Sailing in the North Sea and the English Channel – by Lorenz

lorenzAfter staying for two days in Brunsbüttel we left the Kiel Canal which connects Kiel and Brunsbüttel on the 22nd of October. We entered the mouth of the river Elbe. After we had passed Cuxhaven most of us had to handle big waves, which were coming across the North Sea from north west. It did not take much time until the first few people were hanging over the railing. Some hours later there were only a couple left who sailed the ship or helped the others with their seasickness. However, on the next day, a big part of the crew was able to help on the ship. After the first few days on the North Sea when everybody was feeling better again, we got used to our daily life on board. Before that time, is was hardly possible, because you worked were you were needed from time to time, if you were able to.
Normally the crew, pupils and teachers are seperated in four watches. Every watch has to look after the ship for three hours during the night and for three during the day. One time per day apart from Sunday, every group has their own meetings. During those meetings we are taught how the ship works, how to find out our course and the position, which lights boats have to switch on during the night.
Of course the wind and its direction and strength has a big influence on our journey. We really try to avoid using our engine, that is why we have to wait sometimes for better conditions. Sometimes even that is not possible. Even the day we stopped over near the dutch island „Terschelling“, on the 24th of October could not make us stop the engine. Almost all the time we had to sail hard on the wind. But we have to say that we were lucky, that we did not get it from right ahead. We used our day off at Terschelling to tidy up the ship even better as we usually do it. On the 28th of October we finally arrived at Falmouth. Two reasons made us stop there. On the one hand in order to get more gas and on the other hand we needed new fresh water, before we started our longer trip to Teneriffa through the Biscaya.
In Falmouth we were allowed to leave the ship for the first time after we left our starting point Kiel. Some of us took the chance to buy new sweets and drinks we will not get in the warmer countries. A few pupils were already able to pass their inofficial driving licence for our longboat and those drove the others to the center and back to the Thor Heyerdahl.
Falmouth is a very typical Cornish and cute city at the southwest of Cornwall. Nearly everybody enjoyed a big box of fish and chips the first evening, but on the second day everybody ate on board.
Now we are on our way to Biskaya, after leaving Falmouth through the thickest fog I have ever seen. A couple of minutes ago we turned towards south with the destination: Teneriffa, or even more important, the warm south …