Ladies and gentleman, welcome aboard our ship the “Thor Heyerdahl“. Today I’m your guide on this wonderful sailing ship and will try to show you our new home.
Let’s get started on the poop deck: normally, when we are in a harbor, the gangway is placed there in order to enter and exit the ship. On the poop deck you also find the wheel where the helmsman stands and steers the ships the right course. The poop deck is also the place for the captain who is in control of the ship and responsible for it. The poop deck is higher than the main deck, so the captain has a good overview of the ship and all the sails. On the poop deck you can also see a chimney which is called “tunnel”. This tunnel comes directly out of the engine room where “Olga” – our big engine with 700 HP – does her job. You have to be careful because the tunnel gets really hot and if the winds blow from the wrong direction, you may get the smoke right into your face – which is not that nice. Therefore you can also turn the tunnel. If you go down beneath the poop deck, you first find the chart room which is very important for navigation. Also there are a small bathroom, a tiny office, a well-sized saloon, a so-called hospital and some cabins for the captain, the first mate and some important crew members.
Let’s go back to the poop deck where you have the best overview of all the sails, like I just told you. I will explain their names to you.
The “Thor Heyerdahl“ is a three-mast-topsail-schooner. That’s why the “Thor“ has three masts with topsails: The mizzen mast, the main mast and the schooner mast. On the mizzen mast there are the mizzen sail and the mizzen topsail. It’s the same on the main mast: the main sail and the main topsail. On the schooner mast you can find the schooner sail, but there are also three square sails called fore course, topsail and topgallant sail. Between the main and the schooner mast you can observe a special sail with a difficult name: main top mast stay sail. In the front we have a so-called forestay sail which is the only foresail with a boom. There you can notice four jibs: the flying jib, which is the outer one, the outer jib, the middle jib and the inner jib. Altogether the “Thor” has got 15 sails with a surface of about 830 square meters.
In the middle of the ship there is the so-called decks house. The decks house includes the galley (the only place where listening to loud music in public is allowed) and the sanitary area. Now we carefully go down the companionway, but please watch your step and don’t fall! The “Thor” has got 2 cabins for 2 persons, 6 cabins for 4 persons and 2 cabins for 6 persons. And in the front you can also find the so-called “PK” (Personalkammer or Pumakäfig) where the rest of the crew members sleep. If we walk along the cabins towards the front, we come to the cargo hold. Here all the food and luggage are stored. There is a little workshop for some repairs and sometimes it is also quite loud in there because the generator room is next to the cargo hold. The generator produces our electricity on board. The biggest room on the “Thor Heyerdahl” is the mess. In the mess we eat together, if the weather is too bad for eating on deck, sit and study together or relax, talk or just play cards or play music using our instruments. Therefore it is a very important room!
In the mess there is another companionway, which goes up to the main deck again. Back on the poop deck, where we started a few minutes ago, our tour now ends. I hope you enjoyed it and got to know our ship “Thor Heyerdahl” which will be our home for the next six months.