Ocean College

From the Blog

Struggling with the swell

Date: 26.11.2020
Author: Marta M.
Position: Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean
Geographical Position: 20° 01,0 N 30° 30,0W
Etmal: 154 NM (total distance: 4090 NM)

What is a swell?

A swell is a wave system generated at a distance by oceanic weather systems.
Swell waves are waves which have travelled into the area of observation after having been generated by previous winds in other areas.

Some days the swell out at sea is worse than on others. On these particular days, when the waves are three to four meters or more high, the Pelican Crew does struggle in some ways. Here are four examples of how and where one may struggle throughout the day:

How it is in the Galley, when there is a big swell

  • the Galley Team stumbling around while trying to prepare our meals
  • the equipment, plates and cutlery flying all over the place if not properly secured
  • washing up, drying off, tidying up all the pots, trays, plates, cups,… is a quite annoying job with so much movement
  • open portholes are a risk what concerns the food turning out slightly saltier than usual
  • keeping the food on the plates while serving and even when sitting at a table eating is a challenge
Pelican ov London with a swell

School with big swell

  • sliding along the seats in the Messroom
  • sometimes our teachers go stumbling across the room while trying to explain
  • you always need to hold on to your stuff or your pens, bottle or even laptops could slip of the table
  • it is difficult to concentrate on a subject with so much movement going on
Kleines Interview zum Unterricht von der Reise 18/19

When we have a big swell at Watch

  • tripping or struggling to keep your balance while helming or doing the lookout
  • crossing decks in zig-zags rather than a straight line (looks drunk)
  • sail handling is difficult when also trying to keep your balance
  • steering a straight course is impossible
  • down on the Welldeck or sometimes even on the Poopdeck you may get soaked by a wave
  • occasionally some lucky fish get a snack or even a whole meal

Sleep with a swell

  • you will be sliding and rolling around in your bunk
  • barely able to sleep, or you just keep waking up during the night
  • somehow you have to try sleep and stay in your bed
  • and again you will find buckets waiting for use in almost every cabin.

These are some of the struggles swell can bring, alongside with slamming doors and some very untidy cabins, thanks to the amount of movement. But still there is no way of that ruining our fun, since quite often it can be pretty amusing watching others or even yourself struggle with the swell.

P.S. Liebe Mami, Ami, Clara, Paddy und alle anderen, ich habe euch alle total lieb und wünsche euch vom Atlantik aus alles Liebe! (Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Clara!!!)

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