Another of Oarsome Chance’s students has returned from a week’s sailing with the Rona Sailing Project (RSP) – an organisation which provides opportunities for young people to go to sea, to give them the experience of a lifetime, greater self-confidence and a new perspective on the world.

Thanks to a generous donation by a friend of Oarsome Chance, Joe joined a crew sailing from Hamble, across the channel to France and back. 

Joe had a fantastic time on the trip, getting to know the rest of the crew and taking his responsibilities seriously and in good humour. Joe has written a report on his trip, which gives us a taste of his memorable adventure and everything he gained from the experience:

"Upon arrival at the Rona Sailing Project I was one of the first members there, so I had a little wait, but it’s good as I got to be good friends with the people that were already there with me. Not long later we headed down to the boat with all our food and supplies for the week ahead then as time went on more and more people came until there were nearly 15 crew on board our 75ft sailing boat.

Then at 12 o'clock we set sail into the Solent for a chilled afternoon of training and speaking to new people. Later that night we arrived at Bembridge Isle of Wight which was our anchoring for the night, so we settled down for a nice peaceful night at anchoring. However things changed very quickly and we were setting off again for a night sail across the channel. We left Bembridge at 10 o'clock that evening.

Our sailing across the channel was long and rough but we powered through it like the strong people we were, drinking tea and eating biscuits for most of the night. When the sun was rising in the early hours of the morning we could see France, well Fècamp to be exact, which was our home for the night where we chilled and played football on the beach. But then at roughly 10:30 a huge motorbike parade started all though the streets - about 6,000 bikes in one place is very, very impressive. After all that we headed back to the boat for a calm night in port.

The next morning we were up and ready by 7 to cook breakfast for all the others. Shortly after breakfast we did some more training and learning knots which was all useful stuff on a boat, then midday we headed to our next location which was Honfleur. It was a lovely little town by day, but as soon as night fell there were parties and music and even fireworks all to celebrate Bastille Day, so after a long night dancing and singing we headed to bed, knowing we didn't have to cook breakfast in the morning.

We spent the next day chilling, playing footy and swimming at the beach. Then the news came that France had won the 2018 World Cup and people were going mad. However later that night we left to head to Cherbourg where we would spend our last night in France. It was a fun one though, we went on a walk in search of a supermarket for food on the way home and we found a supermarket but also we found a McDonalds which made as all so happy knowing we can eat "proper food" as we called it. Knowing it was bad for us we bought loads of food, but we couldn't help ourselves. After all this we went back to the boat and got as much sleep as we could because we were up at 4 in the morning to head to Cowes in Isle of Wight which only took near 10 hours.

It was a nice peaceful sail back with near to no waves. When we arrived at Cowes this is where the cleaning started pulling up all the floor boards to scrub the underneath. But it was worth it, as we were all tired this is where the adults knew who were leaders and who weren't. Then the next day it was an easy motor back to Universal Marina in Hamble, where we took all the sails down including the main (as we ripped it) and that was very, very heavy.

This was sadly the end of my voyage, but I would definitely do it again if I had the chance - I met loads of good people that I am good friends with now."