Woke up…… still in France. The sky is a glorious blue but the wind is a bit elusive. Sea is calmish.
Three of us had cold porridge for breakfast, because the messmen forgot to off-load the dumb-waiter but it is all good fun and probably ‘character-building’!
Sam, from a Forward Watch, and Nick rose to great heights on assisted climbs, with the joy of looking over the town and port of Cherbourg on a lovely sunny morning. Jon from AP Watch had an exhilarating time reaching the platform on the main mast.
After our briefing, we made ready to be on our way to Zeebrugge in Belgium.
Jenny at the helm, under the captain’s watchful eye, manoeuvred us out of the basin. Raechel found her niche at the helm by keeping a very steady course. Hopefully, the sails will be set at 16.00 (ship time). Ben is readying himself to go aloft on the yardarm. Nick’s sharp eyes continue to keep a lookout for approaching vessels. Lynne is beginning to get to grips with the Logbook, though some of her readings look as if she has used a pinecone and a piece of seaweed to get her results. Stephen, the Watch Leader, manfully retains a good sense of humour throughout it all, as he endeavours to instil some seamanship into everyone! Rope-handling is certainly becoming more assured.
A French theme for lunch ….. onion soup, baguettes and cheeses….expertly served by Dave M, who was on duty from our Watch, as part of the mess team. Now, at 14.00, it is quiet time, as we gather our energies for hoisting the sails.
We are all having a great time. See you on our return to UK.
Jenny R, Lynne M, Raechel M, Nick P, Dave M, Ben W, Stephen C (AS Watch)
The eight to midnight shift is not something that could be easily forgotten. You stand on the bridge, surrounded by these shadowy figures going about their tasks like shades from a ghost story. With only the ambient glow from the navigation consoles and the fractured light from the crescent moon striking the sea to cast shape into shadow to tell them apart.
When you sail through it at night the sea is black and even more alive than it looks in the day time but when the wind fades from the sails it becomes this strange, colourless, rippling mass that rustles and sloshes and slaps against the side of the ship.
It was a very clear night and you could look up from the bridge through the unfurled sails and ropes and the towering masts, to see the stars.
Stephen W/L Aft Stbd watch
cont’d 31st March at sea...
Before I forget, there are just a few snippets of banter from last night and this morning. We had a brilliant meal out in Cherbourg, not to go into too much detail, there was/is the ongoing lime saga. Spurred on by Fingers and myself, the hunt for a lime proved unsuccessful, no doubt we will continue the search for an elusive lime on our arrival in Belgium. The bar was yet again full to the brim with crew, mostly drinking port, forced upon us by Bill. We witnessed some classic use of the French language during our brief stay in France including Brian’s hand gesturing “dangereuse” at the locals.
Now here’s an evening update form the LN, we’ve had an absolutely cracking afternoon! Mike, Ben, Jon and I sanded the handrails until we had successfully covered ourselves from top to toe in wood dust then we just had time for a quick smokie before hoisting the sails. After hoisting almost all of the sails we turned the engine off for the first time, peace and quiet at last, well apart from the chorus of “you don’t make friends with salad” drifting out from the galley. Shortly afterwards we were thrown into a man over board practise, no rest for the wicked, the dummy (not a live crew member!) was safely recovered.
After the heart wrenching discovery that “Doggy watch” blue tack dog (created at 0600 this morning) had been destroyed earlier in the day, AP watch started their 1800 watch a little despondent. Not wishing to dwell on the sad news we soon picked up our spirits and got on with the watch. Jon had his first, impressive, go at helming whilst the rest of us kept an eye on the busy shipping movements. Sandy reassured us that she had been “trained to ram” and our fears of collisions faded away! Had to do a quick tack before we could retire for the night, after a hot drink, hot shower and cold drink at the bar we are already to turn in!
Georgie (AP Watch)