At two o’clock today, T/S Gunilla, having doused sails and a sleeping engine, was completely still. We, the students, then spent half an hour bathing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We were allowed to jump into the ocean from the poop deck, and then climb back up via a ladder, all while the sun smiled down on us.
The water was 16.9 degrees celsius, which is quite cold. But more importantly, it was more than four kilometers deep. At the moment, I did not reflect on it. Now, however, I cannot take my mind off the fact that I could drown in that water and sink for hours before I hit a solid surface. So that’s pretty cool. Other pretty cool things that have happened:
1. Last night, during our shift, most of the midship crew spotted dolphins swimming along the ship. We have seen dolphins before, but this time they were moving through bioluminescent particles, known by us swedes as mareld. Long trails of light followed the animals through the water in an inspiring show of nature’s beauty.
2. This morning, we spotted several dolphins and a small whale, as well as a sea turtle. It has been debated whether the turtle was dead or alive, as no one saw it move. We can settle on the fact that we all saw it.
3. I have developed the palm roughness of a working man.
4. I managed to hit myself on the nose with the rudder while steering.
5. Our new instructor, Clara, has been keeping one eye closed when she goes inside during the night shift. The reason for this is that the moon has been absent for all of this leg, making the nights particularly dark. By keeping one eye closed, it doesn’t adjust to the light, giving you effective dark vision when you go back outside. I tried it, and it actually worked, although it felt as though I was half blind until my other eye adjusted.
6. I am running out of pens.
When I’m writing this, I am thirty minutes away from my next shift. I am part of the work squad, which means I’ll hopefully get to climb a bit. We are also going to clean most of the interior, and probably stretch a couple of braces, to catch just a little more wind. Regardless, I have to get into my work clothes, harness and life vest, shut my right eye and climb onto the deck. But before fore I shoot this Pages file into a USB stick and deliver it to my teacher, I want to wish my family a nice and pleasant skiing vacation. Have fun.