Friday, January 17th, 2014
By trainee Hannah, age 19, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
After spending almost two months sailing around the Hauraki Golf and Bay of Islands New Zealand in our Picton Castle, I was very excited (and a little nervous) to get back sailing deep sea. My sea legs had disappeared and I had forgotten what it was like to walk up and down the main deck with water sloshing my toes.
I was put in the 8-12 watch which was nice because it’s somewhat regular sleep hours. In the morning after doing our daily domestics routine (cleaning the ship below decks), we find ship work that needs to be done, which isn’t difficult as there is always something to do. Every so often we are interrupted with tuna on the fishing outriggers astern. Whoever sees the fish first will flick the light to the engine room on and off to let Alex (our engineer who is also Chief Fishing Officer) know. Even when I’m asleep down in the batcave (the original after-peak bunk room) I may wake up to the sound of fish flopping around on the aloha deck above. We even had a couple that were a good 20 pounds!
Throughout the afternoon is a good time to nap, do laundry, or work on personal projects. I usually end up sleeping until around 4:15pm when I am woken up for a daily workshop. Yesterday we worked on grommets for our ditty bags and the day before, splices, knots and other shippy things. At 6:00pm we all gather on the aloha deck and eat supper together. Afterwards, we play cards in the salon or watch a movie. By the time 8:00pm rolls around, the 8-12 watch is back to work, cleaning the scullery and the galley. Last night, the ship was rolling around so much that when I was in the scullery bleaching the floors, I was sliding from one side to the other, much like a skating rink, in spite of the non-skid mats.
Night watch is very enjoyable. Sometimes I lose count of how many shooting stars I see in one night. Looking up at the sails swaying in front of the stars in the sky is even more beautiful and romantic than it sounds. A couple nights ago, myself, Amy and Pania were sitting on the quarterdeck and the whole sky lit up as if there was lightning nearby, but it was actually a meteor falling through the sky. All mesmerized, the meteor brought up a conversation about space, science, life and death, which continued on throughout the night.
It is getting colder and colder every day, and as the temperature drops, the more excited I am to arrive on Pitcairn Island. My watch leader Pania is from Pitcairn and she tells us stories about what it was like to grow up there. She is really good at building up the anticipation. Only 14 (maybe) more days to go! Although, I am not in any rush to get back to land.
I am perfectly content at sea.