Ocean College

From the Blog

“… and they said the Bay of Biscay was rough”

Date: 27.10.2018

Author: Lauryn

Position: Coast of Portugal

Geographical Position: 38°33.200N 10°06.444W

Etmal: 282,8 NM (total 1088 NM)

At 03:00 am, my roommates and I woke up, because the drawers in our rooms fell out due to the heavy waves. It was like a bang and the whole floor was covered in stuff.

From this moment on, I couldn’t fall asleep anymore and felt very tired for breakfast at 07:00 am. 
When I went to the Mess, there were already three people seasick. After eating my two Nutella toasts, I felt a little sea sick as well and Sophie was so kind to get me a sea sickness tablet.

When I felt better, I put on my warm clothes and went outside for my four hour watch. 

As I came outside, I was astonished of the huge waves, which I have never seen before. My first job was to tighten the ropes of the course sail with the others.

We went to the well deck, which is in the middle of the ship and got struck by a huge wave, which made me slide a little to the side. The water went as high as my hips. Luckily, I had my oil skin on and the water just dripped off and I stayed warm and dry.

The hardest part for once was not the lookout I did for an hour, but being on the helm afterwards. Being on the helm was so hard due to the huge waves and strong wind. The waves were 7 metres high and we had 35 knots wind from behind.

This was positive on the one hand side, due to the high speeds of nearly 12 knots, but on the other side, it was very important to keep the ship straight, so the wind wouldn’t drag us away. 

This meant I had to continually steer port and starboard side which made my arms feel very tired and burning from all the work. From all this, I became very hungry and was looking forward to lunch.

After lunch is normally happy hour (cleaning time), but today it didn’t make any sense, because the rough weather threw everything around. The garbage bins tipped over, cutlery flew all over the Mess, cups broke and nobody could stand without falling over.

Being so tired from waking up early and the hard work on the helm I decided to take a nap, which lasted from 01:00 pm to 04:00 pm. As I was done with my nap, I went upstairs and everything was still lying on the floor and the others tried to play games which was very hard and a few were just trying to withstand the sea sickness. 

For the rest of the time until dinner, everyone just sat there concentrating on not falling over or being very tired but not having the courage to go downstairs, where the chaos was even bigger. Eating dinner was very hard and half the food fell of the plate. Just as we finished dinner, we got called for a ‚all hands‘ on deck. 

Due to the heavy storm, the captain decided to sail towards shore, so we can anchor during the night and make everything sea tight so nobody would get hurt. He mentioned again the ship was doing really fine and we could keep on going, but we had the chance to take a break in a quiet harbour.

This meant we had to brace the sail, so we could change the course towards the coast. But during this, the wind got too strong and it was decided to take the sail in, leaving only the topsail. 

On the deck, everyone had to attach themselves to a safety line, as the ship was constantly going from one side to the other and we had to hold ourselves, so we wouldn’t slide away. On the well deck, the waves kept pushing over the side so only the ones with their oil skins stayed dry. There was constant screaming from every side either from joy, fear or commands from the officers.

It was an exciting day with lots of happenings.


Ps: Greetings to my family and Jonas.

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