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May 10, 2017

Life at sea on board the STS Lord Nelson,
From the viewpoint of the Aft Port Watch

We joined the ship on Tuesday 9th May in Liverpool at 10am and met our watchleader Maria O’Sullivan. The sun was shining, the weather was warm and the Mersey was very calm.

We were introduced to the captain and crew, and given the safety briefings. There seemed to be an awful lot to remember and we all hoped at least some of it would sink in. After a warm and nourishing soup we were given the opportunity to climb either the foremast or the mainmast. Those who wanted to go up put on their harnesses and then were shown the correct and safe way to climb.

I found this exhilarating but quite challenging and speaking to the rest of my watch they were really pleased to be given this opportunity. Some said they would have liked to go higher, others said that they were pleased to get down!

Feeling a little chilly we were then given warm drinks and amazing homemade brownies (thanks cook!). We were due to leave the berth at around 17.00 so had time to do some rope work. This included terms like well – stop but don’t let go and come up- jazz hands. So many terms to learn and remember.

I forgot to mention the cabins earlier which by now were all made up and bags unpacked. The cabins are small but very adequate. Dinner was another warm and nourishing dish flowed by yet more homemade cake.

Each day people from each watch complete mess duty and help the cook prepare /serve and clear up. The bar was open after dinner for a few hours but as our watch was due on a 4 hour shift starting at 8pm most of us went for a kip hoping to snooze for a little!

8pm soon came round and after dressing up in many layers we came up on the bridge to take over from the previous watch. There were many duties and we all took it in turns to keep lookout, steering the ship, completing the hourly log, and most importantly making hot drinks. The night was calm and very beautiful. We saw many other vessels on the sea and passed an oil rig. We all started to feel cold & tired at around 23.30 and when midnight arrived we were all very grateful for the comfort of our bunks.

We were woken today at 07.30 and after breakfast had the pleasure of Happy Hour. Not what you would expect! We spent the next hour all crew cleaning the ship from bow to stern port to starboard including the heads (toilets). One hour later the ship was spick and span. The rest of the morning was spent bracing, changing the direction of the yards this proved to be very technical and great teamwork.

Another homemade cake during rope work and a tasty lunch with homemade beetroot bread. We are now on our second watch with the seas calm, sun still shinning and a little bit of wind.

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