The shipyard – getting ready for a trip in the New World


By Lea

Best greetings from Kiel!

Before leaving Kiel on the 22nd of October, the Thor Heyerdahl, our new home for half a year, has to get ready. So there are many people working in order to prepare the sailing ship. And, of course, we KUSis are helping during our shipyard, too. We got different tasks with the same aim: prepare the Thor Heyerdahl for our trip.

We arrived in Kiel on Tuesday and one day later, on Wednesday, we visited the Thor together. It was the first time for many of us to see our new home. Of course there were a few people who had already visited or passed some time on board. I had not seen the real Thor before, only on pictures, and it was impressing. There were ropes (Tampen) coming down from many different sails, I am sure we will be confused which one belongs to which sail in the next couple of weeks. We were shown around quickly but we saw directly: There is a lot to do before we can leave the harbour.
That is why we were separated in groups with different tasks. We had to prepare the bikes for the trip on Cuba, clean the cabins and the toilets, colour the stairs and take all the food on board, prepare the books for the library… The number of tasks awaiting us was enormous and after finishing one thing the next task was just waiting for you. Will we be able to leave on Sunday? My task was to prepare the bikes for Cuba. So we had to take off the wheels, remove the pedals and turn around the handle bar in order to be able to take 36 bikes with us. It was something I had never really done before but our task was quite funny and we learned a lot.

Thursday and Friday passed, everyone helped in the shipyard or in the office. We got many donations for Cuba, which had to be sorted (out). By the way, thanks for all the donations we got! Actually we got so much that we could not take everything with us. So the plan is that we will bring them to Cuba next year. The Galley duty started, which means that 4 people are responsible for the meals for one day. That is a very responsible task because working on the ship outside makes one hungry. The teachers explained us the blog posts (That is why I am writing this text 🙂 ). This means that somebody is writing everyday about what happens here aboard in German and about special topics in English. In the evening we practiced songs with our Maths / Physics teacher Ferdinand, one to sing on Sunday and a song for Ruth’s birthday. The ship got more and more ready and on Friday our real life started on the Thor Heyerdahl.

We moved on board on Friday evening. Arriving with our luggage and finding a place for everything was quite difficult. It started with trying to load everything on board. Luggage for half a year is large and heavy. After having put everything on board, the most difficult task was waiting for us: finding a place for our personal stuff. The cabins are nice but very small, so you do not have many places for your things. It was stressful, but after having found a place for our clothes and personal stuff, I felt more and more at home. Many of us brought photos and hanging shelfs made of fabric to hang with magnets on the walls next to or beds, so our cabins got a personal atmosphere.

On Saturday, the last day of the shipyard, we still had lots of work to do. The final aim was to tidy up the ship, to make sure that our parents will see a well looking ship. During this time we got help from the crew and many ex-KUSis. I was up in the rigging in order to make sure that the sails look perfect for the parents, which was not easy because of the wrinkles in the fabric. Time flew, luckily we were quick, so we could take a shower and change into our official KUS clothes. Then at 7 pm we welcomed our parents on board of our new home, which looked great.

The shipyard was a great time. We got to know each other really fast. We got a lot of tasks which were not only easy and nice to do, but finally we did it. Every one of us knows that we have to do everything that has to be done, not more not less. Even though it was a great time and I am sure everyone is looking forward to the next months. We KUSis are ready to cross the Atlantic, to sail, to learn about new cultures and to get to know us better and better. Ahoi!