22/4/12 - 23/4/12
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!