Ocean College

Peer auf dem Mest

Important news for the handover

Date: 29.03.2019
Author: Peer
Position: North Atlantic
Nautical Position: 37° 03,8‘N 034° 09,0‘W
Etmal: 11333 nm

My day began as usual, only with one hour of sleep less. Last night the clock was set forward and everyone besides the red watch lost an hour of sleep.

Tired as always, I turned on my light, put on my clothes and made my way up to breakfast, only to realise that it was quarter to 7 and therefore quite early.

Anyway, breakfast was already set up and I had my morning portion of oats with milk, a few cornflakes and a drop of honey.

Luckily, it was my turn to be engineer, and as I learned from the Bosun they don’t start until after the permanent crew meeting at eight, which means I can jump straight back into bed and enjoy the rest of the warmth underneath my blanket. 

An hour later, I was woken up by Tabi who I had asked to wake me. A second time I got ready to put on my dirty stuff (the Engine room is quite dirty) and started to search for the engineer Brian, who – I’m not surprised at all – was outside drinking tea.

One thing you learn during the mentor programme while following the Bosun and engineer, they always have time for a good cup of tea, and Pete mentioned, ‘If you don’t have time for tea, you gotta make time for tea’.

So I got myself a tea and we sat together and talked about the tasks for today. First on the list was the 500 mile maintenance of Gen 2 (Generator 2). We washed our cups, although Pete still moans about washing cups, and made our way to the engine room or kaboom room, how it’s also called.

With ear protection against the noise of the engine that’s roaring all day long we began unscrewing the cover of the Gen. After 500 miles the oil and the oil filter needs to be changed and I knew my hands were not going to stay clean.

We pumped the nine litres of oil out of the oil tank and stored it in the waste container. We unscrewed the oil filter, cleaned off the salt around it and attached a new filter and refilled the oil. While working on the Gen 2 we also checked the water pump. This hot room really makes you sweat and that called for another tea break. 

15 minutes later after a good cup of tea and some good banter with Pete, Elie, Christian and Brian, we went back down to finish of the morning work with the daily checks and the 12:00 check for the amount of fuel we still got.

The engine is hot, the fuel burned summed up to 700 Litres and the amount left is 7901 Litres, still plenty to get to the Azores. These important informations are brought to the bridge for the captain, and with that our midday break began.

We had lunch, and I was about to go up to the bridge for the one o’clock meeting when Tati and Sophie came around the corner and told me that Louiz and I were up with the boat races today and that we had to dress to the topic ‘heads and showers’. Luckily, they already came up with an idea.

Ten minutes later I was dressed like a toilet brush, Louiz with mop and cleaner and our poop ship with brown sails and empty toilet roles. The other teams also dressed fancy but of course we had the best outfit.

Today is a very important boat race because of the extra rule set by the last winner. This rule required that the loosing team, including the permanent crew, had to clean the heads and showers. The atmosphere was hot, no one wanted to be last and clean the toilets.

In the end we, of course, the red watch won the race and the permanent crew cheated. Therefore, the permanent crew has to clean the heads and showers and everyone was very happy about that.

As always we had our crew meeting afterwards, but today was special. Ben and Niki announced the positions that we’ll have during the handover.

Basically, the handover is about the 10 days between the Azores and Boulogne, when we, the students and mentors will be in charge of the vessel. This 10 day leg will be split up into three parts with one team each.

Each team will have a Captain, a Chief Officer, a 2nd Officer……., such that each team has ten people. This means that during the handover everyone has a position for about three days. Previously, we split up into watches with the people that we want to have a watch with.

Plus, we wrote applications for our first and second wishes as to what position we’d like to have. So this meeting was very exciting for us. After everyone received their position, we had a bit of time to find our teams, although in the end it took the rest of the day to sort out our teams.

This took so long because we also had to work out who was in which watch because if all of white watch for example is in one team then during the handover of that team there isn’t actually anyone in the watch to do watchkeeping.

Therefore, it was a challenge for all of us as a group to create these teams with wishes, watches and positions (hours of long hard work and lot of thinking passed by). In the end we arranged these teams: 

Order: Captain, Chief Officer, 2nd Officer, 3rd Officer, Engineer, Cook, Doctor, Bosun, Bosun’s Mate, Bosun’s Mate:
Group Sophie: Sophie, Robi, Penelope, Kira M., Kira R., Theresa, Marcel, Ronja, Felix, Lauryn
Group Nils: Nils, Poldi, Lizzy, Elisa, Rene, Tabi, Basti, Tati, Fabi, Sinan
Group Christian: Christian, Peer, Nick, Niklas, Louiz, Marlen, Helena, Nele, Justus, Elly

The rest of the afternoon I spent with Brian in the engine room cleaning up the mess that we created during the day and went through the engineering section of the little pelican crew training booklet that we got.

Of course, the tea breaks in between were very important as well. Sometime around five I was done with my job for today and rested until dinner time. 

After dinner we had another student meeting and then finally started our nightly shanty night, where we sing shanties all together. By nine we were done and I enjoyed the evening with my friends before going to bed knowing that I won’t have to get up for night watch. 

15 days to go, the countdown is on!
Good night from the Pelican,
Peer