A Travellerspoint blog

Sailing across the ocean

On the 23rd we left Tenerife, after lunch. That day I was the kitchen shift. I did something extremely embarrassing that day. To wake myself up I put on the alarm clock on my phone and I had agreed that I would wake everybody from the kitchen shift up, since we have to wake-up earlier than everybody else. Without thinking I put the alarm clock on my phone, which happened to be one hour ahead. As you can guess, the alarm clock went off an hour too early and I woke up everybody. We set the table and were completely finished, which was when we wondered why nobody was awake. Yes, that was when we realized we had more than an hour to go. So we lay on the couch and waited till it was breakfast. Of course, everybody started laughing at my fail.
We also have new rooms and a new ‘wacht’. I really like my room, it is definitely bigger than the room I had before and my roomies are really nice. My ‘wacht’ is also quite cool. We have from 12.00 – 04.00, which is not so bad because we have one day ‘wacht’ and one day school. So the day before school I have free from 16.00 till the next morning, which is quite nice.
I’m quite happy to have started school again. Everybody was really behind, but it’s really impractical to do school without internet. I really want to email teachers about school and check the school website. However, I can’t. Luckily, I downloaded as much as I could from the school website, so hopefully I will have plenty to do these next two weeks. We also are learning Spanish, which is really fun. Especially since we were in Tenerife and we noticed that almost nobody speaks English, so Spanish is a must. We learnt some things about the ship. For example how the water-maker works, which is also something you learn in biology. Also, apparently there are these fish called flying fish. At a certain point these fish supposedly fly on board and the boat is covered in them. The biology teacher on board wants to dissect these fish. Which is kind of interesting, but gross at the same time.
Other than school and sailing, I have also started to get to know people better. I can’t imagine how well I will know some people at the end of this trip.
Furthermore, nothing much has happened since we left.
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 08:24 Comments (0)

Climbing El Teide

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Hey everyone!
On the 21st of November we started our trip up the El Teide in our “sexy climbing shoes”. The night before this most of us packed our bags. With us we were supposed to take our sleeping bag, warm clothing, sun cream, and other stuff necessary for climbing a mountain and sleeping in a mountain hostel. All of which we had to carry up the volcano and back down.
The day we started with our climb, we woke up at 7:15 so we could have breakfast and then take the bus to where we were going to start our climb. On our way to the path we stopped at our supermarket to buy what was necessary for the next two days. Another girl and I went along in the supermarket and helped buy the items. For the two days we got three baguettes, two bananas, an orange, a small package of cookies, and some people took along some spreads for on the bread, mainly chocolate spread. However, since I have allergies for hazelnuts I usually ended up eating the bread without anything on it. Though for dinner, we did have soup.
I had expected the climb to the top to be quite easy since I have gone mountain climbing before and usually didn’t have any problems. In addition, the climb was supposed to take about 2 ½ hours which compared to other climbs I have done before is definitely not long. However, the climb was quite the contrary. In the beginning it was quite easy. There was a dirt road that was not flat, but also not very steep. The heat and especially the backpack did make the climb up a lot harder.
After the sort of dirt road, was a split in roads. It looked as if we were supposed to go to the left but many thought we should go to the right. We decided that they would come out at the same place, so I went left along with another girl and to guys. After we walked for about 10 minutes we saw that this path was not going to bring us where we wanted to go. Of course the guys came with the brilliant idea to take a “shortcut” and climb off path over stones back to the other path. This brilliant idea turned out to be not so brilliant. Climbing on stones with a big backpack is not so easy but the adventure was fun.
When we finally after about 30 minutes of climbing reached the right path we got a mini lesson about the volcano and its rocks. I found this really interesting, which is quite funny because usually volcanoes and rocks don’t really interest me. However, I think that since we could actually see what we were learning everything became instantly more interesting. During the lesson we also had lunch.
After the lunch and lesson came the hardest bit of the climb. The path was quite steep and the amount of oxygen started getting less and less. However, I didn’t feel like taking too many stops and neither did the girl I was walking with. Together, we reached the refugio as the first girls and also overall as one of the first. I am quite proud of myself because even though I had a tough time, I pushed through till the end and didn’t slack off. It took me about 3 hours and a bit.
Of course the climb wasn’t over. After dinner, which was the soup we bought, we went to bed. 14 out of the 20 girls slept in the same room which could have been a lot of fun. However, since we had to wake up at 4 a.m. the next morning we decided it was a better idea to get ourselves some sleep. I think everybody was happy they did that because the next day was quite tiring. At 4 a.m. we were woken up. Everybody put on as many layers as we could because the top, which is about 3,000 meters high, was going to be quite cold. Of course I couldn’t exactly take a jacket with me since it would take up too much space. However, with a legging, jeans, thick socks, a tank top, t-shirt, two sweaters, hat, and scarf I started the climb up to the top of the volcano.
We left in three groups; I left with the 5:00 a.m. group. It was pitch dark outside so we had to find our way up with the flashlight. Sadly for me my flashlight ran out of battery about 30 minutes into the walk. First we had to walk one hour to the gondola and for those who couldn’t go any further they could stay there and after that we had to walk another hour to the top of the mountain. The first hour felt like it took forever. At the gondola we stopped and lied in our sleeping bags, waiting for someone to tell us where to go. Then most of us climbed to the top. This climb seemed as if it took half an hour. However, when we got to the top we had to wait for the sun to come up which, by the way, was the reason why we woke up so early. At the top it was unbelievably cold. I think it was about -4, but it felt like -10. We all tried to sit as out of the wind as possible and as close to each other as possible. All warmth was welcome. The sun coming up was quite beautiful, especially with the clouds hanging below the mountain. It seemed as if you were in an airplane. The only difference was that in the airplane you don’t usually have it so cold that you can barely move your fingers. We decided it was probably best to walk down as fast as possible.
When we arrived back at the gondola, almost everybody took out their sleeping bags and lied inside them, trying to restore our body heat. We also celebrated one guy’s birthday with chocolate which we had also bought in the supermarket. In our sleeping bags we laid there for about 45 minutes until the teachers decided it was perhaps a good idea to go back down. We were forced out of the warmth of our sleeping back and had to walk back down the mountain.
The walk down was quite easy and entertaining since the path was covered with rocks. However, my ankles didn’t really enjoy the rocks. I went through my ankles a couple of times and at the end of the walk they really started to hurt. After the rocky path there was a sandy path, but this one didn’t last long. We went back to a sort of rocky path where we passed a crater, which was really cool to see.
At this point it was time for lunch and the only thing I had left over was a baguette. This is not exactly the best thing to eat when you are really thirsty but are trying to save your water. Either way, it was better than nothing. After lunch there was a path in the volcanic ash which was quite entertaining. You took one step and slid down another 30 cm, so half the effort wasn’t even yours.
We were supposed to take path 9 but after awhile we only saw signs for path 28. Path nine had suddenly disappeared. Turns out path 9 doesn’t exist anymore. We decided it was probably best to just follow path 28. Now, back on the rocky path everybody was extremely tired of walking. The landscape was getting quite boring. It was rock, bush, rock, bush, rocks, rocks, more bushes. It never ended. Luckily for us, when things go bad we just laugh about it. Two of the guys decided to give a tour about the volcano. It went a little bit like this “On your left hand side you see bush number 1028; it’s the update of the bush you previously saw”. At one point I was laughing so hard I couldn’t properly walk anymore.
After 16 km of walking downhill we finally reached the end of the path. I haven’t been so tired of walking in a couple of years. Nevertheless, I am extremely happy that I reached the top and went back all the way to the bottom.
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 08:19 Archived in Spain Tagged islands el canary teide Comments (0)


sunny 24 °C
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Hey everyone,


Let me just start off with saying that the sun is shining and it is about 25 degrees. I am wearing shorts and flip-flops and over a couple of days we are going to the beach. Also, I got a slight tan!
We arrived in Tenerife on the 15th. The ship was ‘parked’ in a bay. The day we arrived I had my kitchen shift. It was quite ideal because we could make the most amazing food since the boat wasn’t moving really much. For breakfast it was just the usual bread, cereal, etc. but for lunch we made pizza (home-made dough, as a snack a kind of fruit punch, as dinner a barbeque with pasta salad, and as dinner a chocolate chip cookie cake which turned out to have slightly too much butter so it became more of a butter cookie cake with chocolate bits. Nevertheless, it was still quite delicious.
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Since we were lying in the bay, everyone went swimming. However, I had my kitchen shift so I couldn’t really jump in the water. I just heard some people jumping in the water, so I went outside to see what was going on. That was a bad idea, because before I knew it one of the crew members and a student picked me up and threw me into the water. I had on all my clothes and slippers. I came out of the water and sun dried for a bit. When I was semi-dry again I decided to go back to making bread; which is what I was initially doing. Someone decided I wasn’t going to make bread, so I got thrown in the water again. After that I actually wanted to take a shower to rinse of the salty water, but having my kitchen shift I wasn’t allowed to. So I made bread and I was dripping in salty water.
Anyway, after preparing everything for dinner, we were allowed to go on land (brought by the little motor boat). The land was a very big hill. So we decided to climb up the hill. However, Tenerife being a volcanic island is covered in rocks, thus so was the hill. Of course, I thought I would be okay in my flip-flops but this was quite the contrary. I almost fell down the hill a couple of times and also when you hold on to the rocks they sometimes come out of the mountain, so you still don’t have anything to hold onto. But with a few scratches and bruises I made it up and down the hill. It was all worth it though. The view at the top was magnificent. On one side there was sea, our boat, and in the distance you could see Santa Cruz, on the other side there were more hill and a very steep slope that led down to the sea. Unbelievably picturesque.
The day after that (16th) we motored to Santa Cruz and had our big clean up. Also, we had an emergency practice, for example when the ship starts sinking or something. The timing was slightly unlucky for one guy who was just taking a shower. So I had to run outside in his underpants and towel. After the big clean-up we got some time off and our phones back. Civilization! No, it isn’t actually that bad to be without phone or internet for two weeks. But it is really nice to be able to talk to your parents again.
We went in to Santa Cruz with a group of girls. Everything was really fun. We were enjoying the sun and after a lack of fruit we decided to get a fruit smoothie. At the smoothie shop I was looking for small change and put my wallet on the table. Then we left and apparently I left my wallet of table. As soon as I realized, which was about fifteen minutes later, I rushed back to the shop and asked if I had my wallet. Usually they find these kinds of things, but now they didn’t. In my wallet I had 20 euro, 50 euro from another girl, my ID card, and my pin card. I don’t know what the worst to lose is, but I think all of it sucks equally. I can’t somebody stole my wallet. All the ladies in the shop claimed that when the cleaned the table there was nothing there. They seemed quite serious, but you never know. Then again someone could have also passed and taken my wallet. I will never know. Now, we’re trying to go to the police but all the police say they don’t deal with stolen items so we have to go the main police station which is one hour out of time by foot. Luckily, we have a car so we will probably take it tomorrow to go to the police. That definitely ruined the night.
The day after that terrible night, we had an exchange with the British School of Tenerife. They’re school is nothing like mine. It is much smaller and not very international. Most of them speak Spanish or learned to speak Spanish, so they all speak Spanish with each other. The teacher attempt to make the students speak English but it doesn’t really work. However, they were really nice. At their school we first talked a bit to them, and then we had a tour at a hotel with a botanical garden, after that we ate some typical Spanish food, and as closure we played some volleyball against them. I failed miserably, since I have absolutely no skills for volleyball but luckily out of the five or six games we still won.
After we went to the British School we had a barbeque with the German version of what we are doing on this boat. During this barbeque, which was yesterday, I learnt that their boat, the Thor Heyerdahl, was once getting rebuilt so they needed another boat which became the boat I am now on, the Regina Maris. That is how the captain decided he wanted to have a Dutch version of what they do in Germany. However, I think the theory behind our boat is different than the theory behind the German boat. The Thor Heyerdahl students are part of the KUS project, which stands for Klasse Unter Segeln, classes under sails. Their boat is quite a bit bigger than ours, but personally I find ours has a lot more sphere.
Today we had another exchange with the British School of Tenerife. This time they came to our boat. I got the feeling that they had a really good time. We talked with them and showed them our home (the ship) and they had lunch. It was quite interesting. Three of the students were partly Dutch and also spoke Dutch. They were all really nice and we talked about everything with them. We will probably go to the beach with them on Sunday.
Tenerife itself is really beautiful. The landscape is really lush, due to the volcanic grounds (I learnt that yesterday in the botanical garden), and there are mountains/hills. However, the buildings kind of ruin it. They have a couple of big flats and the houses aren’t really well maintained.
We are going to climb El Teide, the volcano, from Monday to Tuesday. In the mean time we have to get things organized, buy some new stuff, do some school, etc.

Love from Tenerife,

Posted by meimeilin 11:29 Archived in Spain Comments (0)


Hello everyone!
The motor is officially off! For the past 10 days we have basically have been motoring our way through since the wind direction has been completely different from what it normally is. However, today the wind changed and now we can sail again. Sailing is much more peaceful then motoring. There is no constant buzz in your ear. But there is the fact that the ship is hanging sideways since the wind is pushing in the sails. This makes eating extra hard. But like always we find ways to make things that can be negative into a positive situation. We invented deck sledding! This is how it goes: you put on your sailing costume (sailing pants, sailing jacket, rain boots). You wait for a big wave and then sit on your butt and yes, slide across the deck. I felt like a four year old again. However, there was a little door which opens into the sea so that excess water can poor out. This is kind of unfortunate for us because it means that we could slide through the door and into the ocean. Because of this we were told to stop, nonetheless it was fun while it lasted.
Steering today went really well. I wasn’t off by more than five degrees. Which I can tell you is quite an accomplishment. Today it was also fun since you had to look at the sails and see whether you can sail more towards the wind or if the sails aren’t catching optimal wind, sail more away from the wind.
Today we didn’t have school because of the huge waves and the crookedness of the ship. Most of the time there are waves that go over the side of the boat. Not ideal when trying to learn Spanish or even sitting inside trying to work on a laptop. Due to the weather some people are seasick again. Not very ideal but it’s doable.
We’re probably going to be in Tenerife by Monday. I can’t wait to be lying still again. Today pasta with meatballs fell on the floor, and then the girl who spilt them got it cleaned up when a guy came and spilt more meatballs and pasta over her. Also, a girl and a guy flew of the couch with their meal in their hand the pasta went in the girls boots and over her pants. But just like always it was quite hilarious.

Posted by meimeilin 11:28 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

School again

Hey readers,
Today we started school again. It has it perks but also it down sides. The down side is that there are only 24 hours in a day. My day looks like this, 12.00 – 7.20: sleep, 7.20 – 7.55: breakfast, 8.00 – 12.00: ‘wacht’, 12.00 – 16.00: school (including lunch), 16.00 – 19.30: free time (reading, sleeping, updating blog, doing homework), 19.30 – 19.55: dinner, 20.00 – 0.00: ‘wacht’. Basically, I have barely anytime to do what I want if I want to get my nine hours of sleep and finish all my work. However, the positive side is I get to do school work because it is kind of stressing me out that I know I am slightly behind on almost all my classes. Luckily, when we cross the Atlantic we are going to have less ‘wacht’ hours since they will make smaller groups of people therefore I will have more free time. Nevertheless, the ‘wacht’ is quite enjoyable and interesting so I guess it could kind of be seen as free time.
- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 11:27 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

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