Öckerö gymnasium

A seamans tale

It was a mellow night, the 8th of june and the midnight hours were on their way. As I was on my way to change posts with the lookout, I looked upon the thick fog embracing the boat. You could almost feel strange spirits dancing around the boat, just out of sight.

It was the last post change of the day and last words were exchanged with the previous person manning the lookout about incoming boats or objects drifting by. The last couple hours had been long and yours truly was getting quite tired. As I was left alone I realized the only sound I could hear were the sounds made by my friends on the deck behind, and the fog limited my sight to a mere 30 meters outwards. The water was clear and calm, not a wave or wrinkle on the surface. The sky was a bit cloudy, but just clear enough for some light to seep through. The moonshine reflected off the shallow waters, before reflecting back into the retinna of my eyes. Just under the bowspritt a shadow was lurking, showing the contours of something foul. In the shadows up ahead I wouldn’t be surprised if an abandoned pirate ship would appear, just like in the movies. This could very well be the dead mens fog carrying all the tales told o’ so many years ago.

I wake up to the sound of knocking and bashing on the door. All of last night feeling like a fading dream. The person tells us that the it’s time for our watch, but before that - Breakfast! 15 minutes later I enter the small cafeteria with heavy steps, the room filled with tired youths, and also for the first time so far, a tired watchleader. Half an hour later and our watch is lining up. The first officer tells us that they’ve had a very relaxed 4 hour watch, and that the winds were close to none. As I was on the workforce this time we started off with relaxing. Usually we have to fix something with the sails, or clean under deck, which is specific for this 8 o’clock to 12 o’clock watch, however since there were no wind and the cleaning was left for the evening all we could do was to sit around and wait.

It was quite early on when a boat appeared just behind us, which compared to us was facing sideways. It didn’t appear to move, however we soon realised it was moving towards us- sideways! It was then we understood that we were drifting backwards. A few words with the captain and we knew the reason why. Since the winds were non existent and the speed of the boat was close to none, we couldn’t turn around, however we were headed in the right direction. A few hours later and the winds started to pick up a bit, we in the workforce had to brace, or in other words, turn the sails to catch the winds better. Leaving the rest of the bracing to the next watch, we went off duty. About ten minutes later, however, one student had decided to turn his room into a deoderant gas chamber, turning on the firealarms. A short lineup later and all the problems solved, we all went to lunch and then afterward we had a lesson.

We all were surprised when, after the lesson, every watch was told that they were supposed to line up on deck in a couple of minutes. Here we all were told that it was time for one of the now famous so-called “VM i OS” competition, VM is short for world championship and OS being short for The Olympic games. Basically it’s just playing with terms. The point of the competition was to tie knots as quickly as possible. In the end, my watch ended up in second place, just behind all of the command. The rest of the day was spent on studies.

Now that we can almost feel the Swedish breeze I would say we all feel a bit relieved. It has been a very fun trip overall, but now we are all very tired and a bit overworked. To all the parents of the students on the boat reading this, I hope you all feel obligated to let your child have a couple of days resting, and letting them sleep in how ever much they want. Trust me, they all deserve it.

Alvin Söderberg


Öckerö seglande gymnasieskola
Björnhuvudsvägen 45
475 31 Öckerö

Telefon: 031-97 62 00
e-post: kommun@ockero.se