Ocean College

Marcel steuert das Schiff

200 years ago

Datum: 25.02.2019
Position: On the way to Bermuda
Nautical position: 21°51.6’N; 84°58.5’W
Author: Marcel
Etmal: (total) 8078 NM

It was a silent night in front of the coasts of Cuba, when I was woken up by Tati to go to watch. Some of you may wonder why we have girls on board of this vessel although we all know that it could cause bad luck.

Our Captain Chris Blake is a very modern and open-minded man, especially for the 19th century, that’s why we handle things differently on the Tall Ship Pelican of London. It’s not only that we have girls on board, we also have a school system that is supposed to educate the younger members of our crew. Besides these unusual things, we are basically a normal sailing vessel of the 19th century on our way to Bermuda.

Rumors are being told that the Captain wants to stop in Havana for some precious Cuban trading goods but we currently have the wind in front of us. If only there would be an invention, that could help us to go faster against the wind, but unfortunately we solely depend on our sails.

When I finally attended my watch, I took over the port lookout from another crew member and looked into the darkness, if there are any light houses or vessels to see. After that, I had to do the log book. Besides some notes about the weather and our heading, I also had to find out our speed.

For that, I used the log that is build out of a rope with some knots tied into it and a piece of wood, which is shaped like a triangle. I threw the wooden triangle into the water and counted the amount of knots that passed by during 30 seconds measured with an hourglass.

I measured something between 3 to 4 knots. With this speed, we continued sailing for the rest of the night but after 4 hours of watch I went back to sleep.

With only some oil lamps hanging around the deck, I tried to find my way back to bed which was again quite challenging. When the bell rang 11 times, I was woken up again by the wake up call for the science pathway meeting, which was planned for that day.

In the science pathway, we try to learn more about the mysterious nature of our world and the oceans we are crossing. With the simple methods of our century the exploration takes a lot of time.

After that, we had lunch, which is always simple and mostly the same because we can’t store that much fresh food on board. However, I already got used to all the pickled food. The only thing that worries me, is that with too little nutrients we can get dangerous illnesses like Scorbut.

During the day watch after lunch, we had to tack the ship to get a better angle on the wind. Hopefully, we are now heading on a better course to Havanna. Unfortunately, the ever changing wind and the strong current, which is against us, forced us to tack the ship later in the evening again.

By now, we are a very experienced crew when it comes to tacking and wearing the Pelican. So slowly but steadily, we are getting closer to our destination but now everything depends on the wind and whether we as a crew sail the ship in the best way possible…