The fact that we for each day get closer and closer to Öckerö is a bit relieving, and a bit sad. It´s the end of the journey and though the study hall is full there´s a calm feeling about coming back, because you can feel that we´re on our way home.
Today, when the starboard watch relived midship, we followed a well-rehearsed procedure. As everyone had lined up the first mate walked out of the navigation hut and, as always, greeted us with a “Hallå eller?”. After our reply, which also was” Hallå eller?”, he, as always, followed up with a “Läget änna?”. To which we reply “Gött änna”. Then we got a status update on our position and course. As he´s pointing towards the front of the boat he will always say “We are here, and we are heading in that direction”. He will then let us know in what direction our actual destination is. To which he, usually, will point in a different direction. When he today told us that we´re heading straight towards Öckerö a round of applause broke out.
Another part of our usual procedure is the daily challenge. The watch that won the last one has now had twelve hours to choose a new thing to compete about and presents it on the line up. We will then have another twelve hours to decide who the challenger or the challengers are going to be and talk about tactics. We have competed in chins, thumb war, kvajling and a lot more. This morning it was Mir and Kevin who, kind of, wrestled with each other to see who could touch the others kneecap first. Mir won and for this voyage the score is now 01:01.
On our morning watch we also greased wires, removed paint stains from deck and chipped rust. The weather was warm, and the sun shone bright making it very heated in the overalls we used when we greased the wires. If we were at home, I would have gotten the feeling of summer but at Gunilla it is hard to realise what season it is. It can be warm and sunny one day and the next one it absolutely pours down. You can go from one day having shorts to the next one a full on rainsuit.
We have also passed Dover, which is known for its white cliffs. The cliffs are a famous English sight and make out the perfect picture for a postcard. I have always wanted to see them and saw my chance now that we actually visited England. It´s a pity it was night and pitch dark when we passed them. But I did see the outline of it and if you really strained your eyes you could make out a white shade in the distance.
As the sunset in the evening was very beautiful four students decided to climb the rig to take some pictures. I think we all will appreciate coming home, but this is probably the last days we will ever spend sailing on Gunilla. Sentimentality is both pleasant and a bit sad. I will miss a lot about this journey but mostly living together. Of course, it can be hard and challenging and irritating at times but mostly I think it´s quite nice. We wake together in the morning, have our breakfast, study together, spend our free time with each other. A lot of people live together even on Öckerö but now we´re a lot more than three or four. I´m going to miss always having my friends a door away.
Isabella Ståhl, Starboard