Day 1 -20th Sept 2009, we boarded the ship, Tenacious at the India docks in the heart of London. Stowed our gear and made up our bunk.
We met our fellow sailors and had a general orientation down in the lower mess. There are 35 "voyage crew" and 13 "permanent crew." I am assigned to the Aft Port watch and our Watch leader is Dai (short for David). He is very knowledgable about all operations of the ship and I feel lucky to have him as my watch leader! Reviewed safety and had an evac drill. We made sure everyone could get up from below decks, especially those in a wheelchair.
We stopped for the night and dropped anchor at the point just before the Thames opens up into the English Channel.
Then we were fitted with our harnesses which are used for going aloft (climbing the mast). I was eager to make the climb but actually got a little hesitant briefly but then was totally inspired after watching John, who is visually impaired, make the climb with Dai along side of him.
Right after going aloft was dinner time down in the mess. We had a great dinner of lamb, potatoes, broccli and cabbage. We really worked up an appetite and everything was delicious.
I grabbed a 20 minute nap and reported for "First" Watch which runs from 8 PM until Midnight. We learned how to take readings to log Course, Wind direction and force, Sea condition (calm), Sky (cloudy), Visibilty (good), Barometer and Temperature (18 Dry, 19 Wet). Then the radar and Visual Bearings. When at anchor, it's important to make sure that we are not dragging the anchor and moving away from our position.
Tomorrow we head for Holland and will be in port for 2 days. The weather is expected to be good so all should go as planned.
Stuart Tewksbury, Aft Port Watch