Ahoy there!

This message is coming to you from Tenacious with love (and a hug and three salty kisses) just as we’re making our way across the English Channel, playing Frogger with the multitude of large ships heading for far off destinations.

Having set off from Portsmouth on Thursday evening, we anchored off the Isle of Wight with a magical sunset as our backdrop for our first night of our voyage.

Once we were all fed, watered and geared up for the day, we set course for the French shores, aiming for Port Winston and Gold Beach.

However, as always on a JST Magical Mystery Tour (they are the best!), plans change (just as the wind does) and although we started the day aiming for France, when those of us lucky enough to get to sleep at night (Thank you to the Night Watches!) got up in the morning, we were heading for Alderney. What a wonderful surprise!

Once the temporary patch of morning fog cleared (both from the seas and from the sailors), we emerged into a beautifully sunny day with clear skies, excited for the day ahead.

After doing “doughnuts” just outside Braye Harbour (apparently to allow everyone to finish breakfast, but Forward Port watch suspected it had something to do with the radio call we heard about live firing happening on Jersey (or maybe Guersney) and that we’d been roped into a target training exercise) we headed into Braye Harbour and dropped anchor. It was fascinating to experience the precise manoeuvring of such a large ship in such a small space.

In the afternoon, having had the essential briefing about the dangers of the blonde hedgehogs and the possibility of a temper tantrum from Captain Darren if there was no Rum & Raisin ice cream for him, we headed ashore to explore Alderney.

Lots of adventures were had, including the (successful!) search for a blonde hedgehog (both in pub format and animal format), exploring the castles and bunkers, sampling the local ice cream and a refreshing swim for 3 keen sailors. Although we can’t report the water was warm, it was pleasant enough for a proper swim, with the backdrop of Tenacious resting at anchor just outside the beautiful sandy beach.

After another night at anchor, we are now darting across the Channel under sail, with our course set for Dartmouth, and the excitement of going aloft to look forward to.

We’ve all had a go at hauling, easing and have learned that there is only one rope on the ship, and that’s the bell rope.

This morning we also started work on our very own Sea Shanty to help us remember the order of the Clewlines and Sheets – Watch this space for our first single being released (It’s catchy and you’ll only need to know 4 words to join in!)

Linnea from Forward Port Watch signing off for now with a quote for the day:

Let curiosity be your compass and courage your sail!

Left the beautiful island Alderney after breakfast and then “all hands” on deck setting sails. A good breeze is taking us across the Channel. Spotted a few swifts skimming and fluttering above the waves as they race ahead of us for the UK shores. A good afternoon sailing to enjoy and of course Fred’s delicious banana bread for smoko.

As a sailing virgin I was apprehensive, but what has struck me is the inclusivity of all abilities and levels. The permanent crew naturally and expertly guide all – and I have hoisted sails, steered the ship, and served the meals. All good!