Thursday, 12 April 2012

Day 1 - getting on board

Day one of duke of edinbrough silver award

The day began far too early having to meet at school at 8am where we were greeted by Matt and Mira our very kind drivers. The 8am meeting time was pushed by Rehana arriving slightly late in her DKNY wellies, however, on her arrival I was lucky enough to receive a box of guylian chocolates for my birthday which we all dug into after just a few hours of ‘hard-manual labour’ on the boat. After this delightful surprise we soon forgave her for arriving a few minutes late! After around an hour into our long journey up to Scotland we stopped off at a very posh service station where we all bought overly priced sandwiches and wraps despite it still being before 10am, then returning to the van meeting our new drivers/leaders for the week, Ian and Crystal.

We then travelled for a further two and a half hours from Penrith meeting point to Largs Marina where we were to board the Tenacity of Bolton. We were then met by the other fellow silver duke of Edinburgh participants from school who looked extremely tired and exhausted. I don’t think we as a group realised what exactly we had in store for us in the week ahead. They gave us an insight in to the activities and challenges we would be faced with. I think they were glad that they were going to be on the road home however, seemed to have enjoyed there week on a whole.

After seeing the last group off, we unloaded the Morrison’s food shop from the van and put away all the goodies for the week. Stomachs rumbled and mouths watered looking through the shopping bags. During this time Ian our lovely instructor cooked up beans on toast which was delicious and lined the stomach very nicely. The juice we made seemed to taste very different to at home as the water tank was refilled by Max at the Largs Marina.

As we began to settle ourselves in and sort bags out, I think everyone was a little in shock by what we had ahead of us. There was little discussion of who was staying in which bed as we all wanted to snuggle together. However, seeing as Moll has the longest legs ever, she definitely needs the big double bed at the back of the boat. This was decided, then very kindly Annie and Madison offered themselves the front beds.

Moving on to the top deck, according to Ian we were getting ‘suited and booted’ meaning sorting out everyone’s waterproofs. I have to say they weren’t the most flattering outfits I have seen as we all looked like obese dummies. Everyone was so keen to get out of the docks, so we sped through the health safety process as fast as possible. As a team we split up and helped get ‘Tenacity of Bolton’ away from the sides of the boat. This was quite difficult but we managed to do this very successfully. We all realised that this week ahead is all going to involve working together as a team and communicating well.

Finally out to sea! Max took over the steering wheel while Ian went through all important rope methods we need to know. One for example was ‘ A half turn and two round hitches’. This took a long time to get into our heads and pronounce the name. Madison and Annie took the wheel for a bit. We sailed to Millport on Great Cumbrai and then anchored up in front of the pretty and cute village. The sun was shining as we started to cook tonight’s dinner of sausages, mash, yorkshire puddings, peas and sweet corn. Fortunately we had no casualties and everyone was free of seasickness!

Whilst cooking dinner a few of us decorated the saloon with balloons and ‘Happy Birthday’ banners for Lottie, which livened the place up and added a personal touch. As Rehana attempted to complete her textiles work, the rest of the crew relaxed, chatted and prepared for dinner.

We sat down and ate our yummy dinner whilst reflecting on our first day on the sea. We finished up and unfortunately had to wash up the pots which took a longer than necessary! We then played a very lively game of Articulate which woke everyone up. We then retired to bed and fell asleep immediately as we were all shattered from travelling and sailing. Although the first day is supposedly the worst as your body is adjusting to life on the sea, it was surprisingly pleasant and we were all looking forward to the week ahead.

Due to technical issues, we'll have photos for you tomorrow.

Read more about Sail Training on board Tenacity of Bolton at

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