A Travellerspoint blog

Going Home

On the 24th of April we had school till about 4 in the afternoon where after we left back home, to the Netherlands. Again, we had a ship-takeover so at 00.00 that night I had to have watch. It was quite an amusing watch. We started playing the "mystery murder" game again and I actually managed to "kill" someone that evening! Anyway at 4.00 on April 25th we went back to bed.

At around 11 the same morning Merwin came to wake us up because we could already see IJmuiden, the place where we were going to harbor! Some people were very happy to see the Netherlands, while others were extremely sad that this trip was truly coming to an end. To me however, I couldn't imagine that it was almost over. It didn't feel like coming home, it felt like we just arrived in another country, the usual thing.
Since everyone was filled with energy we put on our entire sailing-suits and went to the beach. There we didn't do what we normally did, sunbathe and swim (although some did actually swim!). It was about 20 degrees colder in the Netherlands than in for example Panama or Cuba, so instead we had a "stilte oefening" or quiet moment in which we just had to stand and clear our minds or think about whatever we wanted. At the end of this everybody of course, got really emotional. Everybody had thought about how it would be to be back and how we would all miss each other. I couldn't imagine what life back in Poland would be like. My eyes also filled up with tears and this sounds really cheesy, but we actually had a group hug after our moment of silence. Then we all walked back to our second home, the ship.

On the 26th of April we enjoyed yet another exciting day of school. No but it was actually quite useful since I did a logarithms and exponents math test. Luckily, Lambert, the math teacher was back so he could explain my last few questions before I did the test. Not only did I do school, as the usual life on board of the Regina Maris went, I also cleaned. But this time, the cleaning was a bit more intensive, I helped clean out a bit of the STORES, which are basically the cupboards under the couches where the food is stored.

Posted by meimeilin 12:34 Archived in Netherlands Tagged ijmuiden Comments (0)

Oostende, Belgium

In the early morning of the 22nd I was woken by the sound of the motor going in reverse, forward, reverse, forward, etc. All of the people living in the Netherlands on the ship only need to drive 2-4 hours and they would be home. It is such a weird feeling! Till the lunch we had free time, since it was our day off. After lunch time we had to clean the ship.
When the ship was sparkling and shining we were allowed to go on land. Together with Steffie, Jeltje, Haike and Merwin we kind of strolled along the harbor. What we noticed is that they sold a crazy amount of fish and Belgium waffels. Later on, together with Steffie I walked into the city a bit. There was an H&M and a lot more European things that we haven't seen in six months! It was all quite exciting. We updated ourselves on the last fashion, had some cappuccino, and then returned back to the ship where the student who left had arrived.
The next day in Oostende we had school till the lunch. After this Anne, one of the crew, had a surprise for us. He took us to the old three-masted schooner, the Mercator. It was a floating museum in the harbor of Oostende. Anne had worked on the rigging for the ship. First we strolled around in the museum which was quite interesting since we were able to compare it to the Regina Maris, our own ship. The Mercator was definitely a lot bigger and had quite different sails. Of course, walking around wasn't all we did. The big surprise was that we would climb into the mast of the ship. As the third person I had to slide all the way to the far edge of the boom which was at a ten or fifteen meter height. There we stood for about half an hour waiting for everybody to get on. It was getting cold and our feet were starting to cramp up. However, it was still kind of exciting since we were high up. When everybody had slid on one side a picture was taken. We then had to wait till everyone went down. The remaining people slid on the other side of the mast to the other end of the boom. Another picture was taken. They were then put together to make this quite cool-looking photo!
After climbing the Mercator we were let into Oostende. Haike, Steffie, and I took this time to look through the H&M, Hema, Vero Moda, etc. but most importantly to celebrate Jeltje's birthday!

Posted by meimeilin 12:32 Archived in Belgium Tagged oostende Comments (0)

Return of rest

The peace has returned in the English Channel. The wind has become slower and school started again.
On the 20th of May we celebrated Jeltje's birthday. During her watch (12-4) she got a plate filled with chocolates and a sandwich with chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag, in Dutch).
On the 21st of May I enjoyed a regular watch day. My last normal watch day! I can't believe the trip is really coming to an end. Time seems to have flied by, I can't imagine myself at home anytime soon. We are probably arriving in Oostende, Belgium tomorrow morning. Here we will stop, Lambert will come back and so will one of the students who left and the project leader.

Posted by meimeilin 09:44 Tagged english channel Comments (0)

Windy days at sea (50-60 km/h of wind!)

semi-overcast 9 °C

When I woke up for lunch we were swaying much more then we usually did. I then knew that the rough winds that were planned to come, had arrived. My watch started at four so in between lunch and four I decided to do some school.
When it was about 15:30 I decided to start getting dressed. The icy winds made the weather extremely cold so I had about five sweaters on. Sietske and I were on our way outside together with Wouter and Till when Els said she preferred Siets and I stayed on "stand-by". This basically means sit inside during the whole watch, doing the chores inside, and coming outside when help is needed. Siets and I decided that was everyone wasn't feeling there best we would help the kitchenshift and take care of people. So we started out by vacuuming the downstairs hall (watch job) then supplied drinks for everyone and after that helped chop veggies, etc. After a while we decided we would really like to get some fresh air because we were getting slightly queasy. So after asking several times we were allowed to go outside. The wind was exactly as I had imagined it, icy and hard. The waves were huge and occasionally hit against the ship which caused them to splash all-the-way over the backdeck. We enjoyed our last half hour in the fresh air for the next two days.
Els came down and told everyone that watches would be put together. This meant that there would be no school as everybody was too sick to do school anyway. We would also have only four (of the 8-10) people steering since they didn't like to many people up. If we were every to go outside with these winds we had to put on our life-line.
After dinner I went to bed and woke-up at four for my third watch in a row. We just had to sit in the living room, just incase. We cleaned the living room, tried to stay awake, and made coffee and tea. The four hours passed slowly, staying awake was hard. The next day we had watch together again and at night, yet again. That would be my fifth watch in a row. When I was getting out of bed I was told that I was the only person who could do a kitchenshift the next day and that I had to take over someone's kitchenshift. Great, I thought. So they woke me up just to ask me if I could do a kitchenshift when obviously no one else "could" do it the next day. I went to bed but didn't sleep. With about four hours of sleep I started my kitchenshift with Siets and Siebrand. Sietske is in the same watch as me and as Joost was sick it would mean only Wouter and Till had watch. So obviously this wouldn't work. After the lunch I went back to bed to so at four I would have watch, again. Luckily, Dianne took over my kitchenshift so they still had three people.
After this long tiring day I skipped dinner and went straight to bed.
Luckily, we did go fast with the hard winds so we had now entered the English Channel.

Posted by meimeilin 23:56 Tagged ocean Comments (0)

Wales, kitchenshift, cleaning and other things

The Azores to Oostende, Belgium

We are at sea again meaning, yes, yes, school starts. When I started this trip I thought there wouldn't be an end to the amount of work I have, but now I actually think I will manage to finish all my work. It's a miracle!
Anyway, besides school we of course had watch. My watch is still four to eight, which I actually quite enjoy. We have a lot of fun during our watch.
We also saw whales again! Well, one whale. I finally got a proper whale picture. The ocean was really calm, which is the best time to spot whales.

On the 13th of April, which was Friday the 13th... I had my kitchenshift! But luckily, nothing bad happened. Well except for the fact that we were planning to make Wienerschnitzels, but took out the wrong meet so we ended up making pork with potatoes from the oven and a salad. Dinner was pancakes and we wanted everybody to have two so 45 times 2. We had to make at least 90 pancakes plus some extra for the watches. In the end we made 110 pancakes. Merwin, however, burned his finger. So Willemijn and I spend the majority of the time making the pancakes, luckily some people came to help us.

Sunday I had watch and it was extremely cold in the morning. Especially at four, which is probably the coldest hour of the day. I think I wore about 5 sweaters, hat, scarf, gloves, thermal underwear, and my rain/sail-suit. You would think I wouldn't be cold with all these layers, but I definitely was. After sleeping till the lunch we had lunch, obviously, and then the regular big clean-up. Together with Yke I had to clean out the fridge. It takes a while, but definitely isn't the worst job. Unluckily, some eggs fell in the fridge which wasn't exactly the nicest to clean up. In the evening, after my watch, Valerie (one of the crew) introduced to us the game of 'Mystery Murders'. Basically you on little folded pieces of paper, the name of a person, the place, and the item they need to be "killed" with. The game can last as long as you want. The point is to touch the person with the item at the location given. It seems easy, but sometimes you can get impossible combinations. It was quite hilarious. For example one of the teachers ran through the hallway by the sleeping huts with a big boei to kill someone and it actually worked!

Posted by meimeilin 04:40 Tagged ocean Comments (0)

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