The Thor Heyerdahl, our new home – written by Corinna

schueler-corinna-kopieAfter waiting for our new home for almost half a year it’s here: the Thor Heyerdahl. It isn’t as big as our apartments at home. The „Thor“ is 50 meters long and 6 meters wide. This place is divided in four sections. Under the deck there are our cabins. We live with 5 or 3 other pupils in one cabin. At home everyone of us has his or her own room. For some of us it’s the first time to live together with other children in our age. This is quite a challenge for all of us. Then there is also the mess, a kind of a big living room for all. We eat there, too. Another part is the cargo hold. There all things are stowed, from food to tents. Above the cabin deck there is the deckhouse with our bathrooms and the kitchen. It’s a very big kitchen, so we can cook food for 50 people. When there are so many people, you can’t hear the opinion of every person. Sometimes it’s difficult to eat things you don’t like so much. That’s also a difference to our homes. At the stern of the Thor there is the chartroom. There are all the things we need to navigate or to get in contact with the rest of the world. There is also one bathroom and the cabins of the captain and his first mate. Next to the chartroom is the engine room where Olga, our main engine, works if there’s no (or not the right) wind for sailing.
Our home can sail because it’s a ship and not a houseboat. So there are masts: We have the schooner mast at the front of our ship. Then there are is the main mast in the middle of the ship. You also can see the main mast in the floor of our cabins. At the stern of our ship there’s the mizzen mast. On the last two masts there are two sails, on the schooner mast are 5 sails and on the jib mast are 4 sails.
The interesting thing about living on a ship is that all things and activities are in one place. Learning, eating, sleeping, sports, watch and cooking, everything must be done on the Thor. And another difference to our home is that there are always the same people. At home you meet your friends at school, then you go do sports where there are other friends and sometimes you meet your larger family and there are again other people. But on the Thor you meet the crew at lunch, in the ’school‘ and in your free time.
If we want to climb, we don’t go to a climbing garden, we just go outside. There we can climb up the shrouds. There are many rules you have to conform to, not only in the rigging. For example it’s forbidden to jump or to run because of our safety. And, if there are waves of 3 meters, for example after our stay in Falmouth, we can’t go outside on deck without our safety harnesses.
We are happy to live on a ship but sometimes it’s very difficult to live together with 49 other people. The private room of each person is 2m by 0,8m, his bed. At home we have electricity at all times. On board of the ‚Thor Heyerdahl‘ we have electricity in the morning and in the afternoon. But it’s great when you eat your breakfast at sea. And if you have the morning watch like me, you can see the sunrise.
Maybe it’s strange to read that a ship is the home of 50 people but we feel like a big family and in some days there will be a routine. So if you ask one of us what his home is, he will answer that he lives at the moment on a ship and that this is the most normal thing in the world.