The 12 September on TS Gunilla was a day of longing. Longing for fresh food, familiar smells and steady ground.
For me and the rest of the portside watch, this day begun with confusion and sea sickness. We woke up at 11.30 pm, after a few hours of restless sleep, to get dressed and hurry up to deck. Well, we hurried as much as one can when being half asleep, tired and nauseous from the seasickness that’s creeping up on you from behind. I can promise that we all looked forward to going back to bed again at 04.00 am, just to be able to wake up to the stillness of being at port.
Even when the floor underneath our feet was no longer moving, most of us were somewhat seasick after a whole day at sea. However, at least we were all for once well rested. I wouldn’t excaudate if I said that most of us had slept for at least twelve hours that day. You see, the first day at sea is always free from lessons, and because of the irregular waves. Therefore most of us preferred to sleep during our spare time. It was therefore terrific to wake up right before lunch, knowing that the next four hours would be spent in harbour, where there’s no need to throw up, and where it’s possible to stand in the shower without hitting your head into the wall.
Watching the others happily leave the boat to explore the city of Cherbourg, we, the portside watch, stayed onboard to work for the last hours before dinner at 6 pm. It was actually a lot more fun than I would have imagined. First, we got to run back and forth with all our garbage, which we had been collecting over the last few hours at sea. This might not sound like the most amusing thing, but you wouldn’t believe how exciting garbage can be, when you’re in the right mood for garbage.
The rest of the time that day flew by, and suddenly we had finished cleaning, only to realise that we had finished as much as 30 minutes before we were supposed to. Luckily for us the crew didn’t give us anything else to do after that. Someone then came up with the great idea that we all could shower and dress up in our school shirts, hoping for a positive reaction from the crew (especially from the captain). Unfortunately, the captain had decided not to eat onboard that evening, so we had all dressed up for nobody but ourselves. All of us got a great dinner anyway, feeling happily tired after a day of work.
The day ended with two hours of night watch, tiredly looking out over dark and rainy streets of Cherbourg.
Hope you’ve had a day as interesting as ours.
Ida Bloom Wrenne, portside watch