The sun burns on my back as we´re waiting for the commodore to get out from the navigation house. I can see some white spots on my legs from the sunscreen but can´t fix that right now. I must stand straight, look over at starboard watch and try not to fall when the waves make Gunilla heel. The commodore tells us the estimated time of arrival: Sunday, around 3 o´clock break. “Lookout, helmsman, watchman and galley slaves can go do what you are supposed to do”. I watch them walk towards their posts and then wait for Anna to give the rest of us in port ship orders.
Some of the oil drips down into the ocean when my can heels as I´m climbing to the tip of the staysail boom. I correct the can and get to where I´m going to start my work. First, I clean the wood with alcohol, so I can later paint on a layer of oil without making ugly marks. The sun makes the alcohol evaporate in milliseconds. I look over my shoulder and just smile at what I see. With all sails set she sails the Atlantic Ocean, under the blue sky, over the blue ocean. I´m thinking that it´s really a dream coming true to be here and of how grateful I´m to be able to do this. But I can´t sit here staring and philosophy all day. The oil reflects the sun into my eyes as I continue dragging my pencil downwards. It´s kind of like a meditation.
Dingding, dingding, dingding, ding. Seven bells mean that it´s only half an hour left until we go off watch. Seven bells are my favourite sounds these days because then it´s time to finish your work for the day and tidy up. I put everything back on place and start cleaning up on deck: fixing ropes.
The time is 6.30 am and some of the girls in my watch and I have decided to climb up to the royal to watch the sun set in the ocean. Ebba L, Pogge (Tilda P) and I decide to climb in the foremast while Agnes and Ella go up the mainmast. Ebba and I are bringing cookies and milk up to snack on. (I know what you´re going to think, is the milk organic? Sadly no. You´ll probably also going to be thinking if it´s safe to bring up loose things in the mast? No, that’s why we tied a knot around each object to secure them). With everything prepared, harnesses on and go pros set on record we start climbing, passing the jib, the lower top sail, upper top sail and the topgallant. The air up here feels new and fresh. We secure our self and start walking on the little rope as far out to port as possible. I throw my leg over the yard and the other follow. “Cheers!”. Everybody takes a bite of the cookie and a sip of milk. But Ebba’s sip of milk doesn´t stay in her mouth for very long. The milk flies down towards the lookout and Ebba shouts. “SHARK!”. Both Pogge and I turn our faces down towards the ocean and I notice a thin looking figure with a big head swimming alone. “I´m not an expert in sharks but I do know that that is not a dolphin that’s for sure”. Some cookie crumbles fall out as I´m speaking. Pogge just laughs and we get so exited over what we´ve just seen we all start acting like monkeys on drugs.
Thanks to mom and dad for letting me go here, otherwise I would’ve never seen a video of three girls acting crazy in the royal, sailing the Atlantic Ocean.
Linnea Solfors, port ship