Friday: Departure on a blood moon. When the layers between the material and spirit world are thinnest. On a ship of good souls. It’s a kind ship. The orders from the top are kind. To take care of each other. Watch who is present and check on your watch mates and to wake the next watch gently. Ideally with songs! Meals times are like clockwork as needs to be when watches clock on and off. We have to hot bunk a bit as more crew then bunks.
The full moon looked like a crystal snowflake peeping behind a fluffy matrix of rippled clouds. By nightfall we were making 9-10 knots in moderate swell. Most the crew are sea sick. I made pasta with a creamy broccoli sauce. I added some tomato purée which combined with some fermented soy sauce made it taste like it had cheese in it. I made tomato olive oil and basil pasta for the 3 vegans. Only one of which ate in the end. I made some fresh ginger and turmeric tea to settle tummies. It’s great being back cooking on a boat. Every thing is an adventure trying to stay upright and juggling the kettle. Trying not to drop all the plates as you bounce up and down through the ways.
Alex lent me her mini rig and some cool tunes to make my first galley day vibesy. Minirigs are definitely essential sailing kit! We are sailing on a bearing of 010. Almost due north. We have past a few oil platforms and there are lots of fishing and Cargo boats passing us on the port side. We have a look put stationed most of the time looking out for vessels and fishing gear. I’m a little bit uneasy about climbing the rigging. The idea of furling the royal in a swell in the dark gives me the shivers… Gotta do harness safety training soon… Amaury has made me smile most today. He reminds me of my brother Charlie with his blond hair, joking around happy go lucky puppy nature. All the crew are lovely.
Breakfast wake up at 6:30am. It’s still ink black. The moon is now setting on the port side. I make porridge with 6 mugs of oats, half a bar of coconut cream a half cup of hemp seeds and some cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Good morning fuel. Plus top up of ginger tea and green tea. Wrestled with the coffee. The system we have on board to make coffee is ridiculous. Involves pouring through a filter balanced precariously on a jug. Every time the ship pitches we almost throw the coffee across the galley. It’s like a comedy sketch. I’m not making coffee anymore. At least until we have a cafetiere or coffee press.
Appelstroop is delicious in the porridge. This is my new favourite breakfast. Francois made a make shift croissant by thickly spreading butter on bread, rolling it, closing his eyes and dipping it in hot coffee. No fresh croissants on this ship except in our imaginations.
The decks are now laced with grip lines. The storm nets went up yesterday before dark. We have made at least 160 miles by breakfast. Not quite half way but very good speed. We re dong about 9 knots still northwards. At 8am we were at the same latitude as Esbjerg in Denmark.
For lunch I roasted pumpkin and made cous cous. The pumpkin is enormous. I had to stand on the bench and use all my weight to slice into it. There’s been some swell and things flying around the galley. There is a storm heading our way so after lunch the royal and course were furled. The captain, Arjen, made the decision to hang back to avoid sailing into it
I spent the late afternoon in the chart room. Learning about the instruments and charging my laptop. Dinner I made lentils and got out sauerkraut. It was yummy. But a lot of the crew are still sick. We gybed over dinner and pans went flying. Every galley day is an endurance test with holding of extreme yogaesque poses and wedging in to stay stable at an angle. The galley isn’t gimbled.
Steven had a wave break over him on the foredeck in the process of gybing. The boys all seemed miserable and wet over dinner.
Alex described the sensation of sailing in the galley as being perched in the clouds aboard a wobbling striding beast.
More gems from Alex include: enjoy puking. Relish it and eat for it, then sea sickness passes faster. Gross.
Tomorrow I’m going to make shepherds pie and bake a cake. Apple cake.
Seems like Tabea and Cole are making friends… If you know what I mean!
Sunday: breakfast is eggy bread or wentelteefjes. Which translates as ‘turning bitches’. We tacked after Breakfast. I had a funny dream where I was running around in my underwear having lots of flings while never quite making it to ed dowdings birthday.
We tacked after breakfast. Morning was idyllic. Bright sunshine and warm on deck. Arjen and Vincent helped me chop in the galley. We made bread pudding from all the bread, apples and pears. Lunch was a hearty soup with the organic cheese from the lighthouse keeper. I made tons of herby croutons too. The period just after lunch is my favourite time. Often the captain, mates and off going watch stay for a while drinking tea.
I went to my bunk to have a little rest and it all changed. I came back 45 minutes later to find the rain lashing down. I sat in the navigation room to type a blog and all of a sudden thunder bellowed and flashes of lightening struck almost at the same time. Arjen turned off all the electrics as a precaution and we waited for it to pass. I went back to the galley to make tea and remembered the bread apple pudding which was simmering nicely in the oven. I served it right away. I managed to find a can of squirty cream to the delight of all the crew. I think being in a steamy galley in a thunder storm eating apple cake and cream is pretty rocking. We pinned he our back as the storm cleared to view an enormous rainbow over to port.
Dinner was roasted ‘home fries’, green beans and the mackerel caught earlier lightly baked in dill. I collapsed exhausted into bed at 9:30pm. Over dinner we discussed a sailing sit com. Maybe set in the galley of a ship as a stage show. Always moving. Today has been absolutely comedy and I dearly wish the galley was installed with go pros and sound recording! Everyone here is absolutely hilarious. Chimra told some awful Jew and baby jokes. Cole is non stop bad taste comedy.
My legs feel like they have been running all day.
This way that way forwards and backwards over the northern sea. A bottle of rum to fill my tum. A sailors life for me.
Monday. It’s blowing. I’ve had a roller coaster of a night in my bunk. I found a leeboard to wedge myself in. Scrambled across deck to the galley to make porridge and found some sleeping trainees. It’s really difficult to do anything when the ship is pitched over 20 degrees and surfing up and down waves. Managed porridge and a can of green tea. And waited to serve people as they filtered in one by one soaked from the wind, rain and waves. As it was extreme cooking conditions, I made relatively plain risotto rice with vegetables for lunch. It’s pitching 25 degrees most of the time. I took a nap as breakfast and lunch preparation had been exhausting. I passed Arjen in the chart room who informed me that we were on the edge of the storm.
I went back on deck to make tea at 4:30. I stood on deck aft next to the wheel and watched seagulls fly by. There was one beautiful gull with an orange neckerchief. The sea is slate grey and the sky endless grey. Every now and then the cusp of the sea breaks and there is a flash of aquamarine.
For supper I made cauliflower cheese to go with the leftover rice. It took ages and was difficult to manage sliding all over the place. I have many more bruises than before. After supper I retired to my bunk and changed my thermals which revealed the extent to which I’d battered my self around the ship. Finally we are heading to Stavanger. Then we sailed straight into the storm. Cue a long night, mostly at 35 degree angle, getting thrown out of my bunk.
All hands were on deck. At 4 am the Norwegian coastline was spotted and by 10 am we were making plans to get tugged into Stavanger. I missed the worst of it as I was in my bunk. When I came on deck in the morning to make breakfast I was sad I’d missed being on deck, by the helm, in the howling winds, surfing the waves and galloping through the waves at 12.5 knots….
Hey ho. Next leg I’m on watch. It will come soon enough. I love being back on the water in a weird family community cooking at silly angles. It rocks. Big time.