A Travellerspoint blog

At Sea Again

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Hola everybody,
We are off again, sailing. I am happy to be on the move. We are sailing to the San Blas; they are supposedly islands with Indians on them. These Indians live quite to the basics. They live as they used to 100 years ago except for the fact that they have mobile phones.
Anyway, about the sailing: it is quite wavy a lot wavier than I expected because we were used to the Atlantic which is very calm but the Caribbean it apparently isn’t.
The 29th we got up early for our departure to the San Blas Islands. The trip is three to five days sailing, which means New Year at sea; definitely a special way to celebrate New Year. It is a lot wavier than I expected here. Since the Gulf of Biscay we haven’t had such high waves.
On the 30th I had my kitchen shift again! The last one before Panama. Everything went really smoothly. Like always it was hard work, but it didn’t feel as if the day was enormously long. For lunch we made spaghetti with tomato sauce and a salad and as dinner/late snack we made Käserschmarrn. They were delicious! Basically we just made pancakes with more flower, sugar, and added raisins. Then in the pan we cooked them and chopped them in bits. Everybody thought it was delicious!
We still don’t know what is going to happen in Panama. I know for sure one week is going to be living in the jungle. I seriously hope it isn’t going to consist of much walking. The second week is going to be an exchange with a school. Here, the students don’t know exactly which one, but I think it is going to be the International School. That would be really cool, since my friend goes to that school. What we are doing the third week is completely unknown to me, but I am excited to know what it is!
Anyways bye for now!
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 15:58 Comments (0)

Just some schoool

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Heyhey,
Since we didn’t have school in a couple of days the teachers decided it was maybe a good idea to do a bit of school. Thus, on the 27th and the 28th we worked on school which was quite necessary.
The first half of the day most of us spent on the boat doing school. If we weren’t concentrated we were sent off to do some tasks (cleaning toilets, vacuum cleaning, etc). I decided it was probably easier to fully concentrate on school.
But after the lunch the captain organized something really cool for us. After the lunch we went in a ‘party bus’. It wasn’t really a party bus; it was more like a really colorful school bus with very loud music. With this a little too colorful bus we went to Baby Beach in Aruba. This was a beautiful beach, white sand, blue water, and you could walk quite deep. There we lay for an hour or two and after the bus took us to some other places in Aruba.
I did notice that Aruba is much more American than all Curacao and Bonaire. Each island is quite different. Being able to compare them I would say Curacao is the most Dutch, Bonaire is the least civilized, and Aruba is more American. Out of all of the islands I think I liked Curacao the most, however Bonaire has the most beautiful nature. Bonaire has the mangrove bushes, best coral (according to some rating), and a lot of protected nature areas. Nevertheless I enjoyed being in Curacao the most because it has a certain vibe that the other two islands seemed to miss. When we walked in to Curacao people there was just a vibe I can’t really describe, but Curacao seemed to have their own culture along with that vibe. It could have also been because Curacao was busier than the two other islands. Of Aruba I didn’t see very much but what I saw seemed American, pick-up trucks, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts, big Chinese supermarkets, and flatlands filled with bushes and cactuses. I don’t think I can say much more about the islands because I didn’t visit them very long, but this was my first impression of the islands.
On the 28th of Aruba we had a full day of school. Not much happened, but we had internet on one laptop so we could collect information for school which was pretty nice. We didn’t leave for the San Blas Islands yet because food was being brought in and we had to reorganize the cupboards under the couches. But it was chill to have school without constantly moving. After school I don’t exactly remember what we did, but it probably wasn’t much because the next day we went left.
Off to the San Blas!
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 15:57 Archived in Aruba Comments (0)

Second Christmas Day in Arubaaaaaa

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Hey everybody!
The 26th of December was probably the most chilled day I have had in a while. We were at the beach the entire day; probably the best way to celebrate second Christmas day.
It started off with that we only had to wake up at nine. It’s sad but true, we now find this late in the morning. After this we were brought to land with the motor boat. Then we lay on the beach for about two hours, swimming and tanning. After this the coordinator came we played some games focused on the social part of the trip. The first one we just had to stare each other in the eye without saying anything, after that we played the typical trust game (catching the people that fall). Those were short but fun. Then we played the long game. It’s called ‘over de streep’ or over the line. Some questions were asked and if you agreed or answered yes to the answer you had to step over the line. One of the questions was for example ‘Did you get more confident on this trip?’ and then if yes, you crossed the line and if no, you stayed on the same side. It was really interesting to see what other people answered. There were a few questions in which you really got to know things about the people on this boat which I would have never expected. It definitely helped understand some students here. The end was quite emotional, but after this ‘game’ there was another small game. Everybody got a paper and you had to write something positive about you on your paper; kind of an ego booster.
After all these activities we just chilled on the beach. Swam a bit, walked around, tanned, and had our lunch (cheese sandwich). The swimming didn’t end up so well for some. Three or four people stepped in these sea animals with spikes; literally translated they are “sea-hedgehogs”. So their feet started to swell and they had to go to a doctor to get antibiotics. Anyway, it was nothing serious because now everything is okay.
Well after our chill day we went back to the boat and chilled a little bit more because the next day was going to be a little bit less relaxing.
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 15:52 Comments (0)

Christmas!

Sailing on Christmas and Aruba


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Hello! DSC_2387.jpg
On the night of the 24th I went to bed slightly too late (right…. 3.00), expecting to be able to sleep since I had a free Sunday. But no, the crew and teachers decided since it was Christmas we were going to have ‘wacht’ together. I was extremely tired and since my ‘wacht’ starts at 8 in the morning, I was woken up at 7.30 to be able to have breakfast. That was definitely not the best start of the day. But I comforted myself with the thought that after my ‘wacht’ could go right back to bed, which is what I did. I skipped lunch and at 12.15 I was back in bed.
Then at around 13.30 someone came to wake me up, not with something pleasant, no with the message that we are going to have our big clean up now and I had to get out of bed and pull a card. Yes, pull a card. We pull cards and on the card it says the job you have to do for example: vacuum downstairs. Well, I pulled the card ‘cleaning two of the toilets upstairs’. This sounds terrible, but actually cleaning toilets isn’t that bad. It is kind of gross, especially when you have to take the hairs out of the sink and shower or when you have to clean the bucket where the toilet brush is in, however it is all okay since you wear gloves. But most importantly, the job is done quickly (10 minutes per toilet, with shower 15 minutes) and also it doesn’t require a lot of physical movement. When you have to for example clean the couches, you have to take off all the pillows, vacuum the dust off, and put all the pillows back again. This doesn’t sound that bad, but the pillows are big and only fit in the couches in a certain manner. Thus, if you mix up the pillows it might take an hour before they will fit back together again. Definitely something I learned from experience.
Anyway, after cleaning the toilets I went back to bed at around 14.15. Yet again, I didn’t sleep very long but this time I woke up with a more pleasant message “snack is ready!” Since I skipped lunch, I was quite hungry. My friend and I went upstairs to eat and then decided to start preparing for Christmas. The common room was getting more and more decorated, which definitely created a more Christmas feeling. Till 5 o’clock we mostly just chilled and then we arrived in Aruba. After the arrival everybody started dressing up for Christmas. It was really fun, especially with so many girls. After almost exactly two months this is the first time I properly dressed up, including hair and make-up. At home, that is more like every weekend.
The Christmas dinner was planned at around 8, so at 8 we sat at the table where we had pre-assigned seats, name signs and everything. Then our three course dinner was served by the cook and one of the teachers. It started off with a shrimps, salad and a cocktail sauce, made by the kitchen shift of that day. The next meal was made by crew and teachers, mostly the captain and cook though, this meal was beef, grilled potatoes, and a salad. The beef was really delicious but it was served with a pepper sauce; a really peppery pepper sauce. My mouth was slightly on fire but it was still very yummy. Then we went out on deck to enjoy the fresh are and the view. We were anchored by a bay next to airport of Aruba. It was a beautiful blue bay with a white sand beach, but around every hour a plane flies really low over the beach. Anyway, outside we were served our desert which was waffles with chocolate sauce and melon. Another benefit of being in the tropics: delicious fresh fruit! This was definitely not my regular Christmas. I don’t think I will ever forget this Christmas. After the desert some people went swimming or were thrown into the water. But I really didn’t feel like swimming, so I just chilled with some other people. At around 2 we went to bed, but luckily the next morning I didn’t have to wake-up so extremely early.
Well merry very late Christmas!
Xx Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 15:48 Archived in Aruba Comments (0)

The days before Christmas

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Hey everyone,
On the 23rd of December we had a half day of school and cleaned the whole ship before the lunch. We ate lunch somewhere in Willemstad, it was a ginormous sort of hall and there were different restaurants. After the lunch we left for Willemstad. I mostly collected information for school and then I saw that a friend of mine from school was online on Facebook. He had told me that he was going to be in Curacao for the vacation. So after some organizing we decided to meet up. It was so weird to see someone from school! However, it was really cool as well. I am now sort of up-to-date with what is happening and has happened at school. It was also fun to show how we lived on the boat and for him to meet my friends here. After dinner, which was pizza, we went across the ‘pondjesbrug’ or ‘floatingbridge’ to eat ice-cream. The bridge is a special bridge; it gets pulled open by a tug boat to the side for boats to pass. Most of us decided “cool, we’ll stay on the bridge!” but then we saw it was the cruise that was going to pass. Yes, that did take a while. We stood on the bridge, waiting, for about 20 minutes. But it was definitely impressing. Anyway, after we got off the bridge I said good-bye to my friend and went back to the boat.
The next day (the 24th) we went to the slavery museum of Curacao. I definitely recommend the museum if you visit Willemstad. We got a tour from a tour guide, he explained everything but it was never boring. It definitely left a mark on the bad history the Western civilization has. There were more deaths during slavery than during the entire Holocaust. However, I did know a lot of the information since we learnt about slavery last year in history class. Nonetheless seeing examples of what it was like to be a slave and the how badly they were handled was appalling. The slavery museum is definitely a museum to remember. After the slavery museum we went to the boat for some lunch and after that we had some free time. Mostly, we looked in shops to see if there were any dresses we could buy for Christmas, since we were having a ‘Kerstdiner’ or Christmas Dinner. I didn’t find anything, but it was funny to see the type of clothing style they had in Curacao. Most of it consisted of a lot of glitters and bright colors. That evening we left to complete the Dutch Antilles, meaning off to Aruba.
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 15:44 Archived in Curaçao Tagged museum slavery willemstad Comments (0)

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