New stage, new routines

After a few very exciting days in Tenerife, we have started our next stage to Dominica. A new stage means a new cabin and a new watch. Now I live in cabin one, with five other students, and I am a member of watch number four. This means that I have to be on watch between eight and eleven a.m. and p.m.

But there are lot of other new things on this stage. Let’s start with school. Yes, that is right, now there are classes too, but not every day. I am in group A, so this week (Nov 20-26) I have lessons on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. There are important subjects like math, German, physics, chemistry, biology, history, geography, English, and Spanish. Spanish will be useful because of all the Spanish speaking countries we will visit, like the Canaries, Panama, or Cuba. On the other days I have watch, but only together with three or four other persons (Except for Sunday, because there is no school on this day, so that we all take over the watch). All this means that the watches are a bit more stressful now because we have to fill all positions and do all the tasks with only a third of the students, for example, the lookout or safety checks.

In addition, some other routines have changed. On days where we are on watch, there are one and a half hour of self study that we can use to work on topics we did not understand or to prepare classes on the next day. There is always a teacher you can ask. Also, there is a new topic on our schedule: astronomical navigation. Captain Detlef teaches us how to navigate by only relying on the sun, other planets, or stars. We could choose between marine biology, law, nautical physics and astronomical navigation. Nearly all KUSis chose the latter, so only the so-called “astro-navigation” started. For me it is very interesting and exciting. Last lesson we learned how to find our degree of latitude at the midday position of the sun.

Moreover, there are two days a week now, where there are only students on galley duty. Today, Anton, Kolja, Lilly and Max made very tasty pizza! A full belly is especially important because some of us have to do some different type of work – there are internships on board now! One or two students of every watch signed up for internships for three days. You can learn more about provisions with Carlotta and Tim, do an internship as engineer supervised by Willi and Jörg or learn about the work of our bosun Guilhelm. It is a great opportunity to gain some practical experiences. I find provisions interesting. You can get a deeper understanding of how much food we carry and how and where we store it. The position of the bosun is exciting too, because it allows you to often climb the rigging. Unfortunately, I have not been assigned an internship on this stage, because there are only 28 spaces for interns for now but there will be more on the next stage.

Finally, on Monday, we have also made our first bread on board. For the fact that we make it on board of a sailboat it is pretty good. It will be made every Monday and Thursday.

I find the new system very interesting. For the first time there is a clear routine in our days. One day we are in class, every other day we are either on duty, cleaning the ship, doing some self study or an internship. That might sound stressful but I think it is actually quite relaxing. Since we will be sailing for two or three weeks following the same system you always know what to expect and it gets easier to organize your free time, too. For example, I like to use it to play some board games.