This is my first trip on a tall ship. On its way to Montevideo-Ushuaia and Antartica. I'm participating on the small leg from Tenerife to Sal (Cabo Verde). We had last Sunday under a blue sky a smooth start from the pier in Santa Cruz, with a nice breeze from the north-east, allowing us to put sails directly from the beginning and sailing out of the port with the motor just in a stand-by modus! All Sunday we sailed south alongside the east-coast of Tenerife and spotted some small pilot whales (3.8-6 m), which were going up north.
The daily life on this beautiful lady is a new experience to me and in no way similar to the life ashore. It is a nice challenge to get used to the rhythm of a 4 hours on and 8 hours off watch system, to get along with 6 guys in a small cabin of about 10m3 (having different watch schedules) and trying to link about 53 names to the correct faces. A small but international community of people from Holland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, France, the U.K., Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, U.S.A., Australia (most probably I'm overlooking some others?!), all having their own stories. A lot of interaction and very nice atmosphere.
I was lucky and had before-yesterday the dog-watch (00.00-04.00 o'clock) when our captain decided to put the clock one hour back. In other words 5 nice hours on board, enjoying a clear sky full of stars and on top of that a nice moon rise.
The days are being filled up with nice meals, assisting on setting/taking down sails, assisting on all kind of small maintenance activities, all kind of trainings related to sailing, reading and trying
to do my daily small workout on the sloopdeck, which is a much nicer place than any other sportschool.
We are actually sailing at about 150 miles alongside the coast of West-Sahara, wind is expected to remain north-east, meanwhile picked up a bit and we seem to be on schedule for arrival to Sal by next Sunday/Monday.
Life is good on board of this historic vessel. Every morning freshly baked bread, Dutch cheese, cookie time at 10.00 a.m, snacks at 17.00 p.m., lunch buffet on deck in the open air and
every day (sofar) fresh soup, fresh vegetables and delicious deserts and even a small box with fresh herbs on board (!!), what else can one wish on the Atlantic Ocean !!
A big compliment to the professional and enthusiastic crew with a lot of youngsters, always busy and putting a lot of energy and love into this vessel.