The world's wettest classroom - follow the journey

Lessons plain sailing for School Reporters

All aboard! As part of School Report News Day 2015, pupils from The Observatory School in the Wirral will be travelling by boat from their school in Bidston to MediaCityUK in Salford.

The BBC School Report website will be providing regular updates and pictures from the crew's journey along the Manchester Ship Canal.

Captain's log

Pupils from The Observatory School, Wirral, on board yacht Diva Jerome, Callum and Rocky begin their day's journey from Liverpool Marina to MediaCityUK in Salford

08:00. And we're off! A crew of 14, including four School Reporters - Year 11 pupils Daniel, Jerome, Callum and Rocky - will be making the 38-mile journey - two miles on the Mersey and 36 on the Manchester Ship Canal.

Callum at the controls of Diva on his way to Salford Callum takes the controls at the entrance to the Manchester Ship Canal

09:00 Arriving at Eastham Lock, and entering the Manchester Ship Canal. The 40-foot yacht Diva is owned by the school's deputy head Greg Chiswell and his father William, who are both on board. It is a regular feature of life at the Special Educational Needs school, and used as a floating classroom, but this is the first time pupils have taken it out and sailed it.

Clio and Daisy, Year 11 pupils from The Observatory School Hello sailors! Classmates Clio and Daisy catch up with Diva's crew at Ellesmere Port

10:00 Docking at Ellesmere Port and catching up with classmates Clio (left) and Daisy (right). When the boat has reached its destination, on Thursday other Year 11 pupils will join the crew in Salford for a day of lessons on the floating classroom.

Mr Chiswell looks at the mastcam pictures Co-owner of Diva, deputy head Mr Chiswell, looks at the mastcam pictures

11:00 Mr Chiswell looks at the pictures being taken from the yacht's mast camera as Diva continues its The world's wettest classroom journey up the Manchester Ship Canal to Salford.

Diva is a regular feature of teaching at The Observatory School, but this is the first time pupils have taken her out Life on the ocean wave: Observatory pupils Daniel (left) and Callum (right)

11:20 Every week a number of Observatory School students have lessons on Diva, with the aim of encouraging leadership, communication and technical skills, but this is the first time students have been allowed to sail it. The school hopes that getting publicity for what they are doing may help bring in sponsorship, with the aim of taking the boat out on longer journeys.

Diva goes under Runcorn Bridges on its way up Manchester Ship Canal A tight squeeze for Diva's mast going under Runcorn Bridges

12:00 Tense moments as Diva goes under Runcorn Bridges. There's not a lot of room to spare, but the crew manage to get their mast under it - just - and continue on their way.

Rocky and Rory the ship's dog One man and his dog: Rocky with Rory, the ship's dog

12:15 Diva may not have a parrot on board, but at least there is Rory the ship's dog to keep Rocky company on the journey.

Waiting for the water to rise at Latchford Lock Latchford Lock - one step closer to Salford

13:25 Travelling by canal is not a quick business! The crew of Diva have now reached Latchford Lock but are having to wait for the water to rise four and a half metres for them to continue their journey. For the digital generation - think of that as the water downloading.

Another lock - Diva reaches Irlam Lock Callum and birthday boy Rory

14:55 Now Diva has reached Irlam Lock. Today is Rory the dog's third birthday. This journey is certainly a bit different to the usual walkies.

Next stop Salford - the Diva approaches the end of its journey The M60 bridge up ahead means the Diva must be getting close to Manchester

15:15 Nearly journey's end now - a view of the M60 bridge from Barton Lock. Spending a day on board the Diva, learning how to sail, is certainly very different to your average day at school - and on Thursday the rest of the class will be on board as the boat is turned into a floating classroom again.

Barton Road Bridge Not a bridge too far: waiting for Barton road bridge to open to let Diva go through

15:30 But before the Diva and its crew reach port - or rather MediaCityUK - they have to get past the Barton Road Bridge. They need it to open so they can get past.

The Centenary Bridge on Manchester Ship Canal was opened by the Queen 21 years ago Crew member Rocky with the Centenary Bridge behind him

15:40 Another bridge, but fortunately no troubled waters. The Centenary Bridge, opened by the Queen in 1994, can rise up to 15 metres to let ships through, and that is what it has done for the Diva and its Observatory School crew.

Mooring the Diva in Salford The Diva and its crew reach dry land at MediaCityUK

16:30 Land ho! Slightly longer than the usual school day, but the crew of Daniel, Jerome, Callum and Rocky have reached their final destination, MediaCityUK.

Journey's end for the Observatory School sailors Back to dry land - (left to right) Daniel, Callum and Rocky

16:35 One last look at the water and it's time to return to the shore after a day to remember. On Thursday, Daniel, Callum and Rocky - and Jerome (not pictured) - will be back on board the Diva with the rest of their Year 11 classmates from The Observatory School as the boat returns to being a floating classroom.

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