new shipmates Dawn and Max. Dawn and Max were very pleased to hear that we are a group of tea and coffee drinkers, bar a few, as they LOVE their tea (we’re probably up to brew number 120 by now). We crossed the Scottish border in no time and arrived at Largs Marina at 1.40pm to be greeted by our joyous (albeit tired) looking friends from the previous week. We were now very ready to get on Tenacity!

Group 1 were so right, Tenacity was the furthest possible boat away from us! However, we were fortunate to have trollies to transport our many bags to Tenacity (unlucky Group 1) and slowly made our way over (Dawn had said if our bags fell in the water it would be the end of the world, so slowly it was). After many warnings of staying clear of the water, Kajol still managed to nearly plant Jess in the water after apparently ‘losing control’ of her trolley. The first thing on Dawn’s mind was food (we won’t lie, it was in the forefront of our minds also) and we were very appreciative of beans on toast! After lunch before getting to grips with the boat and getting all our kit, we took the chance to learn more about each other and our instructors. Amongst these facts presented by Paloma, we found out she had 42 cats at one given time! We then got given our oilies and safety equipments and had to check them. Unfortunately for Claire she learnt the hard way. After 10 solid minutes she has finally done up her life vest, only to discover that her leg straps were broken and had to start all over again to get kitted up with another one.

We were now ready to set sail! We decided upon using the motor instead of getting out the sails as we were all very tired, but we were very much raring to go and get out on the sea! We also wanted to see some wildlife like dolphins (we live in hope), but tried not to get our hopes up. Maddie and Ellie felt honoured to get the first job of the day by using the fenders to ensure the boat did not get scratched or hit on its way out of the marina. Pressure much! Humairaa took the helm after only 10 minutes and did a fabulous job! It was nice to get a hot drink down us and we had a hot chocolate and biscuit, which was very much enjoyed by all. Upon arrival at Great Cumbrae, Maddie spotted some seals on the rocks! All of us fascinated, we took out the cameras and listened to the seals making noises that matched Jess’ impression perfectly! We anchored up at a wannabe Balamory bay and were all ready for tea. We got a shock when we heard the smoke alarm going off and an odd smell coming from the galley. But do not fear! We had our bangers and mash (with contributions to our five-a-day!) and silence came upon us all. You can tell what we’re doing when you can’t hear anything, we’ll be eating. Sleeping is the next thing on our minds, and we are currently settling down and doing small jobs to finish off the day. Needless to say, we are so ready for a good night’s sleep, and we all know Max doesn’t like being woken up, but he may be woken up by the snoring of 7 shattered girls (sorry Max).
Keep reading avid readers!


Maddie and Kajol

Read more about Sail Training on board Tenacity of Bolton at

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