Freedom and Boundaries

Date: 18. November 2023
Geographical Position: 43°46.2’N 007°37.3’W
Nautical Position: North Spain
Etmal: 74 nm
Total: 802 nm
Ship: Regina Maris


Today, about a month ago, I was at home, probably packing, downloading music or preparing my pathway presentation. I had no idea where I would be by now. (At this point, I honestly have to admit that I thought we would be further already and not stuck in Europe anymore.) I had a bed that was not moving, a living room that was not overflowing with 36 people, a room that, when I closed the door, was quiet, a fridge I could go to anytime, a place where I could go in and out whenever I wanted and, not to forget, a shower I could use every day.

Right now, as I am writing, I am sitting on the poop deck on a cushion and I just saw the sun rise. It was very beautiful, as was the first actual sunset yesterday. Wherever I look, all I can see is water. At home, I would have called everything I had freedom since I did have a lot of it. But the freedom I experience here is on such a different level.

Every time I go out to my watch and I see the waves, the stars, the sunrise, or sunset, I can’t help but smile. Even in the middle of the night, when I am dead tired. It’s such a special feeling to see the horizon all around you as a clear line without a single ship except ours. It creates a feeling of endless freedom and possibility.

Schiff unter Fahrt

Sometimes when we are on watch, we look at the time and think about what we would be doing at home, or what our classmates are doing in this very moment and it often ends with us saying things like: „While they are doing math on page 12, we are watching dolphins swim with us on a sailing ship on the ocean.“ And how can you have more freedom than that?

Everything that I cannot do anymore, which I used to do at home every day, is weighed up by those moments that could not feel more surreal, that could not feel more free. Seeing dolphins for the first time, hanging in the net while at sea, 4 metre waves right in front of you (I have had enough rollercoasters for half a year), climbing up in the mast, just standing at the railing, deep talking on watch and so forth.

Sometimes it takes boundaries to see how free you actually are. On one side, I have never felt this free, on the other side, once I am home again, I know that I will be much more grateful for all the freedom I have.


There is not only freedom and moments that feel more than unreal; there is also the opposite when reality kicks in. For example, when you start feeling that you haven’t showered for six days. (Luckily yesterday finally we could shower again.) As mentioned, there are many things I cannot do here anymore, which were completely normal to me at home.

Showering every third day, which also depends on how full the water tanks are, laundry once a week, there is no contact with the outer world, silence does not exist, privacy barely exists and everywhere you go there are people. There are many boundaries I was not used to. A conversation that comes up increasingly often is random food we really would love to eat at the moment and which we can’t have. (Don’t worry; we love our amazing cook Jürgen and his food!)

There are also not just the boundaries set by rules or just set by the fact that we are on a ship in the middle of the ocean from which we obviously cannot go out and meet friends or go for a walk. Sometimes you feel that you have boundaries for yourself as well.

So many of us talk about how we are going to change so much and how we are going to come back as different people or at least somewhat different. And of course, I can’t know yet how I am going to come back and how much I will have changed. But I think this voyage brings us so far away in terms of nautical miles will also bring us much closer to ourselves.

Being together with other people 24-7 and going out of your comfort zone makes you learn so much about yourself and also about your own boundaries. Sometimes we all need time for ourselves, or whatever it may be that we need.

To boundaries and so forth, our 1st officer Martijn has a very simple solution: „If you don’t want anyone to hug you just inflate your life vest“ 🙂

Schüler*innen versammelt an Deck

Jump into Freedom

A beautiful moment today in the morning that literally was freedom: To get away from a wind force seven against us, we anchored in a very pretty bay in the north of Spain and we had our first swim. Almost all of us got our swimming suits on and we jumped from the bow sprit.

The water was really cold but it was so refreshing and such a cool feeling to jump from the front of the ship with a beautiful view. We are all very much looking forward to the Caribbean when we will be able to do this with sun and warm water. 😉

P.S: Von Emma: Liebe Grüße nach Hause – hab‘ euch ganz doll lieb, love youuu 🙂 <3 Sagt Anna viel Glück bei der EM von mir 😉

Von Anna: Vanessa und Jakob, alles Gute zum Geburtstag ihr beiden <3

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