The first steps! by Jens


Classroom under sail. That’s a project with thirty-four young people, who are between 14 and 16 years old, who live a half year on a 50 meter long sailing ship called “Thor Heyerdahl” or just “Thor”. Thirty-two of us are from Germany and one is from England and one from Belgium. We come from different parts of Germany. In the following, I am going to write about the week before we left Kiel, when we prepared the ship for the big trip.

Tuesday, 09.10.2018, 1 o’ clock AM:
Our WhatsApp group chat is still very busy after a long day full of travelling. We are all just too excited to sleep yet. Most of us, in fact the ones from the Southern part of Germany, had to get up in the very first hours of the day. However, knowing that we are going to meet each other on that day made us awake and happy. Our reunion was enthusiastic, full of anticipation and happiness. After the long bus ride we arrived tired with a hoarse voice at the youth hostel. The reason for this was that some of us had sung, laughed or talked the whole time on the bus, what our vocal cords did not like that much. The first evening went over very fast and after some organizational things, all of us felt asleep happy and tired after a while. Maybe some us dreamed of the Thor Heyerdahl or the big, wide ocean.

Wednesday started with an introduction to the website blogs and the different workshops. Knowing that we would get to see the Thor that afternoon made us work concentrated and enthusiastic.
At 5 PM it was time to screw our bikes together and cycle to the wharf where we know we would get to know the Thor. At first, we only saw parts of the wharf including giant cranes, but then we drove around a corner and saw her: Our new home, our ship!  The Thor shone in the sun of the late afternoon and was in real just so much more impressive than on the pictures. After a short tour through the Thor we had to leave to the youth hostel already. Still it was a great feeling to see our new home for the next 6 months the first time.

On Thursday we all worked at different stations. Some on or at the Thor, some in or in front of the office. There was a lot of work to do and all of us worked very hard, but with lots of fun. For example the bicycle group from Kai, which listened to nearly all the songs by Alexander Marcus. In the late afternoon the Thor came to the Schwentine. This is the place, where the Thor is laying most of the time when she is in Kiel. We watched her cruising through the port of Kiel and were very happy to see her the first time in action. We walked the way to the youth hostel because our bicycles were disassembled. After the long and hard day the way felt nearly endless. After our last dinner and the youth hostel, we started to pack our stuff together and got ready to move to the Thor on Friday.

Friday started with us carrying our stuff to the buses and walking to the Schwentine. On Friday we all worked on the Thor. Laura, Ben and I, for example, drove to the store and nearly packed everything into the ship van. The magic drink, which we had gotten from Laura previously, helped a lot to make us strong enough to fit everything into the car. In fact, it was just kind of lemonade. On that day we all felt like machines after a time, because we worked that hard and the whole day. But we had a clear goal: We wanted to move to the Thor and sleep there at night. We achieved this goal and had a short, but very good, first night.

The last day of the wharf time was definitely the most stressful one. We had to clean the whole ship, put the last things on board and clean up the cabins. Most things worked very well, but there is always something that is not good enough and has to be better. All in all, we still managed everything and could welcome our families and friends on board in the evening. All the people who will do the big journey introduced themselves to the families and friends and even showed them around the Thor. After this we could spend a last evening with our families.
Now we are ready to start our big journey and now it really feels like this too!

I can write now: Let’s go!