Ocean College

From the Blog

We are getting there… but it’s hard

Date: 01.04.2023
Author: Kaya A.
Position: Somewhere in the Bay of Biscay
Nautic Position: 48°00’0N 006°17’8W
Etmal: 13497 NM
Ship: Pelican of London

Some say the sea is an emotion come to life. It loves and hates and cries. Although now it seems to have a sense for cruel humor and fun hitting us straight in the face. The five meter waves making you feel like you are in a roller-coaster and on the welldeck the water reaches up to your hips. But not only the Biscay is demanding everything from us.

The illness that goes around on board has a tight grip and therefore the watches are severely depleted. Helming is an absolute pleasure these days and the lookouts aren’t much better for we entered the Traffic Separation System “Ushant” and are now in the company of many cargo and fishing vessels.

But the biggest problem is probably the over heeling which makes even sleeping difficult. Everything flies around. The food, cannisters of oil, cups, clothes, us…

The Challenges on which we grow

This whole voyage has been an adventure that seeks its equal but there can be no adventure without a challenge. We went through situations that would have left others crying on the floor, begging for mercy. But not us.

In Dartmouth, all eager to go and see the world, we had our first delay. Others would have deemed the journey a failure but we made the best out of it and grew together as a team. We crossed the Bay of Biscay, all of us greensick and inexperienced – not in the slightest worthy of being called sailors.

We traversed the second biggest ocean in the world, following the trade winds on the old routes of the ancient explorers and succeeded approaching the Caribbean safely. There we faced the marks and scars colonialism and slavery have left, which were still noticeable in society and people’s behavior.

We saw great injustice and poverty and crazy richness. In Costa Rica we discovered an unfamiliar, unique culture which couldn’t be more different to ours in Europe. The rainforest soaked us to the bone but the only answer we gave was dancing.

In Cuba we were confronted with a political system completely different to what we are used to from home. We met people who are trapped in their own country and learned to appreciate our freedom once more.

We crossed the Atlantic Ocean a second time and stood strong against the heavy weather. We dealt with broken generators.

We buried dryers and washing machines, couldn’t shower for days and needed to walk to shore toilets in the middle of the night. In Bermuda we learned how history is shaped by the tounges of those who tell it.

And now we are here. Again, facing the Bay of Biscay and still not giving up. We set and handed the sails in 40kn of wind and although lines ripped and the boat was heeling over up to 40 degrees we climbed up the masts to stow the sails.

And now we are going back to Dartmouth where it all started.

And there we are – still standing

What keeps us standing is each other. It’s the little funny fact that you are told when you are woken up. It’s the outstretched hand that helps you up during the watch. It’s the arm that catches you when the heeling is doing its worst. It’s the sunrise you watch snuggling together on the bridge that paints everything and everyone golden and the first sunray that touches your skin. It’s the hug somebody offers you out of nowhere. It’s waking up every day, knowing that there is somebody who cares for you, who relives you from the helm and borrows you their gloves.

It’s all of that which keeps us going. That helps us getting up at night and resist the most violent storms. All of that and so much more which makes us a team, a crew.

And now after our voyage is almost done, we can proudly call ourselves sailors… „cause we made it. Not anybody else. US.“

It was us from the beginning and it is us in the end. As friends, as adventurers, explorers and travelers we have achieved all these things people dream of their whole lives and yet never get to do them. We can and should be proud of ourselves for what we did (probably): The most challenging and at the same time most amazing voyage of our lives.


Kaya: Liebe Grüße an meine Familie! Ich freue mich schon so sehr, euch alle wiederzusehen. Ich habe euch ganz doll lieb. (Ich freue mich auf Ostermontag <3)

Sophie: Alles Gute zum Geburtstag Oma Doris! Ich hoffe, Du feierst schön, hab‘ dich lieb.

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