Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

Session 5

Episode 3: Batten down the hatches! How will the crew weather the storm? Plus, find out what you've learnt from unit 3 in our weekly quiz.

Sessions in this unit

Session 5 score

0 / 15

  • 0 / 0
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 0
    Activity 2
  • 0 / 0
    Activity 3
  • 0 / 15
    Activity 4

Any Port in a Storm

"We're in the Cape Verde islands and, no, we didn't sink! We have made it to port. There was a small hole in the tanks that store our drinking water and someone is now fixing it.

But I'm glad we stopped here - the islands here are like another world - green, lush, warm and sunny - not like the concrete jungle we left at home. Unfortunately, we can't stay here for long - we are in a race after all, around the world!"

What examples of like for preference and description can you spot in this episode? The answers are shown in bold in the transcript.

Listen to the audio and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Phil

Day 7 - we're in the Cape Verde islands and, no, we didn't sink! We have made it to port. There was a small hole in the tanks that store our drinking water and someone is now fixing it. But I'm glad we stopped here - the islands here are like another world – green, lush, warm and sunny – not like the concrete jungle we left at home. Unfortunately, we can't stay here for long – we are in a race after all, around the world. There's just time to take a 'selfie' to send back to my friends (click) – oh and I must just log on and check my emails…

Phil

So there's an email from John who says… he hopes our trip is going well… and to remind me, that as part of the challenge, I have to bring back some rare, unusual souvenirs – and he wants a recording of some traditional music. Hmmm, what could that be?

PP

Phil, everything is fixed. I've filled up with drinking water. It didn't cost much and the chap who fixed it gave me this CD – something for us to listen to on the yacht.

Phil

What is it?

PP

I don't know. It's just a CD of the local Morna music.

Phil

What does it sound like?

PP

He said it's a bit like blues music. Have a listen.

Phil

That's brilliant Passepartout! What would I do without you?!

Phil

Day 10 – and I'm out in the Atlantic Ocean - and what a big ocean it is when you look at it from our small yacht, The Mermaid. It is miles and miles of blue and grey water with nothing to see on the horizon. But we've got a good tail wind and we seem to be making good progress. Passepartout is at the wheel, steering our yacht to our next destination – St Helena. I'm helping out by making tea…

Phil               

Cup of tea Passepartout?

PP                

More tea! OK then, it will help me concentrate. The sea is getting quite rough and I need your help up here on deck… 

RADIO MESSAGE:

Attention all shipping. A deep depression is forming in the South Atlantic, moving north. Severe gale force 11 winds are expected and heavy rain. Visibility will be poor.

PP

Strong wind and heavy rain. That sounds nasty. We're going to have to change direction. Get your waterproof clothes on – we're in for a wet and bumpy ride…

Phil

The weather is already getting bad. The wind is very strong and the rain is hammering down and stinging our faces. Not my favourite weather – I prefer the calm, warm, sunny type. But we have no choice - we need to find shelter. Passepartout says we should go to some islands at 0.3 degrees north, 6.6 degrees east. Where could that be? And will we make it before the storm gets us? This was a dream trip – and suddenly it’s like a nightmare.

PP

Phil what are you doing? Hold onto that rope. Don't let go or we'll lose the sail.

Phil               

OK. It's getting very dark. Do you know which way to go?

PP                

Yes – of course I do – we do have a satellite navigation system. According to this, we're not too far from the coast – but I can't see anything.

Phil

Look! I can see lights of Sao Tome. Is that a lighthouse? Is it a harbour?

PP                

Yes. I think it is… but I don't know how we're going to land in these stormy seas. We're just going to hit the rocks.

Phil              

Hey look! There's someone on the harbour wall waving their arms. Let's get closer… Is it a mermaid?

PP

A mermaid? She has legs.

Sophia

Over here. Quick! Throw me the rope.

Phil           

Phew. What luck! We're on dry land, safe from the storm and it’s all thanks to the help of a woman who lives on the island. She's invited us into her house to dry off and warm up.  But are we in the right place?

Phil           

Thanks so much for helping us – you saved our boat – and our lives.

Sophia      

My name is Sophia. I'm happy to have helped. Here you are – try some bobofrito and a cup of hot chocolate.

PP             

Mmm, nice. They taste like banana.

Sophia       

That's what they are – bobofrito is banana fried in coconut oil. Do you like it?

Phil              

Do I like it?It’s amazing… just… let..me get some more… Mmmm…

Sophia       

So tell me, what are you doing here?

PP             

We're sailing round the world but we needed to shelter from the storm. We were heading for St Helena… is that right, Phil?

Phil           

What? Oh yes, that's right. Sorry, I was enjoying this delicious hot chocolate. It tastes great too.

Sophia       

It's made with our finest cacao beans. It's what Sao Tome and Principe is famous for.

Phil           

Cacao beans! That's great because they are one of the things I have to collect as part of my challenge. Can I take some with me?

Sophia       

Your challenge?

PP             

Yes, we're sailing around the world from London back to London in 80 days. It's a stupid idea, isn't it?

Sophia       

Hmm, maybe not. Actually, you can have a bag of these beans if you can do me a favour?

Phil           

I'm sure we can help you. 

Phil                

Sophia has told me she was also sailing around the world when she stopped in Sao Tome for a rest and ended up falling in love with a man who she then married.  But her husband has started being cruel to her and she wants to leave the island and go home. Because she's got no money, she wants us to give her a lift back to Britain. The long way round! She is an experienced sailor, so how can we refuse? There is only one problem – we'll need to work out how she can escape without her husband noticing. This is exciting stuff!

Download

You can download The Race - episode 3 from our Unit 3 downloads page or from our BBC Learning English Drama podcast page. (size 15MB)

 

Vocabulary: storms

menacing - scary, threatening

depression  - (in weather) an area where the air pressure is low, bringing cold and wet weather

gale force - strong and damaging (wind)

waterproof - does not allow water in; is not damaged by water

shelter - to find or stay in place where a person or thing is protected from bad weather

How will Phil and Pete get Sophia off the island and where will they head to next? You'll find out more in episode 4 of The Race. But, for now, listen to Phil's latest video diary...

Session Vocabulary

  • menacing - scary, threatening 

    depression - (in weather) an area where the air pressure is low, bringing cold and wet weather

    gale force - strong and damaging (wind)

    waterproof - does not allow water in; is not damaged by water

    shelter - to find or stay in place where a person or thing is protected from bad weather