Ocean College

The Watch System

Author: Klara
Date: 17.11.2022
Position: Atlantic Ocean, on our way to Tenerife
Nautical Position: 36°078`N; 010°30.2’W
Etmal: 1809 NM

One of the hardest things to do on the „Pelican of London“ are the watches, which everybody has to do, without any excuses. The one but not only question now is: What exactly are those watches and what are we doing during them? Feel welcome to this daily report and enjoy it.

First of all, there are three watches: Fore-, Main- and Mizzen- Watch.
These three watches are separated in A‘s and B‘s. The reason for that is our school system. Four hours per day we have school and on top of these four hours we are on watch. So, all around the clock the ship has people, who are steering, do a lookout and make sure the ship is safe at all times. In that case, five to six people always have to stay on the bridge. One person has to steer at the helm (steering wheel) and one person has to stay on each lookout (port -> left; starboard -> right). Two random chosen people are “allowed” to clean a section on the ship.


So, what to do on the helm? After you asked for the permission to take over the helm at the course … you take place behind the wheel. While you’re steering, you’re responsible for everyone and the ship. The steering influences the seasickness and how long it takes us to reach our next stop. So, the mood on the ship depends on the quality of steering. But the main task is to stay on course which is more or less hard. It depends on the weather conditions and swells etc. – usually you’re getting relieved after 30 minutes. So that was the first of three jobs to do on watch. The two other jobs are basically the same just on two different sides one on port and one on starboard. It’s a really relaxing job to do, you are just looking at the horizon and if you have spotted a ship you have to tell the captain or whoever is in charge at the moment. The tricky part is how to tell because you have to describe where the ship is. With the help of the points-system it is easily done. All around the ship is divided into four quarters. Each quarter is divided into eight parts, we call these points. One point is approximately one fist’s width. The watch-leader is the person who is organising who is taking over, which position and who is cleaning.

While you are on watch fashion is important, obviously one style has carried through to look stunning on watch: It is important to wear a harness, which is a piece of critical safety equipment… sexy we know!

Time for Some Shanties!

To keep up the motivation and fun during the watch, singing shanties is an old tradition especially on a sailing ship. So, we are not allowed to sing every song because of the history or the function of the shanty. One example is “Leave her Johnny”. This shanty is sung when somebody is leaving the ship.
In my point of view, “Hanging Johnny” and “Whisky Johnny” are the most popular shanties but let us ask the others:
Paddy Lay Back 4
Spanish Ladies 3
Roll the Old Chariot Along 1
Whiskey Johnny 4
Rolling Down to Old Maui 4
The Last Shanty 1
Here’s a Health to the Company 2
Hanging Johnny 6
Franzi M. greets her Mum
Klara greets her Family of course, and Nina meine Chaya, Kondominik, Entschen Kanisterkopf Giambazamba, Lamschen und Lou Mimmi schöner Name süßer Name!!

A supposedly easy day….

Datum: 17.11.2022
Autorin: Lina
Co-Autorin: Lenya
Position: near the coast of Portugal
Nautische Position: N 41° 00.00 W 09° 09.674
Etmal: 1018,6 sm 

All hands on deck 

This morning most of us were very excited to depart towards warmer regions. We were all kind of annoyed of being in a very rainy Vigo…. I mean our laundry from Monday is still wet and unless you want a wet bed, window opening was impossible. Anyway at around 9 o’clock we started sailing out of the harbour. I actually steered the ship out and I think everyone who looked at me saw how scared I was to crush into something.

Luckily I managed to get us out safely. Everyone was on deck to set the sails while it was raining cats and dogs. Around 11 o’clock the sky cleared and most of us were happy. 

My best friend: The bucket 

I guess everyone of us has already found really good friends here. But the best one has always been the f**ing bucket. We take it everywhere we go and hug it a lot throughout the day. The place next to us is always reserved for the bucket and people are complaining if he’s missing. But sometimes we and the bucked also have disagreements. For example if he slides across the whole ship – away from me – without asking… That’s why you hear a lot “where is my bucket” around the ship…but anyway we love him very much and don’t want to miss out on a second with him!

Sleep sleep puke sleep – repeat 

On days like this everybody has the same daily pattern. Resting is a very important thing while living on a ship. We are always very happy when we’re sleeping and somebody walks and screams “ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!” In the next two minutes we have to manage to put on all our sailing gear and warm cloth before the person comes back and starts more screaming. 

Suddenly everything is silent 

Today we finally started to sail without the engine. We did it before but this time it was for more than fice minutes. It’s an amazing feeling, like floating through the water… no vibrating through the whole ship and no loud noise. Only the waves flushing against the walls. It’s very beautiful! Also today we finally reached our first 1000 sea miles! 

*Apropos flushing… flushing is a very rare thing on board. That’s because our toilets don’t like to do it. What they do like is black and stinky water. 

Happy happy birthday brother Jacob

Bruder Jacob aka Teacher

To celebrate the day of our next birthday kid, we gave the song brother Jacob new lyrics. 
I think he really liked it and his cake looked delicious too…. I think he could have imagined the day a little better with less seasickness and maybe his family. But now we’re his family and there is nothing better than to spend his birthday with us…. at least this is our opinion. 

At last we are all looking forward to start school tomorrow, I’m curious how many buckets will take part in our biology lesson…

Shoooooooting star!!!!

One last thing, right now we have had 30 minutes of our night watch and already seen more than five shooting stars. It’s beautiful how the sky looks without any lights who distract the light. It’s just dark, stars and apparently some shooting stars :))

P.S.: Ganz liebe Grüße nach Hause, an alle Freunde und auch nach Donaustauf. Mir geht’s gut und ich bin wirklich sehr happy hier zu sein :)) Noch musste mein Freund der Bucket mir noch nicht Gesellschaft leisten, aber das hat ja noch fünf Monate… (Lina)

Leo: Grüße an Omi und Opi. Hab euch ganz dolle lieb. 

Anna: Happy smacki birthday, Elsa!!!



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