Having flown into Las Palmas last night, it was quite a contrast to wake up in the heat of the foc’sle compared to the -9c cold of the UK!
Immediately after breakfast we were given a brief run-through of the Permanent Crews’ intentions for the day. Due to a number of late arrivals yesterday, today was mainly going to be a series of briefings and overview of the gear/layout of 'Lord Nelson’.
Providing we were back by 11:15 we were allowed shore leave,whilst the permanent crew and watch leaders had their briefs. so in search of the beach we (Tim, Jim & I) wandered away from the port and into the town. Instantly we were aware how laid back ship life is when in Port! Once on the promenade, we caught a brief glimpse of Mt. Teide on the neighbouring island of Tenerife. For me I was quite glad to see the summit, as both times in the past I have visited it has been obscured by cloud!!
All the crew received a briefing from the Captain, 1st mate and the medical purser. Lasting approximately an hour this covered: Emergency drills, evacuation, and the routine of daily life aboard. It was a little daunting at first, but this voyage there seems to be a wide variety of guests on board some of whom are repeat visitors so there is always someone to follow!
After lunch it was time for us to all (most) try going aloft for the first time. Each watch climbed to the main and fore-course yards respectively and then 'went out’ as they would during furling/unfurling the sails.
Following on from that we then had the familiarisation with the process of bracing the yards. Succinctly this is where each yard on both masts is rotated so that the sails can be set according to the wind direction. Each watch took station at a set of braces; for example, mainmast port and starboard, foremast braces port and starboard. The entire process involves a lot of heaving and sweating a lot of rope! (Giving an indication to the origin of the expression wooden ships, iron men!)
Thankfully once all was squared off, we were stood down until the evening meal.
Almost all of us that is, some members of the Port Aft watch had to cover Harbour Watch from 12:00 – 04:00. Splitting that between us, Nina and Stuart oversaw the first two hours, with Will and myself now sat here from 02:00 to 4am. This duty covers monitoring the various alarms, the gangway, and any potential boarders. Although we were told this would be relatively boring, so far we have adjusted a stern warp twice, received a late night Taxi driver, and investigated a random alarm on the engine room repeater panel! Roll on 4am and my bunk......
Aft port watch