Today I was woken up earlier than usual, at a quarter to six, because I was a messman for the day. This means working in the galley, serving everyone their meals and doing the washing up. Which was a lot!
To get breakfast ready for twenty past seven I had to lay the tables with all the breakfast accompaniments like cereal, toast, jam and fruit juice. There was a lot to put out because there’s also the option of a cooked breakfast. So it meant we had to work extra fast to turn it around before second sitting. Apparently though, we did it in record time. Score!
Then we had a break before lunch, when I generally tried to avoid “green watch” (the seasick voyagers) who were hanging off the side of the boat.
Lunch came around quickly and it was another attempt at serving soup on rough waters, making it very difficult to even stand straight.
After a nap before tea, we served up sweet and sour chicken followed by apple crumble, which went down well.
Once we’d finally finished the endless stream of washing up, I caught up with my watch mates (the Blue Watch Babes) and spent the evening playing Uno and cards with them.
Written by Georgia
Today I was a “dayworker” for the day. This meant that I had to do any job given to me by the deck hands or the bosun. The other day workers and I started by re-setting mooring lines that had become tangled up in the storage compartment below. The lines were really long and took three people to do it as it was also heavy. So one person had to feed the lines to the flakers.
After, we were told to brace at our stations to ease on the sheets and haul on the tacks . This was so that the sails could be set as the wind direction was in our favour.
Happy hour followed this, this is the most hated time of the day where the ship is cleaned from top to bottom.
Written by Dalraj Dhaliwal
Our day began with Happy Hour, which is when everyone is given an area to clean and it is their responsibility to make sure it is spotless.
Not long after Happy Hour our priority was to ‘brace’ so that the yards were in the correct position for to the wind direction. It takes collaboration and hard work to brace, so that all the yards on both masts can be pulled together in time.
Everyone had been excited to visit a foreign port, but we were unsure as to which country our voyage would take us, as it depended on the wind and sea conditions. However, today it was clarified that we would visit Belgium and dock in a place called Brugge. Our initial thoughts were chocolate, due to Belgium’s reputation and we had high expectations.
Once we arrived in Brugge we visited the market place, where we were greeted with a busy and cultured atmosphere. Although we only had a couple of hours in Brugge, I feel that we all had a taste of Belgium life.
Whilst in Brugge we were given a competition to buy the tackiest souvenir, then present it to the rest of the crew, pointing out its special features. Whilst the presentations were taking place, two judges had to decided which souvenir and presentation were the bests and allocate points to be added to the leaderboard. The winners were Blue Watch! At the end of the voyage the watch with the most points is the overall winner.
Everyone had a fun time taking part in all the activities which also had us competing in a general knowledge quiz, that again Blue Watch won.
Although we were all having a great time, we needed to go to bed so that we were all ready for an early wake up call at 4am.
Written by Jack
Woke up to a wonderful breakfast, which was quickly spoiled by “Happy Hour” and having to clean the showers at the bow of the ship. After finishing the first shower, I was pretty pleased with my work: It was completely clean and practically perfect. Unfortunately, because I was so hell-bent on perfection, I had spent over twenty minutes on the one shower.
After just managing to complete the other showers on time, I went up to watch on the bridge for a while before being called to the waist for training with the rest of the voyage crew. The training today involved learning the specific names for each individual sail and for the groups of sails. Although it was a lot of information to absorb, it was very interesting.
Afterwards, myself and the rest of Blue Watch went back up onto the bridge to complete our watch. I was really excited to take the helm for the first time on my voyage. Initially I felt a little worried that I’d steer the boat completely off course or do something else terrible, but it was actually very simple and I truly enjoyed it.
The watch ended right on time for lunch and on leaving the mess we were all delighted to see the skies had cleared almost completely, allowing the sun to shine down and light up the glittering sea. No longer the dark grey/ navy blue colour it was yesterday, but a beautiful light bluey green. This wonderful weather seemed to raise everyone’s spirits and we managed to get some great pictures as we all took photos of each other and the sea.
After going for a two hour nap, I came back up onto the top deck, from where out on the horizon, on the port side of the ship, another voyage member and I spotted what looked like land. After chatting with the navigator we discovered that it was most likely Holland. Apparently now, if things go to plan, we should be arriving in Belgium tomorrow morning. I’m really looking forward to it as I’m eager to try some Belgium chocolate in it’s native country. As well as paying my respects to the soldiers of World War One who died for Britain in this country.
At dinner I found myself having a very engaging discussion with Jihad and Rhianna about religion, as he’s Muslim, she’s Christian and I’m agnostic. It was so interesting sharing beliefs and discussing them as we learnt about each other’s religion and/or beliefs. I feel it’s great being able to be in an environment full of so much culture and different opinions.
At the time of writing I am presently on watch with the rest of Blue Watch for our final watch of today and very much looking forward to tomorrow and what it will bring.
Written by Beth Woolman
We woke up at 6.50am to get ready for breakfast.
When we had finished I got ready in my ollies and harness and met everyone at the “Waist”. The White Watch leader had to let the sails loose on the Course and Lower and Upper Topsails. Which I thought was quite high! We got to the foremast and started climbing to the Lower, then we did the Upper and finally the Course. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I was chatting with Jo the whole time, plus I was taking pictures.
We all then had to haul (pull) the sheets to bring down the sails. They looked so nice afterwards.
I was so excited when I had to climb up the foremast again! But this time we were putting the sails away and by this point it was chucking it down with rain which made it even more fun!
I had Watch from 6pm to 8pm and apart from me, because I was a day worker the next day, my Watch had to get up at 4am!!
The best parts of the day was going aloft up on the foremast! Plus on the 6pm to 8pm watch, I got to go on the helm without the engine, which at first was nerve wracking but I got the hang of it.
Written by Lana Marshall
I was woken up at 6:30 as my watch group was first sitting for breakfast. The choice for breakfast included cereal, porridge, fruit, yoghurt, toast, baked beans, egg and sausages.
Once second sitting had their breakfast, we were all sent to the mess room where we had a meeting to be told what we were going to do for the day. The red watch group (mine) were sent to get our oilies and harnesses. Our oilies are our water proofs and we had to wear them when the weather is bad. Our harnesses have to be worn every time we are on watch, and when we are going to climb the yard to remover any of the sails.
Once we were all kitted up with our harnesses and oilies, we then climbed from the port side to the starboard side to practice and to get used to clipping on to the Jacobs ladder, for example. After we had all got over the excitement, all three groups were then taught what “bracing” is and how to do it. We had several practices at it as each individual got given their own “bracing station”. When “Bracing Stations” is called over the tannoy, everyone has to get their harnesses on and if the weather’s bad we have to wear our oilies as well, to protect us and stop us from getting wet.
After lunch we had a few more practices and then we had a bit of free time when we could catch up on sleep, or sit and chill. I personally used the time wisely and had an hour’s sleep before tea.
For tea we had chicken, new potatoes and green beans, which was lush. Along with peaches and strawberry ice cream.
Afterwards Red Watch had a bit of chill time and played cards in the mess. We went to bed at about eleven pm as we had to take over on watch at four am until eight am, therefore meaning we had a very long day ahead.
Written by Pip Leadenham
I was driven from the port at Hartlepool to the tall ship in the mini-bus. When I arrived I was greeted by the volunteer crew who helped me carry my bags to my cabin. It was like a maze as we clambered up and down ladders. At first it was very overwhelming, but once the rest of the girls in my cabin arrived I started to settle in.
We all had to sign on. This was when we handed in our passports and confirmed our joining details. At this point I was handed a bright red rugby shirt and white cap bearing the logo of HSBC (our voyage sponsor). After this I had my first meal aboard. It was chilli-con-carni and it tasted really good. Following this we had our first briefing. The captain, Liam, and the chief officer, Nicki, went over important safety instructions. These included how to walk down the ladders (facing them). They went over the safety alarms and where to go when they heard them. These places were called our muster stations. We practiced putting on our life jackets.
On that day we also had pictures in our school groups (Jack, Luke and myself), in our HSBC gear, standing behind the helm. The first night was interesting. My hammock took a bit of getting used to but it turned out to be very comfortable, especially when the ship is rolling.
Written by Beth Moore