The day started at 3.20 a.m. by my alarm on my phone before the midships watch came and woke us up at 3.30 a.m. to tell us that our watch starts in half an hour. It was hard to go up, as always but I have found a solution to it. I have started a routine where I wake up before they wake us up because I want to be able to lay down in my bed without having to go up immediately, and then I lay there until it’s fifteen to ten minutes left before I need to be at quarterdeck to take over the watch. We need to be there five minutes before our watch starts, so 3.55 a.m. and p.m., otherwise it can be quite embarrassing. You don’t want to be late and have your watch leader angry at you.
This trip is like a light version of the military, I guess. You need your gear, your knife on and have a tether as a safety regulation to it, wear your safety harness and have a lifejacket to put on for when it’s dark outside during your watch. You get dots, for example, if someone in the crew find you and your roommates’ cabin not clean or find you sleeping together with someone. This is due to the safety on board. If you get three dots, you will not be aloud to go ashore during one of your off watches in Grenada.
Anyway, I came in time, as usual and our shift started. My position was to work on the ship when it suits the ship’s crew. During the first hour of our morning watch we had something called “The Atlantic talk”. It’s when you choose a person from your watch to be interviewed by the other people from your watch to get to know each other better. I was the first person to be asked a lot of questions. Many of them were really hard to answer and I rejected some of them because I felt a bit uncomfortable to be asked such deep questions. I tried my best to answer as smooth as possible to satisfy both me and them. I think it was brave of me and after around thirty minutes later I told them that I didn’t want to continue, and that was okay.
Right now, the watch I’m in, Starboard, have our morning watch between 4-8 a.m. and our first and second dog watch between 4-8 p.m. Much better than our earlier watch schedule we had before from 12-4 a.m. and 12-4 p.m. It was hard for me to get used to that because it felt like I never had any spare time unlike how I feel now. It’s an amazing feeling to see the sunrise every morning around 7 o´clock, and I get less tired then. It's a wonderful feeling!
During our first and second dog watch (between 4-8 p.m.) today I was one of those who navigated the ship, the lifebuoy guard and the lookout. After thirty minutes as a lifebuoy guard, for example, you change position to lookout. That’s because you need to stay focused on your work and that would be really hard if you do the same thing, doing practically nothing for four hours. When I have that position during a watch, I think a lot, more than I use to and I’m a person who thinks and reflects a lot over things already. Many thoughts come up in my head that can surprise myself on what my brain is capable of. It becomes quite boring after a while though, so that’s not a position I would prefer. Anyway, my favourite position during the watches is when I work with maintenance work and other stuff that needs to be done at the ship.
Yesterday morning I learned how to do a monkey’s fist. Really confusing! It felt like I didn’t understand a simple thing but we did it today as well so those who worked as a lookout, lifebuoy guard, the ones who navigated the ship and those who worked in the galley yesterday also could learn how to do it. I chose to just watch my watch leader Adam doing it while he explained it again and tried to memorize on how to do it. After that I helped one of those who didn’t get it at the first time, but I’m still not completely sure on how to do it myself.
Our longest sea leg is soon over. Weird. It feels like we were at Cape Verde just a few days ago, not eleven and I still have a lot of schoolwork to do. It’s really tough from time to time. But everything that happens on the ship is like a routine now, so you get used to it.
It’s time to change our watch schedule and leader soon again, when we leave Grenada to be exact. I think that’s quite hard because you need to get to know a new person you don’t really know how they work yet and you need to get used to a new time schedule.
Now, I’m too tired to even be able to think clear and tomorrow morning I’m going to be singing “Happy Birthday” to Annika, my roommate, who has her eighteenth birthday here, before our watch starts. Exciting!
I hope you have a nice time wherever you are!
Frida Palm SAS1821