“Life is hard hard is life” as my French watch leader says to me and my friend Lucia as a joke when we’re up in the rig trying to furl the t’gallant or do anything we find hard. This day hasn’t been one of the hardest though. The sun showed its face for the first time in days, my watch got a special price and the day ended with a dance battle between two ships.
The day started with a lineup at 7.55 AM. With tired eyes I looked around. I was dressed for watch and I already regretted my decision to not wear waterproof sailing pants. The rain only increased while the captain informed us of the day and that we’ll probably leave Madeira on Sunday. We also got to know that we’ll not be sailing to Faro but to Portimao. My watch was on harbor watch today and, since I’ve barely been off the ship exploring Madeira, I wasn’t very excited of the thought that I wouldn’t get off the ship today either. When you’re on harbor watch you have it the whole day, so even if you don’t have anything to do after dinner, you’re not allowed to leave the ship because you might be needed to help with anything.
The watch started with cleaning. Not the normal daily cleaning, that cleaning is always done when everything else is. So it depends when, but normally at 5 o’clock. The cleaning we were doing today was the type of cleaning that’s only needed once per sailing, and sadly, my watch leader told us that we’ll be doing this type of cleaning almost every watch until we’ll end our time here on Gunilla. I guess I’ll just have to accept that too. The cleaning wasn’t super fun but was still not a hard or gross job to do, and with some music, played from smuggled wireless headphones that you can hide under your hair, the time went quite fast and suddenly someone told us that it was lunch time.
After lunch we got a note from our watch leader that invited us to a Swedish “fika” with new baked apple cake in the crew’s saloon. The invitation was only for my watch and was the price of a competition that we won on our first day here at Madeira. During the Swedish fika the ones of us that like coffee got a chance to try the crew’s special coffee, which they appreciated. Before the daily cleaning me and another girl got to splice a wire. It was actually kind of fun, and way much better than cleaning. The only negative thing about it was that I got tar all over my hands and even though I’ve cleaned them several times with different types of soaps, the smell won’t go away. The worst thing isn’t even that my hands smell. The worst thing is that everything I touch with my hands starts to smell the exact same scent of tar. But what can a say? Life is hard. Hard is life.
It might sound as a loud of work onboard the ship, but the key is to have fun while we work. The excitement you feel climbing the rigg in tough wind is refreshing on its own, but it will always be what you make it. From the beginning sailing here was just a nice vacation, but as time passed it turned into a fun and thrilling adventure. The bond between me and my classmates grows stronger each day and especially at sea when we don’t have any internet. It gives us the opportunity to really get to know each other instead of looking into our screens.
Anyways, after dinner I went down under deck and after some few hours of sleep, that gives a lot more energy than you might think, I went up to the dining room to snapchat my friends at home. Suddenly someone came in. He told all of us that we should come outside to see something. The thing waiting for us outside was loud music and dancing people. The students of the school ship Wylde Swan where out having a dance battle with a few people from Gunilla. They held a distance from each other, so no one would get infected, but still had a lot of fun. Not only was it fun for the ones dancing, it was also a very fun thing to watch. It was a good ending of a soft day.