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November 7, 2013

Day 2

We have set off from Lisbon, waved off by friends and a few curious admirers of the boat. The ship ventured into the expansive seemingly endless sea and towards a horizon that looks like the edge of the world.

The morning started at 8 promptly, lesson learnt: if you are late for breakfast you won’t get your eggs. The nature of the boat is relaxed though, the motto could be: be on time and take your time.

The morning was spent learning the language of the boat and putting it into action. There was a lot to learn, but when it was put into practice it was easy to understand as it felt both logical and natural.

It has been noted that the crew is smaller than usual but it stills feels like there are always plenty of hands to make light of the work, heaving the sails from port to starboard, washing the dishes or tying away the fenders.

The highlight of the morning was climbing the mast. We made it to the first platform and walked out on the yard (the stick the sail is attached to), dangling metres from the sea.

The confidence levels were mixed but the permanent crew guide us all, supportively, to give everyone the opportunity to go as far as they like.

I was very nervous. Climbing out on to the yard involves walking along ropes like you get in a playground assault course, except with a view that could give even the most confidence of us vertigo.

Once out on the yard, initially my legs were shaking like jelly. But, as all things on the ship, everyone is takes their time and is patient to others doing the same. By the time everyone was securely fastened, I had time to acclimatise and by the time we can down I was eager to get back up there! It was a great bonding experience and the watch teams have come a long way in a short time, learning to work together in a collaborative and almost seamless fashion.

After lunch, things get moving to get the boat on voyage and sail. For the next hour few hours, everyone is eager and ready to help; pulling in fenders and rolling out the sails.

As the boat hits the waves, those not used to sailing, including myself, stumble around as if drunk, holding on to railings getting used to the motion.

We’ve just watched the sun set the sky and waves alight with colour, creating a “sunbow” (where the sun hits the clouds and generates a red hue) before slinking down behind the clouds. It’s inspiring to watch, a good sign for what is to follow over the next 10 days!

Amber Macintyre, Forward Starboard Watch


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