Thor Heyerdahl – Our New Home


by Lena

In the 15 days that we’ve been living on the Thor Heyerdahl we have already grown pretty close to each other and also to the ship. From the first day we started to learn to navigate the ship and of course the waters and even the people that had never been on a ship before learned how to set sails and to understand some of the new and difficult words. However communication wasn’t the only problem in our nautic lessons. There were also many missunderstandings in our daily conversations because our whole crew comes from a variety of places within Germany. For example the upper north and deep south people had some different words and accents that caused some confusion. It led to some pretty interesting discussions, for example about how the last piece of bread is called.

Our daily routine is quite different to our normal lives: every day we have to get up early and do sentry duty for three hours in the morning and in the afternoon. For many this routine was a big problem since it was more or less the opposite of our normal sleep routine, which makes waking up the next watch a nearly impossible job. During our watch we have to steer the ship, be on lookout, check the safety on board and in the engine and document the weather details and our position. We also learned how to keep track of our position and how to solve navigational problems through practical and theoretical lessons from the crew.

Meanwhile we enjoy four meals (breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake and dinner). Everything we eat is cooked or baked on board by a part of our crew, which changes daily. This way everyone gets to be in the kitchen for about 16 hours and prepare delicious meals for 50 starving people. Each watch has to clean one part of the ship for round about one hour every day. The ship is divided in four parts: deck, sanitary area, cargo-hold and the messroom. Nevertheless this task isn’t as easy as it seems because the ship is really big and there are lots of tiny corners where the dust loves to stick in. On top of that there’s also our omnipresent best friend, the seasickness, which makes cleaning indoors a big and daring challenge! The remaining time is mostly left for us to relax and have fun. We often need it to catch some sleep, write our diary entries or to play some games in the messroom.

When it’s finally time to go to bed everyone jumps into his or her small and warm cabins. It‘s very funny what kind of sounds you hear every night: snoring of up to five people, voices of the nocturnal sentry duty, laughter out of the messroom and the sound of different loose parts of the ship bumping against each other really loudly. As you can see, it never gets boring on board of the Thor Heyerdahl – our new home.