Ocean College

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Ranger Boot durchs Bullauge

To the best brothers in the world

Date: 27.02.2019
Position: On the way Key West, USA
Nautical position: 23 35.5 N;  088 31.3 W
Author: Elisa
Etmal: (total) 8289

Dear Salomon, Ruben and Julian,

How are you? We haven’t been in contact for ages. The last time we talked on the phone was back in Costa Rica. In the meantime so many things have happened. I will never be able to tell you everything on the next phone call. Even the events of today fill this whole letter. But first I have a riddle for you:

At the moment we are doing 5kn of speed. We don’t have any wind and no sail is up. Our engine is broken and doesn’t work any more. So how do you think, why are we moving so fast?

My summary of today will give you the answer:

While having breakfast I watched another wonderful red sunrise. It was similar to the one we saw on the Bunderspitz last summer, except that there were no mountains, only a flat ocean. Today when I was looking around there wasn’t only water, there was the U.S Cost Guard Ship only a few miles away. They met up with us around midnight last night and were now waiting for the daylight to send their Dinghi over, which has more PS than our lovely Pelican.

During biology class three young U.S. navy engineers disturbed our conversation about evolution by walking past and heading for the engine room to try and fix the engine. Everyone, including our teacher Miriam, were very distracted and impressed by the upper arms of the tallest guy. You need to imagine that they had the size of basketballs, as Niklas has nicely summarised for those who have been sleeping while these three were on board.

Their boat, Charles David JR, has more than 3000 PS and a big canon in the front. Their canon balls (and I am talking about real canon balls and not the jump into the water;) ) have a diameter of 38mm. You can maybe look it up on wikipedia. It looks quite impressive and the white of its bow reflects the sunlight, because it is very clean.

Also the geography class was disturbed. We were just writing essays about tourism in Cuba or the formation of the valley of Viñales when everyone ran outside to see how they were going to throw the tow line over. There was even the rumor, that they were going to shoot over us such that the line would fly over us and we could take it to attach it.

But of course they didn’t shoot and instead threw it by hand. They came really, really close. Only about 10 m of ocean separated us. All of their crew wore lifejackets and yellow helmets in which they looked kind of similar to a bunch of Minions. 

After lunch I went on watch. There was a lot of climbing to do. You would love it to climb the mast, I am sure. All the sails had to be harbour stored , which means that ropes, called gaskets, had to be put around the sail, which had to be pulled onto the yard where it has to be  tightened.

Our pelican was flying over the sea again, now with a solid 5.5 kn instead of the 0.2kn from yesterday. On the helm concentration was needed. We had to stay straight behind the U.S Coast Guard boat or the tow line could have snapped which would have been very dangerous.

The tow line, with which they pulled us was so heavy that it was sagging and even touching the water. It seemed like there was no tension on it. On lookout we had to keep an eye on it instead of looking for other boats, the navy people in front of us were already looking out for them.

Before dessert Ronja calculated that we are now on the change of the change of the change of the change of the plan.
Original plan: Heading straight to Bermuda
Change of plan 1: Because the engine broke down we were going to tack our way to Havanna
Change of plan 2: No wind, so we will get picked up by the U.S Coast Guard and they tow us to Miami
Change of plan 3: The engineers on board the U.S Coast Guard ship should fix our engine
Change of plan 4: The U.S Cost Guard ship is towing us to Key West.
Let’s see how many change of plans we will still have until we reach Bermuda. What is your guess?

Before going to bed I joined, and surprisingly even won, an intense UNO game. It was really fun and we played with some new rules, which I am looking forward to teach you when I am back.

I love and really miss you <3 
I hope to hear back from you soon and say hello to Mum, Dad, the Dombis, the Kappelers and everyone who is reading this daily report.

Love, Elisa

P.S. Liebe Familie, Ich habe derzeit eine extrem schöne Zeit, mit vielen erfrischenden Ereignissen, von denen ihr erfahrt wenn wir uns wieder sehen. Es geht mir besser und ich tanke ne Menge Energie, die ich jedoch direkt wieder verbrenne bei meiner Nachtwache. Ich vermisse euch, besonders meine lieben Geschwister, Anna, Anton und Kilian. Ich hoffe du hast eine schöne Zeit auch ohne mich, ich vermisse dich sehr liebe Oda.
Liebe Grüße Tati

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