Ocean College

TS Pelican of London training record book

Author: Hannah
Date: 28 February 2020
Geographical position: 31°26.7N / 067°59.3W
Position: kurz vor Bermuda
Etmal: 113nm

The training record books

We have about six weeks left, six weeks to improve our knowledge of sailing.

During the first Atlantic Crossing the captain handed out the TS Pelican of London training record book. The books are designed to add value and enjoyment to our sailing experience. By offering us opportunities to develop our skills and confidence levels whilst on board the ship.

It gives us the opportunity to achieve the RYA watch leader certificate.

This training record book is divided into 3 levels:

  • Level One: Pelican Crew Award
  • Level Two: Pelican Leading Hand
  • Level Three: Pelican Watchleader

In each level you will be asked about different aspects of the topics safety, seamanship, navigation & bridge work, sail handling & theory, engineering and domestics. Once you feel you completed a task, you will be tested by an officer who will then sign it.

If you are not able to answer the questions properly, you get a little lesson about it. So you can try it again another day.

But what are we learning exactly?

Hannah im Segel


One of the most important things at sea is safety, because there is not always a quick way to get medical assistance. Or, in case of a fire, there is just the ship and the ocean to escape.

So we are learning every single step of different procedures. In different emergencies as well as where all our equipment is and how to use it.

We are for example going through MOB (man over board) situations, fire drills or helicopter rescue.

“Knowledge of all LSA (life saving appliances) and FFA (fire fighting appliances) carried on board.” In general LSA means our life rings and life rafts, life jackets, emergency suits, flares, but also our medical locker or a special breathing mask in our engine room. These are just some examples of a huge topic.

Hanna bei der safety Einweisung

Seamanship and Sail Handling

How do you set the spanker? That is one of the questions of our Lost Property Quiz. But this only describes one aspect.

We need to know what all the sails and also all parts of the sails are called. Also how we set and handle them and what their effect on the ship is. Another aspect of these two topics is the general understanding of orders given during deck evolutions, for example assistance when anchoring.

Furthermore, in seamanship, you learn how to tie different knots, how to stich sails and other techniques to maintain the the ship.

Navigation & Bridge work

Passage planning.

You can’t just sail away without having a plan of where to go and how to get there. Because you have to keep many things in mind that can influence your possibilities.

Also, at sea, you are constantly doing navigation and bridge work. The weather forecast, ocean currents and wind, other vessels around, rules of the road, look outs, lights and shapes of other vessels, the IALA buoyage system…

Thats a huge topic and requires a lot of studying, because there are a lot of official rules that apply to every vessel at sea, and you will have to know all of them to get the signature.

So the situation on board: 32 students trying to fill the gaps, annoying the officers with a lot of questions… Our engineer has about three people waiting at his cabin door at all times, during the watches people are waiting in line to get quizzed and the bosun department is doing extra lessons.

Honestly, it is quite cool, because we are learning a lot of new things and the watches are passing by a lot faster than before.

Hannah bei der Arbeit

Special Sunday

Date: 27 October 2019
Author: Hannah
Position: in front of Morocco
Geographical position: 34°22’7” N / 10°17’5” W
Etmal: 134

As there are no lessons on Sundays, we finally get the chance to sleep until 10 am. However, there will happen some special events during the day:

1. Cooked breakfast

During the week you usually get some toast with butter, Nutella, jam or cereals for breakfast. But on Sunday, everybody can have a proper English breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and hash browns. Even though you have to get up at 6:45am, this breakfast is definetly worth it and you can still get some more sleep until 10am, when lovely music and happy announcements by the crew will wake you up.

Joana macht Eier

2. Happy Hour

Every day one watch has to clean up different places – this is called Happy Hour because the crew will be happy once the ship is clean.  And again Sundays are special. Instead of the daily clean up the whole ship, including the deck and the wheelhouse, gets a deep-deep clean. That includes for example: mop the messroom, polish the magnetic compass, scrubbing the deck with a soap and whipe out the cupboards. To complete our cabins have to be tidy and if we don’t make our beds, we fall through the inspection of the second officer.

It takes about an hour to do everything…

3. How to get lost properties back?

The life on a ship with about 40 people would be a mess if everybody puts his things wherever he wants. So there is one rule: If the things are not in your cabin at 8 pm Tamsin, our second officer, collects them and Sunday is the only chance to get them back. Of course you won’t get them back without any penalty. This time you need to answer some questions about things we’ve learned the days before: If the answer was right, you get your things back immediately, if it is wrong, you have the chance to find the answer until the end of the day. Some people had a lot to do to get their belongings back.

4. Sunday is Funday

To make life more exciting everybody played a game together: The crew made up a competition between Red-, Blue- and White watch. The aim of the game was to get a bucket with as much water as possible from the Well Deck to the Poop Deck. Sounds quiet easy, but the crux was that we weren’t allowed to touch the bucket with any part of the human body. As this task was impossible, we had to buy materials for transportation.

They were two shops we could buy all sort of things from and to practice how to haggle we had only 20 coins available. All three teams made it and brought the bucket full of water to the Poop Deck. We don’t know who the winner is because the challenge will continue over the next weeks. But we all feel like winners today- you want to know why? Because SUNDAY IS FUNDAY! 😉

Gruppe auf dem Schiff beim Filmabend


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