1st January 2016.
Ok on the plane. Think it is finally sinking in that this is really happening. Feelings right now, very nervous, emotional and excited. Rang mum to say goodbye.
Want to cry as all mixed up inside. Must be odd as I don’t even want to eat, very unlike me.
Adventuring is a bit scary…….”…….
A couple of hours sleep followed by a sandwich and a coffee (nothing puts me off food for long) and all the knots have straightened out.
I expect all explorers and salty sea dogs get nervous as they start out on a new adventure.
Next stop Tenerife.
After a mini bus ride I got on to a ferry to La Gomera. I met up wth Bronwyn and John on the ferry, both heading for the ship. Bronwyn has sailed tally hips before, John is the ships sail maker.
As we pulled into the port I got my first look at home for the next 3 1/2 months.
She looked smaller than I imagined, but she was moored up next to a massive car ferry.
Getting on board I was welcomed warmly by all that I met. First impressions.
Ropes, the smell of paint, tar and oil. Everyone I met was friendly but also filthy. Not a clean face or set of hands between them. Their cloths stand up on there own. OMG what have I done.
Had a two hour induction, and just felt very confused at the end of it. So much to learn. So many names to add to faces, but as those of you that know me, they will soon all have a name, whether it’s real or made up waits to be seen.
Played card games and got to know the some of the crew, really fun evening, lots of laughs. They are all so young compared to me, but none of them treated me like an older person. I have to say I was actually quite funny and quick witted. Well made them laugh anyway.
2nd January. Hot and Sunny.
Slept surprisingly well considering how noisy the ship is. My bunk is on the port hand side in the middle of the main saloon, it’s the noisiest place but you get the bigger bunks. It’s also the hub of the social life on the boat, so you get to know all that’s going on. Quiet time and lights out are between 10pm to 7am.
The watch captain wakes up everyone at 7:15. Breakfast is 7:30. Muster at 8am. (morning meeting where two watches change over.)
My first job was to clean the scullery after breakfast. Then I was put to painting for three hours.
Just before lunch the chefs food supplies arrived with enough provisions for 50 people for 10 – 12 days at sea. So much food, crates of everything that you can imagine. Loads of fresh fruit and veg.. This took us about 2 hours to stow away. Then I had to cover the fresh eggs with Vaseline. Yes I really did do that.
Had a 3 hour security and fire protection instruction. Followed buy a Lesson into how to get into a life suit. Bright yellow oversized plastic and neoprene suit with a red hood and black wellies all in one. Not an easy task when you are n 24 deg temps, hot and sweaty, but an important thing to learn. There were three of us ladies all rolling about on the floor trying to put feet down the plastic trousers and into the wellies, then standing up to pull the rest of the suit on and do the zip up over your mouth with the neoprene hood plastered to your head. I looked like a telly tubby. Took just as long to get out of.
Final job of the day. Washing and scrubbing the deck. 3 of us with brooms and one on the hose. It was great fun getting soaking wet in the sunshine.
Tan started well.
Day started much as yesterday. Scheduled for training today with Emil. went to the front of the ship. I had to climb out on the sharp bit that sticks out at the frontier the ship, ( see picture on the right, it’s others doing a better job today than I did yesterday.)shaky as hell but got there. Emil who was our instructor was like a monkey climbing about. I held on tight with one hand and wobbled. We un tied the sail and had lessons on pulling up the and putting down the sail. The ropes are very abrasive, I will have callouses the size of houses soon.
Did some more painting. Sounds as though that is a daily ritual on board both in port and at sea.
Had mast training, all the different names are flying over my head, also we had a whole lesson on knot tying. I knew 5 out of the 6 from my previous sailing. Still have problems with a bowline.
More painting, and a deck wash broken up with pulling ropes as new sails were put back up ready for sailing. Really god day but very long.
Got my watch today. I’m on 12 – 4 watch. We are on 24 hour watch and not off until 8am tomorrow. We have to do a 2 hour night watch. I’m doubled up with Jasper from Norway. 11pm – 1am. Gonna be tired in the morning.
Night watch was OK. The boat feels rally different at night. Very quite vein household we are moored up not to the local ferry dock. Jasper took me round the ship, showed me all the checks that have to be made very hour when moor up at night. I then woke up Gary ( who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jenson Button, I just gaze at hm secretly. Yum)
Today we mostly did training on setting sails with Mark a good laugh but quite strict instructor. Then Dan my watch captain took us out for rowing lessons. Quit a big rowing boat and blood long oars. Poor Sebastian another new person had me falling into his lap on more than one occasion as I hit another oar and went flying. I wasn’t the only one before anyone asked. Fab fun to do, not as exhausting as I expected, going again tomorrow . Setting sail practice after lunch then told that I could have the afternoon off if I wanted.
Donald the chef is back on work duty after a few days off. Lentil soup with pizza, all home made for lunch. I stayed and helped to clear up the lunch things in the scullery, this takes an hour and a half at least. Donald may be a good chef but he also likes to use every pot and pan in the kitchen.
I hen went to the galley and scrubbed that. I was just about finished when Donald arrive (no think large carribean man accent) Whachu doing. You don’t kill you self cleaning in here loverly lady, that’s done tonight buy the watch. Now get away away which you.
Never thought I would get told off for scrubbing. He is lovely, been on board for 7 years, part of the ship.
Update, new captain, who is actually the original,captain flying in on Wednesday to take over the ship after the current Captain has been removed for something he’d has done wrong. Before I got here, but caused quite a bit of upset amongst the crew. Anyway he’s gone, I never met him and a Captain Moreland is coming to take over. Due to set sail on Friday or Saturday now. Not too upset about the delay as it gives me more time to learn the ropes whilst not being thrown about by waves. Can’t wait to set sail at the same time.
Tomorrow should be more rowing and some climbing practice. Yes up the mast I go – well maybe, one day I hope to be like the picture above. The girls were just doing some painting today.
Hot and sunny again today. Got a bit sun burnt on my back yesterday, tan scale going up.