Monday, July 28th, 2014 - No Comments »
We were woken at a more reasonable time of 7:45 on day 6 of the voyage. After breakfast we prepared to leave port. When we were leaving we had to squeeze through the bridge, which then led us into the more military area of the port were we saw some naval vessels. After this we climbed out onto the yards to release the sails.
After heading windward for the majority of the day, a change of direction led to us being able to finally set the sails and pick up speed. Following this we enjoyed a very tough steak as part of dinner.
During the evening we prepared for the next inter-watch challenge by practising our knots. The challenge itself was a relay in which each member of each team had to tie a knot, tying a total of 16 per watch. Blue watch thrashed both inferior white and red watches, and after celebrated with a cold beverage courtesy of our watch leader, Ian.
Now we head on to our 8 till 12 watch with a sense of victory in the air. J
Lewis, Will, (Blue Watch).
We were dragged out of bed for the 00:00 to 04:00 watch. The only thing in sight was oil platforms, birds, jellyfish and a 369 metre ship. After a small yet well deserved sleep until breakfast, food was served and it was continental and cooked ‘scran’ all round.
In the afternoon we had come into port at ‘Den Helder’ in Holland. The bridge went up and it was a tight squeeze. As we came into port we saw a good few naval ships and some submarines which I was sad to see weren’t yellow!
When tied up we had an inter watch rowing competition. White Watch had a close encounter with a motor boat and Blue Watch won with no traffic.
After the intense and slightly uncoordinated rowing, we were granted shore leave. We first explored the markets that Den Helder had to offer, buying waffles, ice cream and tomato ketchup sprinkled with chips. We then decided to split up, some played football, some explored the beach and some visited the marvellous maritime museum.
Joe, Tim and Jon (White Watch)
We started off the very beginning of the day (00:00) with our first of three watches. This watch was to be the coldest of them all so layers were required. However despite the cold and early start, there was a beautiful views of the stars in the night sky. We ended the watch at 04:00 very tired and seeking sleep, although for some of us this was difficult as the boat was jerking around a lot.
We awoke for breakfast and, to follow on, we went aloft to set the lower three sails in gear and hauled them down ready to sail. To note this was he first time with sails alone as a means of power, although a very light wind meaning a very slow speed.
This followed with our second watch starting at 12:30 and ending at 16:00. This watch was fairly calm and uneventful (apart from a party of birds floating on a piece drift wood!).
After our second watch, the whole voyage crew were summoned to the mess for a talk on distress at sea by Duncan, the navigator. We were briefed on what constitutes distress at sea, what to do if we were in distress, and the different types of flares to use in various different scenarios.
We leave you on our final watch (20:00 – 00:00) heading for the Dutch port of Den Helder running under engines with an e.t.a of 09:00 tomorrow.
Rich and Paddy
Despite having a security watch from 2am to 3am the start of my third day began.
On the morning of our third day, my friend was woken up early instead of me, resulting in me having 40 minutes more sleep! After a shower and some breakfast it was time for happy hour…this was not as happy as the volunteers made it out to be!
An hour of cleaning later we left Ipswich and headed out into the open sea, Tim who is one of our fellow crew members was called upon for the first duty of steering the ship. Not many people can say they have reversed a 200ft Tall Ship through a lock!
After travelling up the coast for an hour we anchored. While we were waiting for Youth Mentor Mike to re-join the ship via the rib from Harwich, Ian, who is the awesome Blue Watch Leader, taught us about using a chart and all the types of buoys on the sea. After a few hours of preparation with bracing the masts and breaking out some of the fore and aft sails, the best time of the day arose…DINNER!
An hour of relaxing, then some fore and aft sails were set for the evening and overnight sail to the Netherlands. The magnificent Blue Watch and I are helming and on look out for hazards until midnight, before some well earned rest until morning.
Tom Banks and James Garth
Day Two on the Brig, the shipmates are still in Ipswich </Big Brother voice>
We pleasantly surprised to be handed a large breakfast after our early wake up call (7:45 am) served to us by very cheery members of our watches (who were enjoying being messmen).
It turns out, as well as being the best, most enthusiastic watch, White Watch is also the sickest, having the first case of seasickness aboard! Despite the fact we weren’t moving. Valiantly, the crewmember decided to stay.
The first training of the day was a talk on harness safety, followed by a quick “up and over” on the main and fore masts. This was shortly followed by “Bracing stations”, which comprised of learning where to stand and how to haul and ease ropes (easy for those easing).
Before lunch, we managed to squeeze another job in – stowing away the many provisions required to feed a boat of this size. It required a human chain and was a test of the arm strength of our crew (verdict: varying).
The most exciting event of the afternoon was climbing to the yard arms and learning how to furl and stow the sails. One half was set to look for a clue in the rigging (pun intended).
Finally, the thrilling boat race occurred in the evening. Despite White Watch’s ultimate failure, we still win in our hearts.
By Fiona, Josie and Megan (The Great White Watch…)