Final Leg departs Eastbourne and Dover

Leg 11 / Day 1

After all of us getting lost we eventually found the yacht, Duet. We then got to know each other and wrote a shopping list. We had to use the boat trolleys to get the large amount of shopping back to Duet. Later on we went down to the Chippy for fish and chips. We went back to the boat for an intense game of Irish snap. Several battered hands later we all went to bed.

Leg 11 / Day 2

Waking up to the sound of James making the tea and Alex screaming. Beth realised we had a drip. After three kettle boils we eventually got our tea for breakfast. We had egg, bacon, sausage and mushy but yummy hash browns. We then proceeded to leave the harbour under motor. We put the main, mizzen, staysail and outer jib 1 sails up. We had a force four west-south-westerly wind. Our point of sail was a broad reach.

Vicky and James attempted to make tea but then had to be taken over by Michaela after feeling seasick. Bethany and Beth proceed to then throw-up over the side. We then changed from Jib No.1 to Genoa. For this James went out on to the bowsprit to attach the tack. Bethany instructed us how to flake the jib.

Chicken Fajita were then cooked in rather bumpy conditions by those who were feeling sick. Beth and Bethany then saw their lunch again. We approached the white cliffs of Dover which was nicely pointed out by Beth followed by a short disagreement about satellites. We then moored up at Dover. Vicky and Bethany then cooked chicken curry which went down well after a day of sailing.

 Leg 11 / Day 3

Breakfast was at 08:30 because James had to go to the hospital after a nasty bug bite. Alex dropped an orange out of the overloaded fruit net which landed in Bet’s tea. We set out in a very light wind using the motor to help.

Leaving Dover hoping for better visibility

Leaving Dover hoping for better visibility


Waves, dolphins and bombs

Leg 8 / Day 2 (Monday)

Courtney says: Despite the crashing waves, heavy wind and freezing water, I feel fine and am enjoying (almost) every minute. Unfortunately, I’ve missed seeing dolphins and the army shooting at us but I did see millions of stars last night and I’m glad I chose to go on the Duet.

Josh L says: Wow! Mad day today. Sea sickness hit us all. With my start of the day hugging the bucket. I could have gone home then and there. But after going above deck, I felt SO much better! As everyone stayed below deck trying to keep their stomach contents, I kept watch above deck rolling around on roller coaster waves. Finally anchored up early hours. The highlight of my day, however, was being shot at by the ministry of defence as we sailed around the coast.

Lauren says: Day 2 was damn rough! I spent most of the day sleeping and throwing up! I haven’t felt so ill in my entire life. But, as we sailed into Dale lake, (I think that’s what it was called…) I recovered enough to have something to eat. Cheese sandwiches. Win! Before going to bed we all went up on deck to finish clearing up and I’m glad I ventured out. The air helped and the night was gorgeous! Stars out above the ocean look prettier than they do at home. J Only downer other than being extremely ill, is I missed seeing the dolphins and the ministry of defence shooting at us! L

Josh S says: started off the day in OxwichBay. Water was fairy calm but I was still sick though. Then we sailed from Oxwich to Milford Haven. After spending two hours on deck I was absolutely soaked and freezing. I then spent what seemed like minutes but was actually hours below deck being sick and trying to sleep. Finally we made it to Milford Haven at 2 in the morning, where we anchored and finally slept.

Luke says: It was a very wet and cold and I was sick whenever I went below deck but as the day went on it got better and better. First it started with the dolphins coming up to the boat, then the MoD firing at us. It was just very cold on deck doing an hour shift. When we finally anchored down, it was a beautiful night with all the stars and lights.

Jessie says: OMG! The waves are crazy! Being sick, wet and cold is not fun at all!! The boat does not stop rocking and almost everyone has been sick, not fun!!! On the bright side, I saw dolphins and we got shot at by the army. The boat is nice at midnight. All the stars were out and the water was much calmer. I haven’t eaten today, only an apple and warm water. All my stuff is soaking wet, so it’s a cold wet night for all. I wish I was home!

Phil says: What a day The sea was crazy! A huge swell and lots and lots of sick. Only myself and Courtney was not sick but the smell of saucepans and buckets full of the stuff was horrific.On deck it was amazing. The dolphins came to say hello and the gannets were dive bombing for food. Talking about bombing, the MoD gave us a very close firework display with missiles and bombs, which kept us on our toes.The lights of  Milford Haven were upon us and the feeling of relief was immense. It seemed to takeages to get in though. Cheese sandwiches were served at 3am and a very,very wet bed awaited. Phew!!!


Soggy but still happy . . .just!

Leg 6 / Day 2  (Sun 1 July)

Ryan . . . Woke up at 6am. We got breakfast, 3 of us went up on deck to start our shift. Me and Andy finally got the anchor up after a struggle. We set off about 6:45am. It was a bit of a shock because last night everyone was unhappy and saying they wanted to go home BUT today was different. Everyone was enjoying it. Then mad Andy started being sick again.

I’ve been on deck most of the day. Just shows how different everyone responded today. Just rolled a snout. Up to puff it. Back soon. . .!

Paul (Tiny) . . .  It has started again. I woke up around 9am and moved to adry bed for a decent kip but only slept ‘till 10:30am. Had a wash and went up for a watch. Steered the boat for a while and have been SENT to bed as I am NEEDED later. Any excuse to get rid of me!!

My turn to make the munch tonight so it’s going to be banging!

P.S ‘Sicknote’ Andy has been sick again but is finally up working Ahhaa!! With his bucket!

Forgot to say, me and the bold Lexi nearly swam with the fish last night trying to get the Jib sail down. As it was lowered we couldn’t pull it in quick enough and it went in the water pulling me an Lexi towards the edge of the starboard bow of the boat. Resulting in me hurting my finger on the guard wire. What’s the irony in that . . .!

As for our bags. . . .well the majority of them are as wet as the boat itself. The hatch in the forward ‘bunk room’, if you want to call it that, was left open leaving us to sleep in soggy conditions and in the same clobber we worked in to keep warm. So far though, it has been good. Everyone is keeping each other’s moral high enough than no one has contemplated suicide by drowning . . .so far!!

Duet beating upwind in lively conditions


Compare and contrast the first two days of Leg 4

Leg 4 / Day 1 & 2

Do you think we should have told Dawn about this ship coming up behind!

Aaron . . . Day 1 Felt very ill, tired, lonely, soaking wet, depressed, lonely shifts, felt very long. Day 2 Arrived in Aberdeen– great! Got to go swimming, got the boat cleaned up, started to enjoy my food. Energy came back, knackered at tea time, as I made tea, but really enjoyed it. Sleep was great – dry!

Oscar . . . Day 1 Mixed feelings – stressed, angry & exhausted. Able to cope but under pressure with being asked by many people to do so many different things. Day 2 Had to drag myself up and decided I was going to stay. Felt cleansed after the swim at the pool, food was brilliant – exactly what I needed, great sleep!

Chloe . . .Day 1 Felt and was so sick – enjoyed doing the shifts – didn’t enjoy the swell & soaking & freezing cold. Day 2 Arrived in Aberdeen, pleased to be here. Very tired – over the moon to get a shower. Loved tea – bangers, mash, roasted veg & gravy. Slept like a baby.

Cory . . .Day 1 Fun for the first couple of hours, then on second shift got really dripping wet, then got waterproofs on, got really moist at the waist. Was funny watching everyone throwing up – was like a zombie movie. Was sick myself and felt de-hydrated. Day 2 . . . Annoyed when I woke up, played my guitar, sang to myself! Swimming pool, steam room an’ ting was great. Felt moist after my swim! Didn’t really enjoy tea.

Scot . . . Day 1 Felt like I wanted to die, faint, no strength, very negative & scared, cold, wet & very sick, went out on all my shifts but didn’t complete it. Wanted to go home. Day 2 Started to feel better, from then on really started to enjoy it, food is really nice, toilet/heads are too small!

Jack . . . Day 1  Felt dodgy, didn’t think I was gonna be sick, but ended up being sick all night, kept bumping myself with the boat swaying. I only managed one hour on shift all night, felt absolutely horrible, just wanted to go home. Day 2 Early on still felt ill and wanted to go home, but as the day went on started to feel better and after a shower I didn’t want to go home. Really enjoyed tea, didn’t sleep well, looking forward to Chinese tomorrow.

Susie . . .Day 1 After a very happy meet up on ‘Duet’, we set sail around 2:30pm. It was raining & the sea was very choppy. It wasn’t long before we were all soaking, cold & very seasick (apart from Oscar). We split into two groups and started four hour shifts. Everyone was feeling down more and more as the night went on. The weather didn’t start getting any better until around 1:00am, most of us had managed to stop being sick by this stage, but we were still soaking wet & so cold.

Day 2  We arrived in Aberdeen with Scot, Cory & Jack certain they were going home, but after cleaning up the boat and deciding on going for a swim, spirits started to rise again. We had lunch then headed to the pool. Everyone was much happier after this and we headed back to the boat, where we had a much appreciated home-cooked tea! We played ‘spoons’ – Dawn was not happy that she didn’t win! Bed was calling around10pm, so after getting tidied up, we all got to a very well deserved bed.

The young people have been so supportive of each other. They are now starting to have a giggle about the experience of the first night and enjoying themselves. They are working amazingly well together as a team and I am both proud and honoured to be supporting this amazing group of young people. There are so many things we are going to be taking away from this trip, something none of us are ever going to forget.


Wet passage

Leg 4 / Day 1

Connect crew on deck with guitarFollowing a wet passage to Aberdeen the group from Aberdeen could only manage a few words. They were:

Jack . . . relieved

Oscar…that was an experience

Aaron….the spewing has finished!!!



Susie…my boss has got a lot to answer for!

Duet can be so close to nature that everything has nature in it…everything is wet & airing, even the guitar had to be emptied!!

Leg 4 group on deck in foul weather gear



A challenging day

Leg 3 / Day 2

Young people on deck in NewcastleKyra . . . when we got to the boat we met Gavin & Dawn. They are very respectfull towards you.

I didn’t like it when the waves came, because I felt sick and wanted to go home but now I want to stay. This is an experience and the first time I have sailed.

I like to steer the boat because your mind is concentrated on where you are going so you wont be sick.

Conner . . .  Today was fun at first but after the sea picked up everyone, all except Dawn and Gav, was sick and miserable. Bethany slept half the day and only Ashley improved before we got inside the river. Once we were in, everybody picked up and had an alright sleep.

Bethany . . . The first day was very cold upstairs compared to downstairs. I think that it wasn’t a very bad day as everyone was sick because we aren’t used to the boat. Today, I think that it will be okay because we are kind of used to it now. I was also thinking that yesterday was a hard day as it was easy to steer the boat but when I looked at the sea I felt very dizzy.

I really enjoyed it at first because it was fun going up and down the waves. The people who helped us were very kind and helpful. After the waves I felt alright.

Kieron . . .The first day was bad. I hated it. We were all sick.

Alongside at Newcastle


Trip to the beach and looking for treasure

Leg 1 / Day 5

Woke up to thick fog which didn’t lift for most of the journey to Walton backwaters.

We had to really rely on the watch system and charts to get us safely to our destination.

On the beachKelly turned a new shade of green and puked over the side yet again on what Gavin described as a “flat and calm day”. Becky had a nose bleed whilst under navigational pressure.

We had a trip out to the beach (Stone point) in the tender which Mashal and Craig got to test drive and we looked for treasure and built a fire.

Sara tested the life jacket out whilst saving a flip flop, closely followed by Adele losing her own. Lots of laughs again today and we topped the night of with a delicious pasta and tea while watching the sails go by


Middle of the Medway to Burnham upon Crouch

Leg 1 / Day 4

A 4:45am wake-up made for a grouchy start for the group!

Anchors rising, unevenly cooked toast, a few choice words and we set off.

The Duet was expertly sailed to Burnham-upon-Crouch by the whole gang. Becky replaced Gavin as navigator as we all thought she was doing a better job. The waters got rough, drinks crashed about but we all remained calm and tacked the sails with skill.

Kelly threw up over the side but was well looked after by Craig and kept her smiling.

Tom salvaged lunch after a near miss that could have ended in Pot Noodles catastrophe.

Interior shot young people aboard DuetDocking in Burnham brought extra food rations and much needed space. Mashal being a true gentleman returned with a pretty pink rose for Kelly and Adele to brighten their day.

Bangers and Smash were wolfed down and showers were the best dessert we could have wished for.