Ocean College

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Bay of Biscuits greets us home

Date: 29 March 2020
Author: Max
Geographical position: Bay of Biscay (Bay of Biscuits)
Position: 46°20.6´N / 11°21.9´W
Etmal: 70nm

The Bay of Biscay shows herself from her best side…again.

When I went to bed yesterday, everything was okay and heeling and the ship’s movement weren’t too bad. When I got woken up ten minutes (!!!) before my watch today. I almost fell out of bed.

30 degrees of heeling, 40 knots of wind and a swell greater than 4 meters: The bay of Biscay greeted us home. Even though I wore five layers of clothing and tried to stay out of the wind, I almost instantly froze.

Captain Chris allowed us on our break on watch to go to the mess and drink tea, that’s the only thing that kept us alive. 

To prevent accidents like a ripped Foregaff or Inner Jib, some precautions were taken: Most of the sails we still have left were taken down and only the Staysail and the Spanker are currently bringing us towards Europe, supported by our “Iron Topsail” (the engines).

But you have to be careful when saying that we’re making good way, because we’re steering Northeast, but due to the swell and the wind from the wrong direction we are going more Northwest than -east and all of that with 0.9 knots of speed.

Those numbers are getting even more depressing when you can see a ship on the radar, which will reach our destination in about one or two days and we on the other hand we will most likely need two more weeks.

The galley has declared itself a “dangerous area” where you should keep out of and the people working in it, I’m talking especially about Mara, have taken special precautions: They wear their safety harnesses and clip it on. The well deck is off limits, it’s only accessible for sail handling and other important work on deck.

Some of our garbage flew overboard, so the bosun’s department had to rejust the lashings that keep it in place. Luckily for them, at the moment the garbage corner is one of the areas on board, where you are the most likely to get a free salt water shower.

Yay! Basically, that’s our situation onboard and with 8 hours of watchkeeping you are not doing anything except sleeping, eating and freezing to death on watch. We’re back in the Biscay and that’s what she’s showing us.

Overall, it is not that horrible as it may sound like, but it is indeed a bit exhausting.

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