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Tall Ships in Stavanger during the Tall Ships Races 2018 Windseeker

Salty Eyelashes and the Endless Ocean

Wylde Swan, 21 November 2017
On the way to Madeira

– by Jeske Zijlstra, Deckhand

Wylde Swan

Sail training vessel Wylde Swan on her way from Harlingen to Tenerife. On board: crew and trainees.
14 October – 21 November.

 

After a night of playing with the anchor, it’s time to set sail again. Without any sleep, we’re preparing our Swan for strong backwinds and high waves. For Barry (the small sail) it’s the perfect time to show up.

Carefully putting up other sails and there she goes! 10 knots and flying through the water. It’s going to be a short one to Madeira, with a wind like this. Even the sun says hi to everyone. Nothing more to wish for, right?

We’re underway for 26 days and every day it’s getting better. More and more trainees are calling the Swan their ‘home’. And it’s true, this is home for now. When I look at them, I am proud. They learn things about life, they laugh, cry and care about each other. It creates a special feeling and not only among the trainees. As crew, we grow every day as well.

In the meantime, wind and waves are steady but heavy. Maybe a little bit heavier than expected. Safety lines are coming out of the benches, inside and on deck everything is sea stowed and trainees are walking slowly. Everyone adapts to the situation and still, there’s nothing to complain about.

However, people make mistakes and today it has something to do with ropes and how to leave them on the deck. As I mentioned, “wind and waves are steady but heavy”, you should never trust them. A big wave decided to take our new throat halyard with the sea. After a while, one of the trainees noticed the “sea-rope” and a plan was made to get it back on board. Pulling, screaming and laughing were involved during the operation. Oh, and don’t forget about the waves, they still flushed the deck, which resulted in wet clothes and faces. Proud again of how it went. Pretty safe and smooth. In the end, waves can’t be trained. They act – we react.

After all, nothing is more special than sailing the Swan together further. We learn things about life, we laugh, cry and care about each other. Even though we can’t trust wind and waves, we’ll make it.

Let’s keep up the salty eyelashes and the endless ocean views.