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Cultures at Sea, from individuals to-gether pt.2

Morgenster, 09 August 2016
Cadiz - A Coruna

– by Trainees from the White Watch

Morgenster, EU Exchange 2016
Logbook, part two: the White Watch


Day 2 – 31/7/2016

Today started with breakfast and Happy Hour (cleaning time). After that we went to the beach! The Spanish people gave a presentation about their country. They drew Spain in the sand and taught the whole group how to dance Macarena. Then we had some free time to go for a swim and to buy food. At 14:30 we had to be back at the ship for lunch, after which we started to prepare for departure. We lifted the anchor inside, washed it and put the small boat in the water. Then we were ready for departure! We were really surprised about how many people on shore and on the water came to wave us goodbye. We climbed up in the mast to prepare the sails, we started sailing and then we had dinner, which was nasi goring (Dutch-Indonesian fried rice dish), with peanut sauce, hot sauce, fried onions and pickled vegetables. For a lot of people the peanut sauce was a new thing, but everybody really liked it. After dinner we practiced some sail manoeuvres, after which it was time for us (the white watch, that has to be up from 12 to 4 in the night) to go to sleep, dreaming about calm waves and a fresh breeze.
Inês (20), Portugal
Susan (17), The Netherlands

Day 3 – 01/08/2016

We woke up at 11 o’clock with some of the people of the watch being seasick, so it was difficult for them to do the watch today. We also had Happy Hour, and it was our time to clean the deck. The lunch was nice, but some of us could not eat because of being seasick. Ines (we have four of them) was enjoying herself at the helm when the wind increased quite a bit around 2 in the afternoon. We also saw dolphins!! It was beautiful!! We hope we get better at the sea sickness and that’s all for now, we keep on our way to success & adventure!

Day 5 – 3/08/2016

3:30 AM. Today is Susan’s birthday, whoop whoop! She is turning 18 years old and we celebrated by singing the birthday song and eating Norwegian chocolate (Freia melksjokolade Fruktnott <3). Other than that we practiced knots, and keeping our balance on deck, by drawing something that looks like a skateboard on deck, basically a circle around our feet, which you are not allowed to step out of. It’s really hard but super fun and we are getting better at it every night. Now it’s almost time to wake up the blue watch.
Anne Margit (22), Norway
Inês (20), Portugal

Day 6 – 4/08/2016

03:25 AM. The watch has been good so far. We missed three people due to seasickness, but we organized a snowboard competition on deck. Anders ‘the beast from the North’ won the contest so he is now called Snowboard Master of the White Watch. The toasties were nice and it’s dry weather outside, just a little cold. We did the helm and did the look-out. Now we are writing the logbook and are cleaning the coffee and tea cups. So it was a nice watch.
Joost, The Netherlands
Anders, Norway

Day 7 – 5/08/2016

After yesterday’s beautiful weather, we were a bit surprised by how cold it was when we woke up. But nothing worse than what a windproof jacket and some ‘morning’ exercises cannot fix! Keeping up our balance gets easier every night, but we are not 100% sure if that is us getting better or the fact that the wind and waves have calmed down (a lot) the last few days…

This night was a little bit special because we got to celebrate Artur’s (first mate) birthday! We put up flags, made delicious toasties, brew fresh coffee and sang the birthday song in no less than 7 languages (Dutch, English, Spanish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Hindi and Danish). We think he enjoyed it.

After the ‘birthday party’, we made toasties for the rest of the watch. We are excited about getting closer to land and civilization tomorrow, and hope that the world is about the same as we left it about a week ago (or hopefully our wishes – about a peaceful world – upon the many shooting stars we have seen have come true).

So far the watch has been nice, and we are happy that all 12 trainees in our watch (participants are called trainees onboard) have been out on deck in the middle of the night, for the first time!
Anne-Margit (22), Norway
Susan (18), the Netherlands.

Day 10 – 8/8/2016

Since last night’s watch was pretty busy, awesome and went by super-fast, we completely forgot to write in the logbook! Therefore Alicia and I (Anne-Margit) decided to do it during the anchor watch. So, let’s see what we remember:
* Fireworks! A great midnight watch started with nice fireworks along the coast of Portugal. We still don’t know the reason for it, but enjoyed it nonetheless. (Later, the Portuguese participants explained to us that there was some festival going on)
* Sailing lecture with cookie breaks. Peter taught us a lot of interesting and useful things about the ships and its sails. Ines and Susan surprised us with a huge plate of cookies, which was nice. We also did some practical sail training like things with ropes, knots and so on
* We saw dolphins hunting fish and it was SO AMAZING! They were shining! Like, actually glowing in the dark. The dolphins.
* Toastie time is always an awesome time.
Anne-Margit (22), Norway
Alicia (15), Spain

Day 11 – 9/8/2016

3:30 AM
Course 345 degrees.
Today is a really cold night so after tea we have started our morning exercises. A bit warmer than before we went to the main deck to play some games when the wind decided that we had to start a sail training lesson; so under the moonlight (and with some help of the deck lights) we initiated our practice lesson (‘first practice, then theory’, said Peter, which meant that after working on the main deck we were going to have a theory lesson).

The theory lesson was bout the staysail #1 (a triangular sail put up between the two masts) and the details about how it works illustrated with a drawing that Peter made on the deck with chalk (complete with some extra fancy stick  people and stuff).

So we took down the staysail #1, and in order to do that we had to release the halyards (=the rope that you use to pull up the sail, so if you let go of it, the sail can come down), with two people controlling them. And the sheets (the ropes on the corner of the sails, used to get the sail in the right shape for whichever way the wind comes into it) also needed to be released. The reason we have to release the sheets is that we will only get the sails about 2/3 of the way down if we leave the sheets tied up. We also learned that staysail #1 is the only sail with two halyards.

We also saw one dolphin (which was weird, since they are usually in groups) hunting fish, shiny, flying plankton (now nicknamed stars of the sea). And we had yet another snowboard championship. Everyone made a great effort, but after a very exciting finale it was Fireball From Denmark (our watch leader Peter) who won against the Lightning Bolt From Spain (mentor Alex). You guys are awesome!
Anne Margit
White Watch

Later that night, loads of exciting stuff during the 4 to 8 watch!

We had to take away the jibs (the triangular sails all the way in front of the ship). Mirjam gathered a team of ‘touch people’ (quote!). We had to put on harnesses, as we had to climb on the jibboom, which is above the water in front of the ship. There were quite high waves so we were going up and down with every wave, being high in the air and (almost) in the water.

The Tough People:
Mirjam (crew, The Netherlands),
Agathe (mentor, France),
Eric (trainee, Spain),
Yago (trainee, Spain),
Lambert (trainee, France),
Tess (Crew, The Netherlands),
Gabriel (trainee, Spain).