Day 3 18-08-19
Three days ago, the two sides of the expedition briefly met as we switched over from land to ship. The next afternoon we set sail. Almost immediately some people began to feel the sea sickness. Last night the midnight watch got to see the Northern Lights for about 20 seconds before they disappeared. Pulling ropes on the ship is my favourite thing to do so far, but eating food that hasn’t been freeze-dried is a close second.
Forward Starboard Watch
Additional update from Roland Arnison, BES Leader on board Tenacious: After some challenging adventures in the remote wildlands of northern Iceland, the good folk of Hoor and Skuld Fires have joined forces to become a lean mean sailing machine aboard the good ship Tenacious. Battling sea sickness and fatigue, while also suffering the warm bunks, hot showers and excellent food, we have tamed the mighty Tenacious and are now forging our way south through the wild empty seas of the north Atlantic, our only company the acrobatic fulmars dancing above the waves to port and starboard. Day, and night we work, and Scotland beckons, a long, long way beyond the horizon.
Day 4 19-08-19
Greetings from the North Atlantic Ocean. Nothing says team bonding more than laughing and throwing up at the same time in a group on deck. It’s now day four at sea and there’s less use of the white paper bags. So, today we ascended the masts. Dan conquered his fears and went aloft. Today we sighted a sperm whale, life on deck has been very enjoyable – amazing weather and flocks of sea birds.
Day 5 20-08-19
Hello my name is Hoor
And I am on the sea
If you want to know about sickness
Then come and talk to me
The sea is rough and bumpy
Throughout the day and night
The cooks make delicious food
But you can’t take a bite
Your head is in a bag
As time passes by
And after 24 hours
You will definitely want to die
We have found some whales floating
Floating on the sea
And this has made us happy
As happy as can be
Climbing up the rigging
Is really really fun
When you see the view from the top
You would probably want to run
Now it’s time to sign off
From the Aft starboard team
So farewell and goodbye
As we have decks to clean
Day 7 22-08-19
The last few days have been kind of rough for the YE team at sea, large waves, biting winds and a shortage of custard creams in the biscuit boxes (especially this one) have led to low morale across the board. Luckily for us the leaders have set up a good rotation of interesting talks from knowledgeable people around the ship. For example, yesterday, we received from the third mate a talk on the different types of lights we would see at sea at night, which range from the simple for ship under motor, light to the more complicated lights involved in a ship constrained by its draft. Talks from the crew such as this combined with the current game of human “cluedo” raging across the ship – a story worthy of a blog post of its own – keep us busy, tired but most importantly constantly learning new things we wouldn’t otherwise know. Not only about sailing or hiking, but ourselves and the limits and restrictions we thought we once had which, one by one, have been cut away as if ballasts. I think I’ve written a bit too much so this is Dan H, from Forward Starboard Watch, signing off.
Day 13 28-08-19
The days that I have had on this expedition have, in many ways, been life changing. The relationships formed have been one of a kind and the experiences I’ve had, have changed the way that I see and value the world – how could it not? Especially after witnessing animals that some of us had never seen before in their natural habitat, such as dolphins, whales and jellyfish (as we approached Northern Ireland). Seeing the dolphins approach the ship and swim just below the surface and then jumping above the water frequently made me question why there are so many people who are either “okay” or indifferent towards the concept of hurting the planet, believing that whatever happens in terms of climate change or Global warming won’t affect them – because quite frankly we only get one world. Just because it won’t affect the country, or area in which you live in, doesn’t justify not working to fight the problem if it so clearly will affect other people in other areas or other parts of the Earth.
For those who are unaware of the magnitude of the problem this trip has allowed those, few people, to put into perspective issues such as the contamination of plastic in our oceans. Each day we have had a talk from a member of the crew on a topic related to the oceans. Today, the talk is about Marine Biology related to Bioluminescence- We haven’t heard it yet but I expect it to be good.
I think that everyone should at some point in their life engage in an experience like this so that they really understand more of the world, or at least see it from a different perspective.
Alternatively, one of the biggest lessons that I have learnt on this trip…is to recognise that the world is bigger than just the little bubble that we individually experience – at least in my case. Throughout this trip many young explorers have gotten worked up or stressed with the pressures of the real world, such as finding out exam results from their GCSEs or A-levels, which is understandable because we are so often told that our futures are determined by these very results.
Nothing that you experience in life is the end of your world, because I guarantee that there is more of that world, of which you haven’t seen and more opportunities that you didn’t previously know existed.
In terms of developing relationships and enjoying this experience it’s weirdly terrifying to think that in a few days everyone will be returning to their own life and I will no longer be living with these amazing individuals – many of whom I’ve learnt a lot from. Thus, a second lesson that I have learnt is that it is worth living in the moment and appreciating everything as it comes.
“If you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl but whatever you do keep moving forwards”-Martin Luther King Jr
Update of the game Human Cluedo or Assassins: ¾ of the crew have been massacred.
Day 14 29-08-19
We’ve landed! Having spent the night at anchor in a bay off the island of Arran, we headed off in the launches for an exploration of this beautiful island. We enjoyed the sight of trees along with the comforts of civilisation.
Cold! That was the consensus of the water. How amazing jumping off the ship and going for a swim is! The water really drew all the heat out of us, climbing the relatively short ladder back to the deck felt like ascending a high cliff carrying a huge weight.
Following our exciting day, we wound down with a BBQ on deck in the Scottish evening sun. Music playing, all explorers dancing till bed at 10