What you absolutely have to be capable of on a sailing ship, is the knot art, off course. They taught us the most important sailor’s knots. The bowline, square and fender knot. There’s more than enough time to practice here. In the following days we sailed to the port cities Aeroskoebing, Spodsbjerg Marstal, Svendborg, and Rödbyhavn and some will wonder how to kill boredom on a sailing ship over the lovely, long day. So hereby i solve the quiz. Setting sail, tensioning lines, being in the doldrums, drinking alcohol, swimming, playing cards, eating lunch, reading the paper, making coffee, searching a port, refueling petrol, eating dinner, slumbering. All in all, we had two great weeks at sea. Thanks to the top skipper and the two really nice, funny and totally relaxed crews!
The next day was quite stormy. We even rumored that we were generously rewarded with wind due to our superstitious skipper, who poured on the day before half of the bottle precious champagne to King Neptune’s joy into the sea. Wind force eight. (Force twelve = hurricane) If you add a bad hangover of the last night you will be brought on a sailing ship quickly and rudely to justice by reality. However, we didn’t let ourselves be intimidated and kept up sailing proudly and unwaveringly. To the horizon and much more. I guess the saying is stolen. And even lied. Our horizon was Bagenkop. Denmark Ahoy! A beautiful harbor village where we filled up water and electricity and spent a night in the marina.
Alright,.. after leaving the harbor behind us it was finally „Hoist the sails!“ Big words – if you have no idea what is actually meant. These lines, strands and cables (later linen) which wind throughout the whole ship are important to understand. Half the crew started suddenly to talk „sailorlanguage“, the other half, to which I belonged, was trying to wittily derive expressions such as jib, leech, mainsheet, fenders and lanyard. No chance! The yacht silently began floating without motor across the water and we teared with 3.5 knots at about wind force 1 direction Lemkenhafen.
The first thing that needs to be planned with a good cruise is to bring sufficient food, alcohol and junk on board. After everyone has written down his desires and idiosyncrasies on the later no more really legible shopping list, a part of us made a move to search food. Then we were allowed to fall in for the safety briefing. Aye aye, Captain! Henning enlightened us landsmen with the use of warning flares, smoke pots and liferaft, which were disguised as a plastimo box on the foredeck. At this point I expected someone tearing the sails into the air.. but no, not really.. but already „cast off!“ Unparking a yacht is not as easy as one thinks. But we cheated, grabbed in the gimmickry and let the board engine do all the work. Newschool style. I already felt like a true pirate though. After mastering the first turn on the water, but still not yet out of the harbour, the well-deserved first maneuver sip was served. Enough rhum for the crew saves from mutiny!
Thanks god i arrived in one piece on the way to the danish sea in Heiligenhafen, even though my crazy driver from the car pool didn’t care about all the accidents we passed by and kept driving way above the speed limit. Our top skipper Henning, who is considered as „young sea bear“ has already more than 30.000 sea miles on the clock and looks quite waterproof. A proud achievement! Bit by bit the rest of the motley motley crew arrived in dribs and drabs. It’s the first time for me to sleep on a sailing ship. Although we are laying in the calm water of the harbor it’s a very different feeling than the usual bed. But the gurgle of the water cradles one quickly and gently to sleep.
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