Wind: NE-20kts Weather: Overcast, scattered showers Sea State: 4 Swell: N/NE 2-3 metres
Visibility: Good Barometer: 1025hpa falling Temperature: 18 degrees
Tremendous news…at 1000 this morning we judged that the time was right to make a dash for the Canary Islands so we tacked ship and are now making our way east towards Tenerife. The sailors amongst you will understand the vagaries of the wind but we are hopeful of this being the making tack, and importantly, an on time arrival in Tenerife this Friday. We are currently on a port tack achieving a course of 075ish and making good 6.5 knots. The speed required is roughly 5 knots so at this point we are looking good. The forecast is for the wind and swell to alter to the north/north west so with any luck we may be able to achieve some sailing vice motor sailing as we pass through the Canaries towards the port of Santa Cruz, Tenerife. Apart from the excitement of a change of course, today was much the same as yesterday…the morning off, an afternoon brief, a quick clean and then a relaxing afternoon of 500, uckers and chess. Those on watch are being kept busy honing their newly acquired skills, focusing on setting our storm sails (jib and tri-sail)…it never hurts to be prepared!
Noting another relatively quiet day, I thought for tonight’s Captain’s Log I’d do something a little different. I asked the crew on watch to take a few moments to articulate to you at home and/or around the world what has been their greatest challenge thus far…and what has surprised them most.
As your read their efforts below I think you’ll agree it has been a very worthwhile and enlightening exercise, although I think Goody may have a Lieutenant Dan (Forrest Gump) complex…I hope you enjoy!
Peace, love and understanding
Captain Kenny (Knuckle)…P.S. Hello Mrs Smith! Yes that’s you Marg.
As I spend the majority of my day to day life either floating around on top of or exploring under the ocean, the concept of climbing higher and higher above it makes my heart pound and my limbs want to shut down. As a returnee I knew from the first moment of accepting this amazing opportunity that my biggest challenge was going to be climbing. With help from a few very special people I have been able to work towards reaching different goals that I have set myself. I have one final challenge that needs to be achieved before arriving in Cadiz and that is to climb out to the end of the Top gallant Yard.
A highlight of conquering one goal so far, that was a pretty special moment and one I will never forget, was last night sitting on the lower top with only the light of the stars above us and feeling each and every wave that the ship rolled over.
One of the most beautiful and surprising aspects of this journey so far is that after 30 days at sea with limited to no information from the outside world to prompt conversation there is still interesting, fresh and inspiring conversations being held. That each day I am still learning something new or something more in depth from the amazing individuals that I am surrounded by.
The thing that was always going to be a big challenge for me was climbing. Not being a huge fan of heights, my first climb of the voyage was nerve wracking to say the least. I found though, that when I had some kind of job to do, whether it was tying gaskets or furling sails, climbing became much easier, and since then I have climbed many times. A major goal for me was to make it to the top of the main mast, a pretty challenging climb, and one which I completed about five minutes before writing this. My only remaining goal is to climb to the top in my undies (and harness) during a thunderstorm and curse the sea god. Touch wood.
It’s amazing how much you learn about yourself when you’re placed in a rarely static environment. A space in which the development of a comfort zone is impossible and challenges come in all forms and at a constant rate of one every few seconds; whether it be trying to successfully navigate the ship, adapt to changes in wind directions and sea states, learning the multitudes of lines and sail handling that sailing this ship requires or simply just attempting to shower or remain in your rack on an unfavourable tack. The constant stream of challenges and effort required on a daily basis uncovers the biggest challenge that anyone has to face in their life…that being, of course themselves. Sailing a tall ship across the Atlantic, the biggest challenge I’ve come to face hasn’t been one of climbing to the greatest heights of our beautiful vessel, nor has it been sea sickness or the swell that ensured all of us were functioning on no more than half an hour’s sleep, but merely myself. Throughout the last thirty days I’ve come to learn exactly who I am, I’ve seen the good – exactly how far I can push myself and how much I have to give to others (and they to me) and I’ve also seen the bad – all those worst traits and characteristics that come out only when you’re put in an environment such as this. To undergo such a journey of self discovery, to be confronted with the very edges of what you think you’re capable of and coupling it with previously unknown and undesired character traits, many many thousands of miles away from my loved ones and the support network that I’m lucky enough to have at home, stands as the biggest challenge I’ve had to face so far on this journey. Yet it’s facing these challenges and notions of self discovery and being able to do it all with an incredible bunch of humans that makes this trip what it is – that being absolutely perfect.
The greatest surprise of this trip for me has been how much I have fallen in love with the ocean and the beautiful human beings I’m lucky enough to undertake this journey with. Every single day I wake up completely in awe of the beauty of this planet – it doesn’t matter if the scenery has been unchanged for weeks on end, each and every sunset is just as beautiful as the last. I could never get sick of the stars that light our way across the ocean each night and no matter how many dolphins come and play in the waters next to us, I get just as wildly excited as I did the last 554 times they’ve appeared. Each and every day, no matter the challenges that are thrown at me, whether I’ve had a sufficient amount of sleep to function, whether the clouds obscure the stars or the swell sends us barrelling into the decks, is just as beautiful as the last, and my greatest surprise is just how lucky I could feel to be able to experience the earth in all it’s majesty and to be able to share it with the most beautiful human beings on the planet.
When I joined the Young Endeavour in Rio, I had no idea what to expect, but even though I had no expectations, I was still blown away by the experience. Like some of the others before me, I have found the climbing challenging, for while I’m not afraid of heights, I do have a healthy respect for them. But I find myself struggling to justify choosing it as the greatest challenge. I think the biggest challenge for me has been the entire experience onboard the ship: on a normal day, climbing a 33 meter mast wouldn’t bother me, but when you throw in a bit of fatigue, a dash of homesickness, a dollop of seasickness and 23 strangers doing it with you, it becomes a significantly more challenging situation.
The biggest surprise for me was how quickly I adapted to life aboard the ship. Be it waking up at 0400 (that’s 4am for you land lubbers!) for watch, or climbing the mast, or doing galley duty, I’ve enjoyed it all, and I’m still finding it slightly surreal I’ve sailed across the equator in a tall ship!
PS. Happy (belated) Birthday Tamara! Sorry this wasn’t yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to add this it to it before it got posted…