Monday, September 6, 2010

On the ocean!

So let me start by saying that not all time aboard a fuldrigger vessel can be considered quality time. Most of the photos of happy faces in my collection are from day three of this trip.
Day one we left the dock at 8pm and it took 4-5 hours to get to the actual ocean going through, first the little bridge, then through the very busy harbour, dry docks, loading docks, resting docks, building docks. I went to my berth when I had watched about 1.8 meters of water disappearing out of the sluse we sat in for awhile with 3 or 4 other tall ships, while this took place.
It was amazing to watch the sluse close and by wrungs at the dock side being able to observe ths speed with which the water went out. No pics of this, as it was very close to midnight.
Monday was a write-off for most people, the seas were rough. For any sailor out there, the winds were 10-20m/ second, coming from all directions. I know it wasn't a hurricane but for most of us who were not really accostumed to such continous rolling it was not easy, we got very well aquainted with the funnels up by the washrooms at the front of the ship. There were fortunately also freshwater faucets right by the funnels so for anyone unfortunate enough to have to go and sacrifice what little they eventually had inside, it really was a wonderful welcoming feeling and sight, to see the faucets and turn either one of them on.
The scheldule for a lot of people that day was stay aloft until you are cold enough to sleep if you go to your sleeping quarters. Sleep as long as possible, get up and out as fast as possible, do what has to be done, sit and watch the ocean while your bones start to chill down, if you are lucky have a conversation with someone before ......... Things start over again!

Day three though was a lot better, or .... Our ears and balance systems had gotten themselves sorted out and it was time to enjoy some crackers, fruit and even a newly baked still very warm piece of Danish pastry.
This day also saw some of the trainees climb up and untie sails so we could give the engine which had propelled us along for two days a little bit of a rest.

This is a seasoned sailor doing the other side of the mast where two trainees are harnessed and holding on for dear life. Amazing how relaxed this young Swede seem to be hanging up there in his green rain suit.

And below eageer hands were ready to help hoisting the sail in a heave and a ho, excitement reigns as everything unfolds as it should.

One beautiful sail, which perhaps doesn't seem like a lot, but when there are 8 of them up, along with the engine, trust me, it is amazing.

By berth time on the last day we were doing pretty good speed, and heeling quite a bit at times too, this chart only says 19.8 degrees but ..... I watched it fluctuate, up to 28 degrees at time = sliding around in your bed and on the floor getting from one place to the other below deck.
Still fun though, lots of fun and practice of patience, breathe in, breathe out.


  1. RED!

    Glad you made it on and glad you made it off.

  2. It is amazing, and now that I have stopped 'bobbing' around and have 'normal' balance again it really is rather lovely to think about :-)