26th August

Today was our first full day of movement. We left Saint John around 17:00 yesterday and have been motoring around since then. The weather has been fairly nice, no rain and just enough wind; but it’s been so cold! We set up the stay sails around 00:15 and they’ve been up ever since. We’re currently waiting on the wind to pick up a bit before setting the rest of the sails, so for right now we are using mostly our motor. The water has been fairly calm for us, which works as advantage to those of us who get sea sick easily. Happily, no green faces yet!

We had our first “Happy Hour” this morning, and although it’s not the particularly fun one you all are thinking of, it was pretty fun for me. We all worked as a group to clean the ship from top to bottom, and despite the cleaning part, I feel as though we all had a good time and  bonded a bit more over the tasks we were given. I feel as though we do that with all tasks we are given though, like taking up the mooring lines yesterday and doing our daily watches. It’s always a good time.

We ended up climbing the foremast yesterday, and everyone in the forward watches made it up. We were all so proud, and it was an amazing sense of accomplishment to see those smiling faces cheer you on as you reached the top. And the view, although still moored, was absolutely stunning. Especially the look on the faces of the bystanders who must have thought we were insane for climbing so high. That was my favorite part.

Today the winds are low and the sun is bright. There were dolphins and whales swimming circles around us and we were completely mesmerized. It’s an absolutely beautiful day, and even with sore muscles and tired eyes, we all seem to still be enjoying ourselves. We can’t wait to get day 3 over with and start a new one, as we’re excited to see what the following hours has in store.

Until next time,

Forward Starboard Watch J

29th August

Lord Nelson Blog – Aft Port Watch

Well … things could not be more different weather wise in the last 24 hours. We have had winds of over Force 7, exciting swells to roller coaster across, the deck has been washed by copious rain while we have also had times when the sea temperature has exceeded the air temperature!

These conditions created lots of opportunities for fun on deck trying to guess which way the ship was going to move next but below decks the mess men had to work doubly hard to prepare and serve the meals. The famed metal ‘dog bowls’ made an appearance taking the place of the usual china plates. You may not be surprised to learn that not all the crew made it to the meals down below, many of them chose to eat ‘al fresco’ instead.

This changing weather allowed us to set a mix of square and fore and aft sails which kept the Captain happy (he likes sailing!) However, this morning many of these had to be taken in due to a case of ‘severe death of wind’ though we still have very unpredictable motion due to the large swell. This last 24 hours was certainly what many of us had signed up for. Who knows what the next 24 hours will bring!

Aft Port: Will, Roman, Ford, Norman, Job, Harry, Jenny and Clare

30th August

Much calmer weather today as we pushed on under engine power. Continuous rolling made certain tasks trickier, but yesterday’s worst cases of seasickness cleared up. Warmest day so far, an ‘emergency laundry’ brought relief to some in the form of clean socks etc. Captain Chris brought the chart down and explained that we have successfully avoided the emerging storm that is making its way up along the eastern seaboard.  We are about 1100 miles from the Azores and hope to have time to spend a day or two there. We braced the yards hard to port in anticipation of the next day’s weather. First Mate Trevor presented part two of his talk on sailing. Engineer Marco caught his first fish of the voyage: a young skip jack tuna!

31st August

Finally after six days at sea we were able to set sail and turn off the engine. So far perfect sailing weather let’s hope it lasts until the Azores! News from the deck was the sighting of a flight of hard working geese headed south and a number of playful dolphins encouraging Nellie on. The only downside is two blocked heads on the gentlemen’s starboard side – expect a few hopping on feet moments until resolved….

At this stage of the voyage we are 5000 meters from the sea bottom so plenty of room between us and Davy Jones locker. Next on the agenda is a talk on the weather by third mate Tamsin – expect a full house.

FP watch Chris, David, Frankie, Arthur, George, Phillipa, Jon and Paul