December the fifth is Sinterklaas in Holland. Basically Sinterklaas is a very old man on a white/grey horse who gives presents to children on December 5th, which happens to be his birthday. Just like Santa Claus has help from elves, Sinterklaas has help from Zwarte Pieten. Even though we live in Poland, we celebrate it every year. It’s really something I look forward to. However, this is the first year I celebrated Sinterklaas not at home. I really hadn’t expected anything but it was really quite fun. The night started off with Sinterklaas who gave presents to a couple of people. The captain dressed up as Sinterklaas and most of the crew and teachers dressed up as Zwarte Pieten. The Zwarte Pieten threw the candy you always have for Sinterklaas, pepernoten, which are small round spiced cookies. After that some got presents, a couple from their parents, and a couple as a joke. For example, a guy and a girl who both are always hungry got a cheese sandwich. Also, everybody got a chocolate letter (yay!) and a keychain made from rope. After this we played a game. Everybody had to give in one present; it could be anything, from candy to sunglasses to a packet of ketchup. One guy even packed a dead fish as a present. Then you had a roll with a dice, when you threw six for example you had to switch tables, or when you threw four you had to give the present the amount you threw after that to the right. So essentially what you wanted to do is get the best present there was. At the very end of the game I had a packet of gum, which I was quite content with. Then a guy comes and switches the gum for the ketchup packets from the McDonalds which was the gift from the biology teacher. We also had delicious chocolate milk made by Merwin Zeegers and two others. He totally didn’t tell me to write that. No, but the chocolate milk was very yummy and it gave a little bit of a winter feeling, even though it was 25 degrees outside. Anyways, it was definitely a Sinterklaas to remember.
These last few days there still have problems with the water-maker. I think there have been three days where we weren’t allowed to shower. Usually around 11 o’clock the water-maker would break and then at around 8 at night or the next day it would work again, or the captain would find a way to fix it. However, now it has been working for the past two days. One however, it seemed as though it was unfixable. The chemicals used to usually fix it were all used, and somebody did something which caused it to go become salty again. If the water-maker was truly broken it would mean no showering for two weeks. It’s one week till Dominica, but there is no harbor for our type of boat in Dominica and the broken part, the membrane, would only be sent to the next island, which would be Aruba, Bonaire, or Curacao. I am REALLY happy the water-maker is working.
On the 7th of December I had to go into the ‘kluivernet’ with Merwin, to switch sails because they accidentally put the wrong sail up. The ‘kluivernet’ is the net at the front of the boat. To go in this net you have to wear one of those sexy hiking gears so you can clip yourself on to the boat. Anyway, this wasn’t the exciting part. What was really cool was when we suddenly heard a splash in the water. At first I was in complete shock, I thought something fell into the water. However, it turned out to be a dolphin! There were about twenty, and even two baby dolphins. So cute! We definitely had the best view of the boat. The dolphins were jumping under us. Definitely the highlight of the day! Sadly, after we had to sit in the ‘kluivernet’ for another hour or longer, to take down the one sail and put up the other.
Only a couple more days at sea! Then land, finally, people. Every time we see a boat or an airplane it’s like “oh people!” This only happens once every three days.
Hopefully I will have internet soon, so that I can post everything and find out more what I have to do for school.