Adventure to Norway sailing on a Challenger Yacht

916 views  |   September 13th, 2022 

Sailing to Norway – Day 1

Kindred Spirits

Sailing to Norway – So the day we have all been looking forward to has finally arrived.  We each arrive bright eyed on the quay to meet our fellow sailors and the professional crew.  Warm greetings and cups of tea later we are thoroughly briefed, attired and lunched before for our impending voyage.

We introduce ourselves.  For many of us it is our first long cross sea yacht voyage, for others a chance to visit somewhere new, for some their tentative next steps into the world of sailing.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, whilst each is here for different reasons, we all share a love of sailing and strong sense of adventure.

Challenger Crew from another trip


And they’re off to Norway!

After rigging the boat Challenger 1 sets off into a fine afternoon.  In fact so fine that our skipper, Paul, suggests we will probably need to motor for the first 24 hours.  The upside of this is calm seas and balmy weather so we take the chance to get to know our new crew mates, in between jobs, in the late afternoon sunshine.

Our first challenge is to safely navigate through the busy shipping lanes out of Portsmouth, into the Solent and beyond.  We are rewarded with a beautiful sunset. This challenge will continue through the night for the different watch teams.

As I write, at 9.30pm, two thirds of the crew are sleep.  Our watch team is enjoying tonight’s full moon, its rays sparkling and dancing on the water below. Right now, there is no other place that any of us would rather be.

By Jill and the White Watch Team

Sailing to Norway – Day 2 and a lone Dolphin accompanies the good ship Challenger 1

Picking up from yesterday’s blog I think it’s fair to say that we are now all fully into the swing of things on board Challenger 1. We have completed and survived a full days cycle of watch’s and shifts during which much tea has been consumed, fantastic food has kept us well fuelled and good conversation has enabled us to happily pass away the quieter times as we continue to motor sail our way along the south coast and up the North Sea.

The weather has remained fair, the sea state smooth and there has been little wind, so whilst we haven’t had an opportunity to sail under our own steam as of yet, it’s been a very comfortable journey thus far which has enabled us all to appreciate the beautiful scenery along the way including the White Cliffs of Dover and many a windfarm. We have also had the opportunity to hone our watch skills. Apparently sea gulls are not fenders although if you see the same sea gull bobbing along more than once it is a “repeat not a fender’.

For most of the day we have also had an unsolicited yet very welcome companion on our adventure in the form of a lone dolphin who has been very playful around the yacht and has kept us entertained for hours.

Time to bed now though as tomorrow may prove to be ‘slightly’ more challenging as we hit stronger winds. We’ll keep you posted as to how we get on.

By Simone and the Red watch team

Sailing to Norway Day 3 – Anchored of the Yorkshire Coast with a decision to make

Our watch did the 3-6am shift and shared a beautiful sunrise reflected over the water in pink waves.

The wind picked up and we put out the Yankee and Staysail along with the main and reached about 7kts over ground. It was great to cut the engine and see the sails in action.

After about an hour we had to put the engine back on to keep our speed up, in order to out run the coming bad weather. It was hard to track the weather front as we had little signal but the skipper was able to download enough to see the strong red wind indicators all over the North Sea map. It looks to be gale force 8. The dilemma was: (a) continue on, knowing the boat could take it even if the amateur crew might struggle, but we’d probably end up further South in Norway than we wanted and possibly unable to make our way around the fjords with a heavy head wind against us, or; (b) make for the UK coast and take cover for the night. That way we’d be further north, making it easier to cross over the North Sea in the coming days.

The weather

Apparently there is more bad weather on Friday so the issue is whether we can make it to safe harbour in Norway before then. We are crossing our fingers. Right now we are in an incredibly peaceful bay off Bridlington (Yorkshire) and it’s hard to believe there’s bad weather just out in the ocean on its way. It’s about 11pm now and all is quiet. We’ll take the chance for a night’s rest and see what happens in the morning. We are in the hands of our skipper and the weather.  Details on the weather and the forecast they face can be found here: Windy: Wind map & weather forecast

Entrance to Lysefjord in Norway

Entrance to Lysefjord in Norway

Isabel, Chris. Becks and John (Green Watch). 12th Sept 22.

Keep a look of for the next blog post that will say whether they were able to cut across the North Sea before the weather closed in or fairly that what they did decide to do.

For more info about Norway Sailing have a look here: Norway Sailing Adventure to the Fjords and Back | First Class Sailing

Posted by: First Class Sailing


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