Ocean College

From the Blog

Learning Fast!

29th October 2022
Authors: Anna, Hanna
Nautical Position: 48° 32.2’ N 007° 16.5’ W
Etmal: 614.1 NM

Marine Life Spottings

We are only three weeks into our journey and we have already seen some amazing Atlantic wildlife. Today, mizzen watch witnessed some beautiful dolphins. Using the marine wildlife identification guide in the wheelhouse, we have discovered that they are common dolphins.

These incredible creatures followed us for almost two hours. It was an unbelievable experience to see them swimming down and then playfully leaping out of the water. And it was definitely a welcome distraction from the cold weather.

According to our wildlife guide, these dolphins have been recorded to dive as deep as 280 meters and they are famed for accompanying vessels for sometimes hours at a time.

But you don’t even need to know any scientific facts to appreciate the wonder of these animals.

We have also repeatedly seen a gannet or two diving for fish and today we nicknamed one of them Herbert. These are huge birds, that dive far underwater to hunt for food, usually mackerel. Our Wildlife book states that they are “the largest and most spectacular of the North Atlantic seabirds”. We truly feel so blessed and special that we get the opportunity to appreciate all of these animals in their natural habitat.

Gennet (dt.: Morus oder Tölpel), Bild: lizenzfrei, Bempton, England, United Kingdom

Defeating Seasickness

We have spent the last few days since Dartmouth trying to tackle the waves and overcome our seasickness. And finally we are starting to see some results.

Despite at one point having multiple named buckets accompanying various people, our sealegs are certainly improving. Almost all of us have overcome the worst of it, and we are now able to fully enjoy and appreciate every minute of our voyage.

Unfortunately, a handful of people are still struggling, but we are sure that very soon they will beat the seasickness. We know that they are definitely strong enough, too. And in the meantime they have a great support system in place, and we are all learning to rely on each other for help.

Tacking the Sails

Currently, we have three sails set, the staysail, the gaff, and a smaller version of the spanker. This evening we changed our course to a more southern direction and tacked the sails for the first time.

All hands had to be on deck and this job required a lot of teamwork and good communication. Tacking involves changing our course, turning the front of the ship through the wind. Because of this, we must tack the sails to the other side and brace the yards.

It was a new experience for all of us, but it is something we will be doing countless amounts of times on our journey. So it’s great that it was successful and hopefully today marks the beginning of a long list of fast and successful tacks in the future.

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