Crossing the North Atlantic – A hard time?
Before KUS and also during the time on Thor, many people always told me stories about the North Atlantic. How hard the crossing is, because of the strong winds, big waves, and seasickness. So, when we were on the Bermudas, just before the start, I must say I was pretty excited.
Like many people said, it got rough and the beginning was really hard. Due to the big waves and strong winds, we had to introduce the “Verschlusszustand”, which is a safety precaution. It means that all the doors are closed as well as the impact claps of the skylights, so that no water can get into the ship. Because of that we didn’t have as much fresh air as usually and we couldn’t tell from inside whether the sun was shining or not, and this for some days. Another safety precaution was that we were not allowed to go on deck just for fun or at least had to wear a climbing harness. The guard days were very cool as they were never boring. There were many sailing maneuvres, which is nice because I was able to learn much about sailing. Additionally, I often was on guard only with three or four people, leading to nice talks and funny and exciting watches. Let me give you an example, so that you can understand what I mean: I am at the wheel during our watch, and I am having a nice chat with Alexander, my watch leader, about the waves, when Alexander suddenly says “It is crazy, the waves are so big so that you are not able to see the horizon”. I turn around and answer: “That’s true, look there, this is a big one!” The wave comes nearer and nearer and in the next moment I am completely wet. The wave came over the asterndeck, which means the wave was about 6 to 7 meters high and crashed on me, which was shocking, but still Alexander and I laughed really hard. So, I love the time on guard, especially, when we are discussion the clouds. It might sound weird, but it is really interesting. If you know the different types of clouds and know what it means when those clouds are there, it is possible to predict the weather, which is so cool. Until now I have not been that good at it, but my goal until we arrive at the Azores, is to know the different types of clouds and be able to read them.
Another reason why I really liked this part of our journey was that it was again a stage where you got into a rhythm. Not like the stage from Panama to Cuba, which was far too short. The North Atlantic crossing has some similarities to the South Atlantic. Every two days you have long days of school and every other day you have a day of guard. During the crossing we had really a lot of time to play games like Monopoly, due to the fact that at the end we had no school anymore. Or we are able to go into the rig, which is my favourite place on the ship. You have such a great view, and it is just nice to sit up there and think.
All in all, for me crossing the North Atlantic was a really exciting stage with many interesting and cool situations. Of course I’m also looking forward to the rest of our journey and I hope that we’ll have some days left where we can wear t-shirts and shorts for the watch. For now, I only hope that we will arrive at the Azores and not miss them, since we will sail without electronic devices for a short time.