Tasks of a Purser

Date: 28.11.2023
Author: Kris
Position: Tenerife
Etmal: 0
Total: 1831
Ship: Regina Maris

Food Organization on board

As you all know by now, we consume a significant amount of food, making eating a crucial part of our onboard life. With the daily quantity of food, effective storage becomes essential, requiring creativity in organization. To manage and maintain an overview of our onboard supplies, two students serve as our pursers. Currently, Elizabeth and I (Kris) undertake this responsibility. Our tasks include updating inventory lists and coordinating nearly weekly food orders.

Food Order Arrival

Yesterday, we received a food order, and here’s how it unfolded. In the morning, we removed all old food from storage spaces, not just in the galley, but also under benches in the messroom, on dry storage shelves next to the teachers‘ cabin, and in a small room under the wheelhouse, known as the bunker. After sorting and cleaning these compartments, we awaited the arrival of the new food. Once it arrived, we quickly unloaded the truck, counting each item to ensure nothing was missing. The challenge was that certain items needed refrigeration and couldn’t be exposed to the sun for too long, requiring a swift process.

Organizing Everything

For the sorting process, we had helpers everywhere, with everyone pitching in. Some focused on sorting and counting meat for quick storage, while others handled the counting, cleaning, and organization of vegetables and other items. Due to restrictions on bringing cardboard onboard, we had to remove all packaging, adding complexity to our tasks. My role as a purser involved recording the quantity of food, essentially moving around with a clipboard and list, documenting what and how much we had ordered. Given the large quantity, maintaining an overview was challenging, especially with multiple people shouting my name at times.

The Sorting Begins

Subsequently, the extensive task of organizing and sorting commenced. We divided into three groups: one for dry storage, handling cans and cleaning supplies; one for the bunker, storing fresh food like vegetables and 300 liters of milk; and one for the messroom. While I was still onshore counting items like pasta, the dry storage and bunker groups had already started organizing the new food.

Organizing Food in the Messroom

Upon completing my onshore duties, I joined Anna and Lasse to organize the pasta. We ordered a substantial amount, recognizing our collective craving, especially after bouts of seasickness. We proceeded to organize other items on the benches. However, dealing with leftovers posed a challenge, necessitating sorting and categorization, such as grouping all baking supplies together. The process involved storing new food and bringing down old food from the poop deck, facilitated by passing items through windows. Although this sped up the process, some mishaps occurred, resulting in a mess. Despite efforts to maintain an overview, the rapid pace and individual tasks made it impossible, leaving detailed organization for the next inventory.

Talking About Inventory

Inventory is a crucial task for a purser. We must always know our food stock to prevent shortages, requiring regular checks. Currently, we conduct an inventory every week, involving removing items, counting, cleaning storage, and restocking. While theoretically, we have a system for recording when items are taken, its effectiveness is limited, necessitating weekly inventories.

For our efforts, you might wonder about our compensation. The answer is simple: exemption from galley duty. Although a significant privilege, we both choose to participate in galley duty because we enjoy it, and it’s only fair.

Today (28.11.23)

Today was a relatively normal day in the harbor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Initially expecting to leave, we gradually realized that we would stay another night due to the delayed arrival of ordered diesel. With not much planned for the day, we were granted free shore leave in the morning. My group explored the city, bought chocolate, and enjoyed ice cream. After lunch, we gathered in our interest groups, including those focused on school, sports, and dancing. Instructed by Luisa and Franka, we learned Disco Fox, Chachacha, and Walzer, finding it enjoyable, with some showing surprising talent. Later, interests evolved into activities like listening to music, sitting around, and even cutting hair. After the boys cut their hair four weeks ago, it was the girls‘ turn, with some opting for more radical cuts.


Andrea: „The letters are still not here, are they?“

The Walking Dead – Seasickness

Date: October 30th 2023
Authors: Kris, Justus
Location: English Channel
Etmal: 184 nm

Today, nearly everyone experienced seasickness, even though we only had tiny waves of 1 – 1.5 meters (the crew had a great time laughing at us). Most people were spread out over the deck, lying down and getting sick, and those who were feeling alright had to run around taking care of everyone by bringing them water and bread as well as sailing the ship. This led to some people doing watch for 10 hours while others slept.

Perspective of a non-sick person (Justus):

Once we left Scheveningen harbor early this morning, the waves hit us quickly and some people started to feel dizzy. Myself and some others of the Charlie watch decided to hit the bunks before the waves hit us. Once we woke up for lunch and went up to check on the situation, we saw that there were already a lot of people getting sick and decided to lend a hand to the Bravo watch, who had most of their students knocked down with seasickness. We were given duties like setting the schooner, keeping a lookout, steering the ship, and when we had a free hand, looking after everyone who needed something. After carrying on throughout the day without a proper break, we started to bring people down to the Messroom or their cabins to enable them to get some sleep. The wind and waves calmed down overnight, which enabled all of us to get some sleep, and only a few had rare throw-ups.

Perspective of a seasick person (Kris):

I was one of the majority of people who got seasick. Some got hit by seasickness really hard, and others were luckier and felt okay or didn’t get seasick at all. Unfortunately, I was one of the people who got quite strongly seasick. There were people who were even more seasick, but I can only write about my own experience.

In the morning, everything looked fine…

In the morning, I was really excited but had respect for the waves and wind. The first half-hour was surprisingly fun for me. I stood on the foredeck with Luisa and Aurelius and watched the waves and had fun with the rolling of the ship.

…but then the seasickness hit

But then slowly, the seasickness hit me. At first, it wasn’t that hard, and I just didn’t feel that well and was a bit dizzy, so I sat down and looked at the horizon. That is supposed to help, but for me, it didn’t. As time passed, I saw a few people getting up and hanging over the railing, and after about 15 minutes after the sickness began, it was my turn to throw up for the first time. It was really disgusting, but fortunately, Luisa and Johanna were helping the people experiencing seasickness. They gave me water and stood next to me for emotional support. When you are seasick and throw up, you have like 10 minutes afterward where you feel slightly better. I used this time to try and drink some water as well as eat something. It is really important to drink and eat enough so you have enough energy to keep going. Everybody who was seasick now has figured out a way to reduce the sickness or at least deal with it. For me, the best way to reduce and overcome seasickness is lying down and sleeping.

Watch when seasick

When I had a watch at 1 pm, I got on the poop deck and instantly lay down. There wasn’t enough space on the benches, so I just lay on the floor. I figured out that the best position to lie is close to the middle of the ship and also athwartships. When you thought that the day couldn’t get worse… it can. It was not only wavy, it was also freezing cold. The problem is that I couldn’t go inside and get something warmer because underdeck, seasickness feels even worse. So I just lay down on the freezing floor for 4 hours. You could always see people getting up to puke and others helping the sick ones. Fortunately for me, I only had to puke one more time on my watch and also had like 10 minutes where I was feeling quite good and could stand up. At this point, I really want to thank a few people who didn’t have a watch but took over our watch because almost everyone from my watch (Bravo Watch) was seasick and lying on the floor. So thank you, Adrian, Joshua, Jule, Justus, Onno, Mattis, Aurelia, Max, and Tobias for taking over our watch. I also want to thank everyone who helped the seasick people in general, like Franka, Luis, Luisa, Max, and Mats.

Sleeping with seasickness

I was really glad when my watch finally ended at 5 pm and went to bed. But as already mentioned, seasickness gets worse when you are underdeck. So Lenara and I decided to sleep in the Messroom, as well as a few other people. We got down and tried to get out of our jackets, trousers, and life vests as quickly as possible. As I was getting undressed, I felt the sickness getting worse and rushed to one of the benches, where I lay down. Lenara wasn’t that sick, so she grabbed a bucket (just in case) and a pillow. We lay down and tried to overcome the seasickness. After some time, Lizzy (Elisabeth) and Aurelia came to us with some Zwieback and some water. That really helped me a lot. After that, I just tried to eat some soup and get some sleep. The Messroom is not a quiet place to sleep because you always hear someone going around or puking into a bucket. Still, I managed to get a bit of sleep until my next watch. The next watch was technically on the next day, but for me, it still counts as the same day. The sleep really helped, so the night watch wasn’t that bad. Some still had to throw up, but the majority was feeling alright except for the freezing cold weather. Luckily, we saw a beautiful night sky which made us all very excited for the Atlantic crossing. In the morning, most of us were quite alright and not really seasick anymore. Just really, really tired.

Puke Count:

Onno 0
Max 0
Emma 1
Mascha 1
Greta 2
Jonna 2
Kris 2
Mattis 3
Lasse 3
Lenara 4
Samuel 6
Luis 7
Margaux 7
Anna 8
Isabel 9
Sanja 27
Darja 1
Ella 4
Jane 5
Leopold 0
Andrea 2
Jule 0
Joshua 0
Adrian 0
Lilia 8
Franka 0
Luisa 0
Wilma 3
Stella 3
Julius 2
Tobias 0


Lenara: Papa – You were right; I really didn’t know what seasickness is. Love

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