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

A diverse day

Date: 18.11.2023
Location: Lisbon
Geographical Position: 38°42.075’N 9°09.681’W
Etmal: 0
Total: 1141
Ship: Pelican of London

Gruppenbild in Lissabon

The Flea Market

In the morning, as promised by the teachers the day before, we headed directly to a flea market. We had one and a half hours to explore the market and purchase various items. The different stands offered a range of sometimes peculiar things, from water taps to deodorant and body lotion – almost anything you could imagine.

Some of us bought dresses, bracelets, or even a license plate. After a short walk to a viewpoint, where we could gaze over the entire city, we took some time for our weekly reflection. We enjoyed the breathtaking view over Lisbon before returning to the Pelican for lunch.

We were treated to a typical Spanish meal, „Tortilla de Española,“ prepared by Margo. For the planned training, we were divided into two groups – one group went climbing in the rig, while the other received a lesson from our engineer, Connor, on how our ship motor works and the safety rules of the engine room.

We also discussed procedures in case the motor gets stuck or breaks. Our afternoon was filled with these training activities. After dinner, Nele gave a fascinating presentation about Tenerife’s economy. The day concluded with a beautiful sunset.

Marmalade Moments

Marmalade moments are special moments when the atmosphere or the shared feeling is perfect and memorable. These moments are preserved in a marmalade glass, which you can open when you need a pick-me-up. Some of us would like to share moments from the past weeks.

Lenka and our teacher Tobi (also known as Big T), were enchanted by the dolphins swimming at the bowsprit and the sea of stars witnessed during the night watches on our way to Tenerife (and now Lisbon).

Anna-L.’s moment was our arrival in Lisbon a few days ago. The sun was shining on the river, and multiple photos were taken of the iconic bridge and city. Everyone was happy to arrive in a warm and yet unknown country, a place not originally on our itinerary.

Others, like Fabia, one of our teachers, loved the sunset as we walked back from the old town of Lisbon yesterday. It was unquestionably a memorable moment where everyone was captivated by the view of the River Tejo, where our current dock is.

P.S.: Happy birthday to my Omi Siggi! I hope you had a wonderful party! Sending love to all of you!! – Emma

P.P.S.: Many greetings to my family! – Karoline

Theorie für die Praxis

Datum: 30.10.2023
Position: Sharpness Dry Docks
Nautische Position: 51°71.671 N, 002°47.314 W
Etmal: 0 zurückgelegte Seemeilen
Schiff: Pelican of London

Praxis mit Connor

Da wir gestern mit der Einführung in Seile und Kartenkunde nicht ganz fertig geworden sind, haben wir heute damit fortgefahren. Die beiden Wachmannschaften, Topsail und Course, haben gemeinsam mit Gonzo (2nd Mate) Kartenkunde behandelt, während die andere Hälfte, bestehend aus Royale und T‘Gallant, praktische Seilkunde bei Connor geübt hat. Unter anderem haben wir gelernt, wie man Seile richtig an einem Pin befestigt und sichert (siehe Bild).

Foto von Seilen auf der Pelican of London

Außerdem haben wir das Tauziehprinzip angewendet, um eines der Segel zu bewegen, auf Spannung zu bringen und zu befestigen. Dabei musste besonders laut „2-6 hiev!!“ gerufen werden. Man sagt, je lauter man ruft, desto stärker zieht man.

Was haltet ihr von der Lautstärke? War es laut genug?

Wie ihr aus den Notizen ersehen könnt, gibt es eine Vielzahl von Befehlen und Informationen, wenn man im Team segelt und miteinander interagiert.

Theorie mit Gonzo

Gonzo hat sich ausführlich mit Kartenkunde beschäftigt. Wenn man den elektronischen Radar des Schiffes nicht verwenden kann oder möchte, kann man mithilfe eines „compas“ (Zirkels) seine Position in Küstennähe bestimmen. Wenn die Küste nicht in Sicht ist, kann man mithilfe von Sonne, Sternen und einem Sextanten seine Position bestimmen, wie wir in den kommenden Tagen und während des Segelns genauer lernen werden. Gonzo hat uns auch verschiedene Arten von Landkarten und deren Interpretation beigebracht, sowie die genaue Bestimmung einer nautischen Position erklärt.

Da wir nur auf Englisch mit der internationalen Crew kommunizieren, erfolgt der Unterricht ebenfalls auf Englisch.

Verarbeitung mit Routine

Insgesamt kann jeder von uns behaupten, klüger geworden zu sein. Die Menge an Informationen in so kurzer Zeit, auch an den vorherigen Tagen, war für die meisten von uns sehr viel. Mehrmals wurde uns versichert, dass man mit Zeit, Übung und Routine, die an Bord ein sehr wichtiger Bestandteil sind, alles verstehen wird. Das hat die meisten von uns erleichtert und den Stress verringert.

Entspannter Nachmittag

Nach dem Mittagessen und der Fülle an Informationen haben die Watch Leader drei Spiele für uns organisiert. Dafür sind wir auf eine nahegelegene Wiese gegangen. Zuerst haben wir Evolution (Amöbe, für diejenigen, die es kennen) gespielt, dann Kettenfangen und ein Kartenrennen veranstaltet.

Der Nachmittag klang entspannt aus, mit einer weiteren Gelegenheit für ein Kickbox-Workout mit Tobi. Nach dem Abendessen haben wir den Film „Tenet“ geschaut.

PS: Der schottische Connor kann „schmackofatz Kecks“ sagen – kleiner Insider.

Sleeping, Cleaning, Killing

Date: 26th of October 2023
Position: Scheveningen, Port
Etmal: 27nm
Ship: Regina Maris

Attention: Killers running around

At 10 o’clock sharp, the big game started. At every corner, we now fear a killer waiting for us. Yesterday, each of us picked a name of the person we have to kill, an object we have to hand that person in order to kill him/her and a place where we have to hand the object over. An example from the last year: Someone had to hand a hairdryer to the cook, who obviously does not climb on the mast. (Don’t worry, we are not going to give any accurate examples 😉

We don’t know who is dead yet, but we are eagerly awaiting the winner 🙂

Just another deep clean…

Before the game started, though, we learned the difference between cleaning and deep cleaning. We had to get the sand away, which, as you can imagine, hides in every corner of the ship. Additionally, we had to tidy up and clean our cabins to get a free shore leave. Luckily, we all managed.

Our favorite: Free shore leave 🙂

From 3-7 pm, we had free shore leave and we split up into different groups. One group decided to visit the famous Christmas shopping place we discovered two days ago. They also made a short visit to the beach and ate some fries due to “starving.” (That’s what they told us at least)

Another group went running 6 km. I think the opinions on that run are very different according to who we ask, but generally, it was really refreshing to do sports again and to be able to move more than just 48m up and down the ship. We also discovered an enormous guitar store; it was great!

The most important thing on board: SLEEP

In the afternoon, we interviewed a few people about how they feel about the current sleeping situation and as you can imagine, it is kind of hard to get sleep when we have night watches. Here are the results:

Stella: She gets enough sleep when she is not on duty and the worst watch according to her is 4-6 am. But she is still emotionally less tired than at home.

Julius: He likes the 0-2 am watch the best and he thinks watch is really fun, also because there is always something happening in the harbor. According to him, the 2-4 am watch is the worst because of the short sleeping periods.

Kris: In the morning, she is really tired, but it gets better during the day. The best watch is 6-8 am because you get to wake people up (haha) and you get to sleep through the night.

Jane (Watchleader): She is not tired at all and has the perfect amount of energy for the whole day. (No wonder until now she was lucky not to be scheduled for harbor watch) 😉

We asked Mathieu (our 1st mate) about his experience with night watches and he gave us some tips and insights: He really likes night watches because they are cozy and the captain is not awake;) The 1-5 am watch is really lucky because they get to have picnics and hot chocolate. And there may be a sneaky night party as well 🙂 Generally, if you want to have a good night’s sleep, even if you have a watch, you should go to bed early, get at least eight hours of sleep and do a lot of napping. (By the way, he randomly started singing the tips when we asked for advice).

From us (Franka and Emma): Well, we now know to use every single minute to sleep! The funny thing is that through the interviews we found out that people may be physically very tired but emotionally less so than at home. Since we didn’t really start to sail yet, the sleeping situation is not too bad, but we’re sure that there is going to be an update very soon… 🙂

Students sleeping in the messroom.

Party time!!!

You must be wondering how we got this motivated to actually clean everything. Well, the secret is a little reward we are very much looking forward to 🙂 In the Messroom, we have tons of Sodas, chips, and sweets for the party tonight just waiting to be eaten by us 🙂

Greetings home:

Von Emma: Liebe Grüße nach Hause, hab‘ euch alle dolle lieb 🙂 <3

Von Franka: Liebe Grüße an meine liebe Familie und die liebe Elisa, ich hab‘ euch alle lieb 🙂

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