Norway Day 10 – 12: Connection Lost & Found

823 views  |   June 28th, 2019 

The crew of Challenger 4 have survived their first Gale and make landfall in Den Helder, Netherlands, before moving on towards home. Steve ponders the conundrum of having no connection to the outside world, yet feeling more connected to the important things in life.




Day 10: Perfect Storm


Gale is coming…..

Some well-needed respite today as we came out of a gale force storm which lasted from around 6pm yesterday until 6am this morning.

With a lovely and sunny last day in Norway on Sunday, we left Haugesund on Monday morning with a little spring in our step with the prospect of some wind and sailing, they do say – be careful what you wish for…

Massive waves, hauling gale force 8 over 42 knots of wind and reaching maximum speeds of 12 knots Challenger 4 came into its own.

We battled through what can only be described as ‘the perfect’ storm’ for those who have seen the movie – with a slightly happier ending.

Respect to our very competent skipper, mate and watch leaders who saw us novice sailors throughout our first gale force storm.

It was in the midst of this rain, wind, waves and general excitement that John (watch leader) whilst on all fours pulling in a sail came face to face with his first dolphin of the trip, every cloud has a silver lining.

We are all reeling today and gathering ourselves for some more wind ahead progressing our course to Den Helder.





Day 12: Disconnected


We’re over 100 miles out to sea again, a short stop in Den Helder, Holland now 18 hours behind us. With only 24 hours to go to Portsmouth we thought we’d try a novelty-blog.


How about a list of song titles that summarise the trip?


“I am sailing” – Rod Stewart

“Riders on the storm” – The Doors


Hmmm … running out of ideas already.


Puns on song names?


“Like a Boat out of Hell”


Really? Only one idea?


All-time favourite movies with a nautical theme?




Best not to think about that one …


What we need is an internet connection.


“I’m gonna get myself connected; the writing’s on the wall …”


I can’t remember any more of the lyrics. Was that INXS? I’m not sure.



In Den Helder I received a text from my boss: “we need you to join the conference call on Friday”. I did explain before I left that I would be at sea. Somehow it’s hard to believe you can be truly disconnected in the modern world when even on a long-haul flight you can browse the internet and answer e-mails. I’m missing the call – right now, as it happens. Normally I might have been feeling guilty but it seems a two-week internet detox is good for the soul.


The short time we’ve had ashore I’ve focussed on catching up with family, a strong sense of the priorities in life coming to the fore. I’m reminded how we complain about the time our teenage daughters spend on the internet, but actually as adults, we’re just as bad.


I’ve also been ignoring the news. Do we have a new Prime Minister already? Is Brexit done, or are we still in the EU? Please don’t answer that; I don’t want to know.


Jim, our skipper, explained at the start that life aboard would be different. Tough, because there are 24-hour watch-patterns to work and variable conditions to deal with; but also simpler in a way, the complexities of modern life left ashore. It turns out he was right. This trip has been both challenging; but also a huge escape that is difficult to find anywhere else.


Hang on a minute. How are we going to submit this blog before we get back to land? Is there something I’ve not been told?


Don’t tell my boss …




CH4 is expected back in Portsmouth Saturday around midday

CH4 is expected back in Portsmouth Saturday around midday


Follow our Norway sailing adventure and read more from our blog by clicking here

If you’re interested in our other Norwegian sailing adventures then visit our dedicated online page at First Class Sailing

You can also check out our other sailing adventures across the Atlantic on Challenger 72’s


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