We are alongside in Aberdeen and planning to leave around 19.00 tonight. The crew this voyage are from Ireland, UK, Belgium, Netherlands , and France, all aged between 16 and 24, and part of a European Sail Training voyage. They joined us on Saturday afternoon, and luckily it was sunny for their arrival and the ship came alive again with the buzz of many different accents.
After meeting ,greeting and being signed on as crew, we went straight into the briefings about ship life, and safety. The Europeans all mange some English, many are fluent... we are mostly beginning to learn Dutch phrases today! The group Co ordinator, Hilde, is arranging a sentence or words to be written on our whiteboard daily, for us to attempt conversation when we reach Amsterdam! "Where is the nearest bar, please? "is the most popular request so far!
Many of the group have been in touch with each other via Facebook, prior to sailing and so they all seem to be bonding well, and it is great to see the number of guitars on board - we should be in for some great singalongs at sea the next two weeks.
Yesterday we had hands aloft for those able-bodied and happy to climb onto the yards. At present, those in wheelchairs or those needing a little more assistance are being helped aloft. The weather is holding fair and has warmed up a bit thankfully.
Yesterday also saw groups heading into Aberdeen for a tour organised by the UK group, and a mission to exchange a tea bag for a Scottish item! The person swapping the item then got an invitation to visit the ship after dinner and have a look around the upper deck. This was a great way to raise our profile in the area, and similar exchanges are planned in Amsterdam and Bruges.
Most crew have had a chance to shop, or visit Aberdeen and look around – I even took the opportunity to have my feet "pedicured" in a tankfull of nibbling fish in a shopping centre!
We have had a PC crew change here also, so will be sailing under the command of Captain John Etheridge, 1st Mate Barry, 2nd Mate Huge, Bosun Lesley, Engineers Marco and Ken, Cookie Dave, Assistant Arlene and BMs Sarah and Katie.
The Southerly winds will mean that we are motoring South tonight, and then we hope to make sail across the North sea to Amsterdam, figers crossed and sea sick tablets taken!
Tune in again in Amsterdam, Jane Med P