Monday, January 20th, 2014
By apprentice Amy (aka Beamy) from Bristol, UK
Hmmm… when does my day begin? I am on the 12 to 4 watch. Night and day. I think I’ll start when I have breakfast. I usually wake up 10 minutes early, before midnight, so I can fuel up for my night watch. I can be found on the aloha deck eating cereal and drinking tea at 11:30pm ready to muster with my watch mates at 11:50pm.
Just as well I ate – first job is to take in the fore t’gallant sail. Four of us led by Pania wait in the rig while our shipmates ease out the halyard and clew up the sail and steady the braces. We file out on the yard in the near darkness to put a quick sea stow on the sail. As soon as I am back on deck I’m sent up the mainmast as eight of us work quickly to stow the main sail.
Once the sails are stowed the 8-12 watch is sent below and the seven of us on my watch can enjoy the peace and quiet. We like to do some late night ‘shopping’, gathering peanut butter, crackers and cereal from the hold to restock the scullery shelves!
My final hour is spent on the foredeck on lookout and even though it’s before four a.m. there is a hint of dawn in the sky. I haven’t seen a ship since we left New Zealand, but we also need to look out for lightening. This hour is dragging as I think of family back home and make endless plans to return to sea. Just before four a.m. Steve (from Boston) appears to relieve me, grinning with a story even though he’s just woken up. “Watch below!” It’s easy to sleep now.
A friendly wake-up call at 11:15am from Teis (from Denmark where he had recently been a cadet in the full-rigger Danmark) with news of warmth and sunshine. My sleepy watch wakes up with an early lunch before taking charge of the deck. Lian (from Toronto) has the wheel. Easy steering today with the sails balanced and well. The rest of us bring out more fish and rice creatively prepared by Donald for the rest of the crew. An hour in the scullery and everything is clean and tidy.
Meg, our AB, dishes out ships work. I’m working aloft with Lily putting another coat of primer on the rust spots on the main upper topsail yard. We dangle our legs sitting on the footropes with our paint in tins strapped to our harnesses. After a stint on the helm I have to gather wind and weather information to enter in the ship’s log, then do a ships check making sure things are stowed, nothing’s on fire and no taps are leaking.
Last hour is time to clean up and make coffee for the next watch. Four o’clock pm and we’ve handed over to the four to eight watch and we have hot chocolate with the watch to unwind.
An unofficial workshop today as we gather on the quarterdeck with ditty bags in various stages. I finish splicing and serving mine – all it needs is a wooden base however the wood is buried under our wooden cargo so it will have to wait until after Pitcairn. Chelsea (from Canada) and Teis want some help serving their grommets and between us we figure out how the Captain showed us yesterday.
‘Ding’ goes the dinner bell at 6pm. It’s not fish! Excitement over chicken and potatoes. After dinner is cleared away the salon becomes a games room; various games of cards and I can hear a movie playing in the brocave. Once Steve finishes watch at eight we continue our backgammon tournament before it’s time for bed and a nap before night watch.