Happy new Year!

Date: 31.12.2020
Position: 16°53,1’N 24°59,7’W

“…3…2…1… Happy New Year!” There were so many people on the quarter deck who wished each other all the best for the new year. Everyone was smiling and looked really happy.

The first preparations for the evening started at 16:00. The whole ship was decorated with different flags and garlands. The galley team worked already since 13:00 and got a lot of help to prepare the new year’s meal. At the main deck, some tables where put up and we built a cocktail bar on the quarterdeck. Everyone was busy and it was a bit stressful to get all the things done before the New Year party could start.

Many of us still wanted to write some letters for the new year to put them into the paper bags we hung up in the messroom. Each of them had a name of a crewmember on it and you could throw in letters for the person. The bags were distributed later this evening – some of us got nice messages!

At the deckhouse, we put a world map with all the different time zones of the world, so we were able to celebrate the new year – every hour in a different country. For example, at 1:00 we celebrated the new year of the Sandwich Islands. Finally, we were done with everything and 2021 was awaiting.

The evening started with a speech by the Project Manager and our captain Detlef. Fred and Carlo continued with an impressive juggling show. Now it was time to eat. That day’s dinner was not like always that everyone gets a plate, today the galley arranged a beautiful buffet. It tasted delicious.

If you wanted to drink something you had to go to the quarter deck to our improvised cocktail bar with Mika and Meli as barkeepers and you could enjoy for example a cold cola. Later in the evening you were also able to choose between one of four different delicious (non-alcoholic) cocktails. Now the kitchen crew served a traditional pancake soup followed by pasta with salmon.

When we finished our main dish, it was time for – as I think the most popular new Year tradition – Dinner for one. But we didn’t only watch the film, we even performed it. So, we had two (three with Hanno as the Tiger) excellent actors: Peer and Wilko. They played the sketch even more funny than the original. Anyway, we looked the real one just afterwards. At 22:00 we celebrated the new Year in Germany, Austria and Lichtenstein (the countries where we all come from). It was a strange feeling to be not at home with our families and friends and we all missed them a bit at this moment. But to be here with the KUS family felt good as well. After desert, Jo came up with a spontaneous magic show. His “tricks” were really funny – even though there was no real magic included.

Ten minutes later the dancefloor was opened and the party started. The next one and a half hours passed so fast and it was already 23:55 and everyone came to the quarterdeck. Five minutes later the magic moment was finally there and we counted down: 3…2…1…Happy new year. The Harbour of Mindelo was filled with the sound of foghorns from our Thor and all the other ships which anchored there. The dark sky was lighted up by red distress signals and there we were: On the Cape Verde Islands in West Africa, surrounded by mountains and the sea, 23° degrees in the warm winter night, in a time, in which people are normally not allowed to celebrate together. We felt lucky and grateful. When the spectacle was over, all the crewmembers wished each other the best for the new year, which is quite a challenge with 48 people. Until 1:30 there was loud music and a lot of dancing people on board of the Thor.

The evening ended with some silent minutes to think about the last year. What a Year we had! It all started in February with the application for KUS, the invitation to the Probetörn followed. Then the question if the whole project could take place with Covid-19. In May, the online Probetörn. – And finally, we got accepted for KUS 20/21. The two weeks of quarantine in October were the start of a big adventure. The parting from home was not easy. The cast off in Kiel seems as if it was yesterday. And now after two months we are here on the Cape Verde islands – ready for new experiences in 2021.