Ocean College


Setting the Square Sails

Date: 31th October 2019
Author: Phil
Position: Vor Marokkos Küste
Geographical Position: 30° 52.1 N/ 11° 11.4 W
Etmal: 8 Miles

As you may know, the Pelican is rigged with four square sails. Starting with the biggest one on the bottom called Main Course followed by the Top Sail, the Topgallant and on the very top the Royal. In the following I will explain how to set the square sails.

Pause im ersten Krähennest


Braising is the term for bringing the yards and therefore the sails in position. In order to accomplish that we first have to man the tacks and downhauls. The last ones are used to adjust the yards in their horizontal position when leaning over. Then we man the brasses in order to pull the yards around. It is important to pull all yards together because the sails are attached to both yards, the one on top of them and the one on the bottom. And then, depending on the side we are braising to, we haul away the braises and downhauls on that side and ease them on the opposite site. At the same time, the tack on the hauling side needs to be eased and on the other tack we just take out the slack.

Arbeit im Rigg

Putting the sails in their gear

After braising and before setting the square sails we first have to get them in their gear. Because when we don’t use them, they are rolled in the so-called gaskets. These are ropes attached to the yard and when the sails are not in their gear, they go around the sail and hold it in position. So to get them in their gear we have to climb up the Mizzen-Mast (which is amazing by the way) get out on the yards and detach the gaskets.

Getting the sails down and finishing the job back up on the yards

When the sails are in their gear, we pull them down by easing the Clue-, Bundt- and Leech-lines and haul the sheets and tacks on port and starboard. After the sails are pulled down, we go back up on the yards to make sure the slack in the Bundt-lines is in front of the sails and not on the way up to the yards.

PS: Ganz liebe Geburtstags Grüße an Toni von Sarah hdl 🙂

PPS: Verspätete Geburtstagsgrüße an meinen Papa, mögest du gücklich sein. Mascha 🙂

PPS: Im Übrigen sind wir der Meinung, dass wir in der Mitte des Atlantiks baden gehen sollten (Anmerkung der Allgemeinheit)

On haggling in Morocco

Date: 30th October 2019
Author: Johannes
Position: Morocco, on anchor
Geographical Position: 34°22`7 N    10°09`5 W
Etmal: 0

If you go to Morocco, you will quickly realize that haggling is everything! When we went ashore, most of us spent nearly all the time in the Souk (that’s the big Bazaar), so we had lots of opportunities to experience the market life and including the knowledge of how to haggle. The principal behind it is easy:

The vendors will tell you a price that is way too high and it’s on you to haggle for your life (eq. your money) and get them to a good price. If you are lucky or skilled enough, you can get almost everything so cheap that you think you scammend the vendor – but I think they still make good profit even if it doesn´t seem like it.

The Souk is amazing! All the different colours from the market standsand lots and lots of offers.

You can buy everything there: clothing, woodwork, jewelry,  fruits and vegetables and of course fake brand fashion. The vendors will even try to trade your belongings (like your watch) for their goods. One of them tried to get Carl to trade his watch for a wooden box (we later found out that the price for the box was only 10 Dirham, which equals 1€).

When we met up with the teachers and ship staff at 2pm, they gave us the challenge to go to the Bazaar and buy all the fruits and vegetables that we will need in the next week as cheap and fast as we could. That really tested our haggling skills we learned earlier.

A good trick if you ever come to a bazaar: if the vendor wants 100 Dirham for something, just give him a lower amount like 20-60 Dirham and act like you don´t have more money than that. They will moan and try to discuss with you but if you stay with your price they will usually give up after two minutes and you will get what you want. Sadly some goods have fixed prices (at least for tourists). If that is the case you don´t have a chance of getting it cheaper and accept it.

We made two rankings one for the worst deals and one for the best ones:

The “worst deals” ranking:

1. Red watch: For the challenge one group should buy 20 lemons and they accidentally bought 20 kg of lemons.

2. Jacky and her group: for the challenge we should also buy a “special fruit”. The vendor sold them a fruit and said that it´s delicious so they bought 2kg. What they didn´t know was that it was Aferziz- a fruit that is used for foot massages and not for eating! When they tried it they realized that it tastes horrible. They went back to where they bought it and got the vendor to taste the fruit as well. After that they luckily got their money back.

3. Simon and Max –  they both bought a game of chess for 250 Dirham and when we went to another similar shop 2 minutes away. There we asked how much they sell the same chess for and they told us 200 Dirham as a “starting bid”.

4. Everyone who bought fake Louis Vitton

The “best deals” ranking (It´s not really a ranking, more a list):

Ella got rings for free: the vendor gave her the material for free and showed her how to make the rings out of it.

Someone got 3 rings for the price of one.

A group ordered three peppermint teas and got a fourth one for free.

Some could just haggle really good. For example Jonas got a belt for 50 instead of 120 dirham, Jonas and I got two pictures for 20 instead of 100 dirham,…

At the end of our trip we all went to the beach and played soccer together. So all in all, we had a really exciting day in Morocco. Unfortunately we will leave tomorrow.

PS: Nochmal alles, alles gute zum Geburtstag Papi! Ich hoffe, dass du einen schönen Tag hattest! Ich habe dich lieb deine Frida.

PPS: Im Übrigen sind wir der Meinung, dass wir in der Mitte des Atlantiks baden gehen sollten (Anmerkung der Allgemeinheit)