Crossing the Atlantic Ocean – written by Teresa

schueler-teresa„Im Wachen und im Traum seit zwanzig Jahren,
 Erfüllt mich ein Gedanke groß und fest:
 Hinaus in der Atlantis Meer zu fahren,             
 Weit, weit nach West und immer nur nach West.“
(Salomon Tobler aus „Das Bordbuch, Christoph Columbus“)

Who would have thought, that this quotation would be my present. Our present.
Since the middle of November we sail across the South Atlantic Ocean. As we left Santa Cruz de Tenerife the second stage of our adventure began. There were a lot of new things in this new period.
First the school lessons started. We, the students, were divided into two groups. One day we had our lessons and the other day we had our watch duty. So every second day you could see the one half of the students, some with half-asleep eyes like at home, sitting in the mess room or on deck. And while we all copied biological pictures from the blackboard into our exercise books, schools of flying fish jumped out of the water.
Whales are one of the other highlights of this stage. One day a shout rang out from the poop deck over the main deck: ‚Whale on Starboard!‘
Of course everybody ran to the bulwark and looked at the clear blue water. The whale, about twelve meters long, swam around our ship. Again and again. An attraction which was one of the most fascinating ones on this stage.

But the Atlantic is more than only a big collection of water and animals. The Atlantic is our home.  It’s a part of us like Eva and Kathi described in their poem. And that is right. The moves of the waves, the storms, the wind and every other kind of weather, even the different shades of the color blue are little but impressive things we will memorize.
For most people those characteristics seem unnecessary, for us they are very important.
Nearly all the time the sea is peaceful and calm but we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security. The weather is able to change very quickly and we have to be on standby.
In spite of the danger of the Atlantic, we enjoy the crossing.
Only two times we had to start ‚Olga‘, our engine. Apart from this all sails are hoisted and an extra windward sail and two sky sails were bent on.

Now we are looking forward to the handing over of the ship. Next week the crew will set us all their tasks and we have to sail the Thor Heyerdahl to the Grenadines, to the ’new world‘, on our own.
Always westwards across the Atlantic Ocean …