Tall Ships Blog — Port Watch and Poetry
Here’s the latest updates from Leader’s crew, and guests, who are taking part in the Cruise in Company voyage around the Norwegian coast as part of the Tall Ships Races.
Day 4: Friday, July 18, 2014
Those of us in Port Watch started the day. I had done a good shift on the helm on my last watch but with the dim light on the compass I was embarrassed to find I couldn’t see it well enough to keep our course. I kept watch instead and we discussed books and films we enjoyed.
Between the moonlight, and residual daylight, there were very few stars to see but Venus (we think) was bright above. I must have been tired as it didn’t occur to me to get the binoculars from the dog house to confirm our guess and to identify the other planet off on the port side.
At 12.30am I put the kettle on to make hot drinks for Starboard Watch when they relieved us.
I went to sleep very quickly and it seemed only moments later that Starboard Watch were rousing us for our 4am to 7am watch, and returning the favour with hot drinks to help us wake up.
The wind overnight was four to five but there was a lot of swell and Port Watch ended up three crew members short due to seasickness. I wished I’d brought my camera on deck,as most of the rest of the “watch” were fast asleep at the stern.
Behind us, on our starboard quarter, the few streaks of cloud along the horizon were tinged with pink and gold as the sky lightened and the sun rose into a clear blue sky. The only wildlife was on occasional gull. I took the helm for the last half hour as we approached the Norwegian coast. Ben and Alice went below to plot our new course once we tacked.
We got to sleep again between 7am and 10am. I missed bacon on deck just before our watch started, a lesson to be quick or miss out! When I came on deck, we were motor sailing up the channel towards Arendal, and arrived at 11.30pm. We moored close to Oosterschelde.
Ben said it was worth going to see her but by the time we had finished our RYA talk with mate Ben, on knots, and shown we could tie a bowline — round turn and two half hitches and a clove hitch 3 she had already sailed for her next port of call. Lunch was on deck followed by a meteorological briefing for comp crew.
We had showers on the boat because Arendal showers were around 335nok to use. Some of the younger crew had 2 showers on board because they had been swimming off the quayside.
Morning Star and Black Diamond moored alongside us and in the evening Martin lit BBQs on the quayside. We had a very enjoyable evening, shared with everyone, perched around Leader to eat.
The warm sunny day ended in a warm evening sitting aboard Black Diamond as the sun set, drinking beer. Wonderful!
Sarah, Port Watch.
Day 5: Saturday, July 19, 2014
The hour was late, the night was fair and shanties flew o’er the warm night air.
The light sou’wester laughed and jeered and headed us off the course we steered.
I had the watch from ten to one and in that time 12 miles did run.
Then down below and into bed with thoughts of Norway in my head.
At hour the seventh we neared the fjord; jib and maintopsail, bravely soared.
The breeze from the East blew gently but still, we started the engine in shadow of hill.
The topsail we handed, the jib did we stow as boldly did blue watch head off below.
With white watch on deck we entered the valley, that roamed and meandered; a drunk in an alley.
The sides of the fjord were slathered in green and nacreous mist on the water was seen.
We passed many houses with jetties and yachts while handing the main at roughly five knots.
Then Flekkefjord reached, we did happy hour and searched through the town in hopes of a shower.
At last we had lunch and worked in the sun then the kids headed off to swim and have fun.
Martin, Leader’s Fifth-Hand