Author name: Marlene Rottkamp

A day in the life of a messman at Sea

Date: 4th November 2023
Position: Bristol Channel, 31 nautical miles west of Hartland Point
Nautical Position: 51° 02.6’ N, 005° 20.3’ W
Etmal: 127.1 nautical miles
Ship: Pelican of London

Preparing Breakfast


At 06:40, all three of today’s messmen (Philipp, Karoline and I) were awakened by the duty watch. We had to report to the cook at 07:00 and first ate some toast ourselves. Then we started preparing breakfast for everyone else. You could choose between porridge or toasted bread that the new cook baked this morning (very delicious). Everyone told us what they wanted and we served it to them directly from the galley (kitchen) because the ship was moving too much to actually set the tables. Not everyone was able to eat something, though, because of seasickness, so it wasn’t that stressful for us. After everyone was done eating, we started washing up, which was a bit harder (one plate sadly didn’t survive). Now we can rest until it’s time for lunch.



Most of us are seasick at the moment. There is nearly nobody who hasn’t thrown up yet. The galley and the toilets are the worst places to stay while being seasick. Yesterday I felt very well, but after being in the galley today in the morning, I’m now also feeling bad. But a good thing is that messmen don’t have to be on watch, so we are lying around in the mess now with some other seasick people and the teachers who are also seasick.

Lunch and Dinner


At lunchtime, the cook told us messmen to get some sleep because we all weren’t feeling well. Most people didn’t eat lunch anyway, so we weren’t needed. In the afternoon, we started washing up and preparing for dinner. I grated some cheese and Karoline prepared the salad while Philipp was cleaning. At 18:00 dinner was served for everyone and we could eat too. Luckily, Connor (Engineer) and Jacob (Bosun’s Mate) are helping with washing up, so the galley will close soon and we’ll go to bed.

Highlight of the Day


The highlight of the day was definitely that we saw dolphins! They followed us for a very long time and everyone was happy to see them. It was a big group and there was also a mother with a baby dolphin. We all agree that dolphins are the best medicine for seasickness. Another highlight of today was that we finally set some sails, the Foregaff and the Trysail.

Liane: Ganz liebe Grüße an meine ganze Familie, Erik, ich vermisse dich voll, wehe du vermisst mich nicht. An alle anderen: Hab’ euch ganz doll lieb <3

Karoline: An meine Familie und an die Schüpbsen, ich hab’ euch alle ganz dolle lieb und vermisse euch!

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Tea Day

Date: 01.11.2023
Location: Calais, Harbor
Etmal: 184 nm
Ship: Regina Maris

The other day during a normal, quite average dinner, well, just as normal as any dinner on the Regina Maris can be, we stumbled upon the question of what time of day tea, kept in a thermos flask, has the best drinking temperature.

So now you might be a bit confused as to how we came upon that question, as it isn’t really something you discuss over a plate of couscous. Let us set the scene for you:

A normal dinner on the Regina Maris:

Luis pouring himself a cup of tea from a thermos flask that has been standing since lunch: “Mhhh, I think the tea is going to be way too hot to drink.” He continued to add a small splash of water to cool it down. “Oh sh*t, now it’s way too cold” (making a sad face).

Lilia, at the same time sitting next to Luis: “I think the tea is at a perfect drinking temperature right now.” Lilia continued to drink the tea without adding anything to cool it, and it turned out to be the perfect mix between hot and cold.

Luis turning his head to Lilia: “I really regret adding the water. I thought it would be perfect; now it’s just way too cold. It wasn’t even standing that long.” Luis continued to drink his cold tea.

And that, dear readers, is how we came to the burning question: At what time of day does tea have the best drinking temperature when kept in a thermos flask?

Our hypothesis is as follows:

We think that drinking the tea midday will be the best-tempered because it had enough time to cool.


We asked four different people, including teachers, fellow students, and crew members, about their opinion on the temperature and to rate it on a scale from one to ten. We both tried it alongside them and rated it as well.

TimeLila und LuisaFour random people
0800 am3/106,6/10
0100 pm4/10 7,5/10 
0700 pm9,5/107,2/10

Our own opinion:

We personally think that the tea had the best drinking temperature at around 07:00 pm. The tea wasn’t too hot nor too cold. It wasn’t a perfect ten because for it to have been perfect, it would have needed to be a little bit warmer. In conclusion, our hypothesis was proven false; we found the tea too hot at 01:00 pm because the thermos flask kept the tea warmer than expected.


To conclude, most people prefer their tea quite warm and the best time for drinking it if kept in a thermos flask appears to be around 01:00 pm. It also appears that both of us are the odd ones out, as we both prefer the tea to be colder than those interviewed. So, if you ever need to serve a stranger tea, fill up your thermos flask at around 08:00 am and let it sit for around five hours.
We sincerely hope that you take our advice to heart and enjoy a nice cup of tea tonight. Lots of love from some random harbor in France.

Yours truly, Luis and Lilia.


Andrea: Liebes Mami, viel Spaß in Sizilien. Genieß’ die Sonne. Und drück’ Livia von mir.

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A Trip to the Capital of Wales

Date: 27th of October 2023
Location: Sharpness Dry Docks
Nautical Position: 51°71.671 N, 2°47.314 W
Etmal: 0 nautical miles
Schiff: Pelican of London

Starting the Day with Games

Our day started at 07:30 with a typical English breakfast, consisting of hashbrowns, eggs and beans in addition to our regular breakfast. At 09:00, our trip began with an hour and a half-long bus ride to Cardiff, today’s planned excursion and the capital of Wales.

Near the city, in a beautiful park, we played some fun games with the entire group, which the watch leaders and teachers had prepared for us.

Schüler*innen spielen im Park Spiele.

Paperclip Trade

In groups of four, we were allowed to explore the city. Gregor set up a challenge for us to try to trade a paperclip for something else that people would give us. The goal was to have the most iconic or fun item by the end. He gave us three hours to complete the task so that we could meet again at 15:00.

English Weather

While walking through the shopping mall and the breathtaking streets of Cardiff, heavy rain surprised us. We took shelter under a phone cell and waited for it to end. Fortunately, it didn’t last very long and we were able to continue our trip through the city shortly after.

Arrival at the Pelican

Our arrival was delayed by about an hour and a half due to multiple traffic jams on the road. When we finally arrived at the Pelican, we presented each other with the items we had traded. The watch leader received a fancy purse, while another group received a self-made tealight in the shape of a pumpkin from a little girl. We were all touched by this cute gesture. Others received a lucky sticker for our ship with a Buddha on it to protect us when we are out at sea.

Kleines Mädchen tauscht ein Kürbis-Teelicht gegen eine Büroklammer.

Relaxed Evening

Shortly after we went aboard our new gangway and it was time to eat dinner. We had rice and curry. Our wonderful cook, Shell, served ice cream for us. Later that evening, some of us played games in the mess, relaxed or had conversations

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Sleeping, Cleaning, Killing

Date: 26th of October 2023
Position: Scheveningen, Port
Etmal: 27nm
Ship: Regina Maris

Attention: Killers running around

At 10 o’clock sharp, the big game started. At every corner, we now fear a killer waiting for us. Yesterday, each of us picked a name of the person we have to kill, an object we have to hand that person in order to kill him/her and a place where we have to hand the object over. An example from the last year: Someone had to hand a hairdryer to the cook, who obviously does not climb on the mast. (Don’t worry, we are not going to give any accurate examples 😉

We don’t know who is dead yet, but we are eagerly awaiting the winner 🙂

Just another deep clean…

Before the game started, though, we learned the difference between cleaning and deep cleaning. We had to get the sand away, which, as you can imagine, hides in every corner of the ship. Additionally, we had to tidy up and clean our cabins to get a free shore leave. Luckily, we all managed.

Our favorite: Free shore leave 🙂

From 3-7 pm, we had free shore leave and we split up into different groups. One group decided to visit the famous Christmas shopping place we discovered two days ago. They also made a short visit to the beach and ate some fries due to “starving.” (That’s what they told us at least)

Another group went running 6 km. I think the opinions on that run are very different according to who we ask, but generally, it was really refreshing to do sports again and to be able to move more than just 48m, up and down the ship. We also discovered an enormous guitar store; it was great!

The most important thing on board: SLEEP

In the afternoon, we interviewed a few people about how they feel about the current sleeping situation, and as you can imagine, it is kind of hard to get sleep when we have night watches. Here are the results:

Stella: She gets enough sleep when she is not on duty, and the worst watch according to her is 4-6 am. But still, she is emotionally less tired than at home.

Julius: He likes the 0-2 am watch the best, and he thinks watch is really fun, also because there is always something happening in the harbor. According to him, the 2-4 am watch is the worst because of the short sleeping periods.

Kris: In the morning, she is really tired, but it gets better during the day. The best watch is 6-8 am because you get to wake people up (haha), and you get to sleep through the night.

Jane (Watchleader): She is not tired at all and has the perfect amount of energy for the whole day. (No wonder until now she was lucky not to be scheduled for harbor watch) 😉

We asked Mathieu (our 1st mate) about his experience with night watches and he gave us some tips and insights: He really likes night watches because they are cozy, and the captain is not awake 😉 The 1-5 am watch is really lucky because they get to have picnics and hot chocolate. And there may be a sneaky night party as well 🙂 Generally, if you want to have a good night’s sleep, even if you have a watch, you should go to bed early, get at least 8 hours of sleep, and do a lot of napping. (By the way, he randomly started singing the tips when we asked for advice)

From us (Franka and Emma): Well, we now know, to use every single minute to sleep! The funny thing is that through the interviews we found out that people may be physically very tired but emotionally less so than at home. Since we didn’t really start to sail yet, the sleeping situation is not too bad, but we’re sure that there is going to be an update very soon… 🙂

Students sleeping in the messroom.

Party time!!!

You must be wondering how we got this motivated to actually clean everything. Well, the secret is a little reward we are very much looking forward to 🙂 In the Messroom, we have tons of sodas, chips, and sweets for the party tonight just waiting to be eaten by us 🙂

Greetings home:

Von Emma: Liebe Grüße nach Hause, hab’ euch alle dolle lieb 🙂 <3

Von Franka: Liebe Grüße an meine liebe Familie und die liebe Elisa, ich hab’ euch alle lieb 🙂

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