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July 20, 2014

Forward Starboard had the lovely 8-midnight watch again last night. There was very little traffic so the majority of the watch grabbed the bag of ropes and eagerly started learning and practising our knots. The hours passed quickly between knot tying, lookout and helming in balmy warm conditions.

Shortly before midnight Captain Simon decided we would be bracing the foremast yards to starboard. This required both the offgoing watch (us) and the oncoming watch. So by moonlight we braced the yards and gazed out across a fairly light sea and sky to the southern coast of Norway.

This morning we were off to another busy start: morning meeting, Happy hour, a sail setting talk from the First Mate Ali and setting of the newly repaired Fore Course sail. It was fixed up back on the yard yesterday afternoon after Mike the Sailmaker had mended it with patches on the deck.

After an early lunch, FS are back on watch for the 12.30-16.00 watch. Again there has been little traffic but it’s a lovely sunny blue sky afternoon following the coastline on our starboard side. Resident Norwegian Jostein is giving us a commentary of the local points of interest. We have kept an eye on the occasional fishing vessel, some buoys and local boats coming out to take photos of our beautiful ship with 7 square sail set. They don’t need to know that we also have the port engines helping us along as we only have 8 knots of wind.

The rope bag has made another appearance so the knot tying continues! Rob searched the library and reappeared on the bridge happily clutching a copy of Simple Knots and Basic Ropework, and is using his time to work through the many supposedly simple knots described between its covers. It would appear that our Watch Leader Sue has now perfected the ‘Carrot Bend with ends opposed’ and the Double Sheep Bend!

Sue had everyone in the watch having a go at helming blindfolded using the talking compass in order to get a feel of what it is like to helm if we were blind. We had our tuition from Peter, a blind member of the crew in FS watch. It is an interesting experience and actually makes one helm more accurately as you have to concentrate on just the one feedback of sound and can’t be distracted by looking around too.
This has been a lovely watch – blue skies, sunshine and calm seas. Unfortunately there is very little wind which means sail power is rather low! The temperature makes up for it: 25 degrees celcius. The water is a delicious 20.

Sue gave us a whistlestop chinese lesson earlier: YI LU SHUNG FENG, which means ‘May the wind be behind you all the way’. It worked for a day with a perfect wind behind us but we clearly need to polish our chinese again as what little wind we have is on our beam and we have had to hand all sails.

We are now motoring gently to an overnight anchorage and BBQ on deck.

Mislav Arapovich from Croatia proudly realised that he has now clocked up 10,000 sailing miles with the JST on 18 July. We have dropped a heavy hint to Cook Micah that it may be a cake worthy event!
Huge thanks to the Norwegian friends in Risor who donated two enormous salmon which Micah served to the whole crew and were much appreciated. TUSEN TAKK.

Over & out

FS watch: Naomi, Charlotte, Sue, Rob, Jostein, Karen, Sally, Peter, Dee and Andrew.


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