A Gentle Reminder of How Far We've Come

August 3rd
Hannson Paul, Phil Truchon

Second day ocean sailing in Rendez-Vous 2017, all is going well so far. Yesterday we had to take down all the sails and begin to use our engine towards the next checkpoint due to the lack of wind. Another vessel ran out of gas, Peter Von Danzig, so we detoured from our path a little to give them a tow to where they could also find wind. After we get to the next checkpoint we will have a restart for the race.

We have had a few birthdays aboard the ship the Captain’s birthday being the most recent, we celebrated with a bacon and egg breakfast and we also ate apple pie.

Many ocean creatures have come to investigate the ship during our venture. We saw a large pack of dolphins, a moonfish, a couple whales and a seal, we named him Oskar.

So far we have learned about all the different sails and the parts they have including all the different names for the sails and the different ropies. We also learned how to put on the immersion suits and life jackets and what to do in case of an emergency on the ship.

August 4th
Arden Bernard, Karrie Sock

We went on the bow and were able to lay on the netting and be faced down towards the water. We saw dolphins, whales, sharks, and a moon fish. We learned about different sails, ropes and where they are located and what they do. We learned and made wompams. Before we went to bed we sang shanties which was very uplifting. Anousch celebrated her birthday today.

August 5th
Aileen Searson

Today our watch learned about knot tying. Our most exciting moment was bringing diesel to another ship. We sang them shanties from the bridge as we helped them. We let our budies we were towing free, since there was enough wind for them. We could have continued racing but the wind wasn’t blowing right, so we decided to wait till the next day to restart the race.

It was also Anousch’s birthday! We had a German cake that was pretty decent.

Arden practiced going aloft which he said was fun.

August 9th
Rosalie and Denzel

Good morning! The ocean is still blue. Yesterday was a very interesting day, as we shifted our watch hours for the first time. The switch marked the completion of one third of the trip. The wind slowed down, so it was the first time in a couple days that we could make coffee, stand up straight, and shower.

We learned more about the positions of the ropes on the blocks, and about tacking and jibing from the captain. Last night during one of our night watches the tack broke and Peder had to go aloft to tie a new rope.

Today we are celebrating Jaden’s 18th birthday!

The whole boat, except the captain, started a shipwide “murder” game. We have to hand an object to someone at a specific place to eliminate them, and the whole boat has grown suspicious of their friends. Don’t worry, the game is paused when we are on watch so we should still make it to France.

We are all very excited for our laundry day, I’ve only got one more clean pair of undies…

August 10th
Jada and Brian

Yesterday it was Jaden’s birthday and we had some chocolate cake. The day was foggy and rainy. We had a navigation class and we learned about courses, speeds, the compass, and weather. In the evening we had an 8 pm movie called “’Around Cape Horn”’. Yesterday we passed the 1000 mile mark. There was barely any wind…

August 11th

Good morning all you beautiful people! We are coming to you live from the middle of the Atlantic. Traffic was pretty slow out there yesterday. We finally had a break in the weather and seen the sun for the first time in what felt like days. Although there was a slight brisk breeze out there, everyone got out and enjoyed the much needed sun. To commemorate the break in the weather Jessica led a yoga class on the floor deck for any crew or warrior who wanted to take part while others chose to sun-bathe on the back deck.

Rose is still ‘killing’ everyone in the murder game. There was a pod of pilot whales, about 20-30 of them swimming along the boat on port side. Laundry is slowly getting done. Last night we lost an hour due to the time change. In five days we will move our clocks ahead again.

The warriors are starting to do tasks without the help of the crew. When asked to jibe or lower/set the sails, the warriors jump right to it and get the job done. Starting yesterday, during happy hour each watch was asked to delegate a lead-cleaner and each lead-cleaner was only allowed to ask ten questions to the crew. Each day the amount of questions we can ask goes down by one (e.g. Friday, nine questions, Saturday, eight questions, etc.).

That’s it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow with an update from the Gulden Leeuw.

August 12th

Yesterday was quite eventful aboard the Gulden Leeuw. The murder spree of trainees and crew continues, most dramatic of all was my own death at the hands of Xico but alas the game continues after my tragic death.

In other news we are approaching the halfway point of our destination. It’s been an interesting trip. We’ve been able to see so many different types of wildlife I’ve never thought I’d see. I saw a shark on this trip and yesterday Alejandro claims we saw a sperm whale, I hope so because almost every time we’ve seen something I’ve been on the back deck table lounging in the sun tanning; as you could tell if it’s working hard or hardly working I’m doing the latter. But not always, yesterday I went aloft and helped to unfurl a sail – it was the first time I went aloft since they explained what it was in Halifax.

The crew announced that we’d be doing an on board talent/variety show which should be an interesting event. In sailing news, yesterday we did a jibe maneuver and I helped! I was asked to ease out the braces of the course and lower topsail and… we’re still alive!

August 14th
Cheyenne and Alassua

Yesterday was Lazy Sunday. We didn’t have happy hour (as per usual on Lazy Sunday) and had a coffee house/talent show/open stage night at around 8:00.

Yesterday was sort of crazy with the weather. It was off and on sunny most of the day, occasionally raining but mostly cloudy. We had fun with the talent show, a lot of people being very nervous at first but easing into it quite fast. We were also given letters from our loved ones at home, which had a lot of emotions coming up in the room.

We’ve been heeling a lot the past two days, but thankfully we’ve been going about 10 knots most of the time, thanks to the wind and the work of the crew and trainees. Yesterday was a good day.

August 15th
Brady and Denzel

As of late the Gulden Leeuw has been a race car on the ocean. We’re supposed to cross the finish line in 3 days. When home once seemed so far away, the farther we reach, the closer it seems to be around the corner. Our short time left on the boat is a reminder to appreciate the days coming and the days that have past. With laughs shared, memories made, and friends that only seem to come around once in a lifetime, we hang our heads as it has to end, but cheer and laugh as the days continue.

The warm winds of Africa and Portugal embraced us as we reefed our first sail. It was a gentle reminder of how close we are, but more importantly how far we’ve come. With the switching of the watch times again on the horizon, I look forward to the mornings of saying goodbye to the stars of every ocean’s night and hello to the next day’s sun. For the family and friends missing loved ones on the ship, the sun that lights our path, and the moon that we look up to, is the same one we see every night at home. We aren’t so far away, and we’ll be there again, soon.

And to all the mothers, fathers, grandparents and all our relations, we think of you every day, and you keep us moving forward when we question our strength. We miss you. Personally to my mom, my sister is doing well and she’s making me an awfully proud brother.

August 16th
Kyra and Kailey

Yesterday we learned how to sail in stormy weather and what to do in the event of a ripped sail, or two. The storm was one of the most exciting parts of the day which also caused two sails to rip; the fore stay sail and flying jib. The wind was so strong that it ripped the two sails in half all on its own.

It was very cold and wet, and everyone was feeling sea sick and catching colds because of the way the ship was rocking, and the weather. We started using harnesses when it started heeling more and when the waves got bigger. It was scary because the ship was tilted to the side and the winds and rain would have made it easy for someone to fall overboard.

Because of all that we only had half of a happy hour. We had to make everything including the bunks, sea tight. Cups and plates were smashing and everything was flying in the galley – yet we still managed to get nice food. People were falling all over the place. It was heeeeectic.

August 17th

Yesterday we had a sunny day which was really needed because the day before we had a storm… We also had a watch change so we did three watches in one day which has some good and bad, the good was that I like the hours better but the bad was that I had to get used to a new sleeping schedule.

We are starting to run low on water so we have a ban on showers.

When I was on watch, I was navigator for one of the watches which was great because I never really get to be navigator and I was on helm for the other two watches and while I was on my last watch, I learned how to splice rope.

August 18th
Pádhraig Davisson

So yesterday when I went on night watch, we were 127NMi from the finish line and we’ve finally reentered commercial waters. Around 21:30, the wind shifted into an almost perfect tailwind, so we had to jibe and switch the sails to starboard and square up the yards, but then as we went on watch, Sophie saw that we were heading for a group of fishing vessels and needed to divert. We didn’t want to call for all hands again so we stayed as close to the wind as possible with our skilled sailing facilitator, Saimaniq. As we changed course, it was also seen that we were sailing towards our first sealane. A section with high activity, so lines A, C, and E cannot be crossed, while lines B and D function just like a road for vessels.

Someone spotted our first lighthouse in several thousand miles, giving everyone a sense of reaching the end of our journey. This makes me particularly sad, because as nice as it would be to see home, I could easily spend another 4-5 months out here. Left, right, and center, every single crew member has been an absolute delight to work with, learn from, and share a great laugh. From Xico’s Portuguese trap music to Lukas’ videogame addiction. Alejandro’s Ropie Awareness Day, Captain Arjen dabbing, Anousch and Carlos playing Who Am I, Peter’s sea shanties, Anna’s kind heart, Michael’s horrible jokes, Bente’s cleaning regulations, the murder game’s cunning and paranoia, Adam and Alejandro balancing on barrels, sword fighting, and “You must SQUEEZE it”. This trip has been one amazing interaction after another and the only thing I could wish for is to airdrop my girlfriend on board. ;P

I’ll miss every single one of you when we’re done, but I hope to never forget anyone.

August 21st
Camryn Sock

We did not write any morning reports because we were on shore for 2 days in Falmouth, England. We had a fun time and ate food and just relaxed. The first day the facilitators put us in groups of 4 and let us explore the town of Falmouth. Some went to castles and others went to the beach and there were those who explored downtown. I enjoyed it very much because of the scenery and amazing food. I got to buy my twin’s birthday gift which it great I hope she likes it. I ate a pulled pork sandwich that day which changed my life. I could not help but feel so happy that day.

The second day we traveled to the Eden Project in Par, England. The Eden Project is an educational charity which showcases various different ecosystems from around the world and has a big dome that actually has real plants. The Eden Project also includes a seasonal exhibit and this season it is an educational and interactive exhibit about space.

Later that day, we got the Gulden Leeuw ready to leave the port. It took a lot of teamwork but we got the job done.

When it was time for my night shift (20:00 – 22:00) we needed to set the sails so more hands were needed on deck. It was super cool to see all my peers work together. We ended our shift coiling a lot of ropes. I enjoyed night shift a lot.

We are now sailing away from Falmouth. I wonder what the next journey is in store for our group.

Watch the video from our amazing journey

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