Imagine a really cold stormy day. It’s raining, you can hear it smashing in to the windows. You’re sitting inside, under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book or movie. You look out and think to yourself; “Wow, how glad I am that I don't have to go
outside in this bad weather”. I probably could have given almost anything to be the one on the inside, but luck was not on my side this particular day...
It was 9 degrees outside, which may not seem so bad. Isn’t it just to put on an extra couple layers of clothing? No, because the wind was blowing with 45 knots and the rain was pouring like never before, and not from above but from the side. What was supposed to be 9 degrees here in Reykjavik felt like at least minus 15 and there was no way to avoid the rain, forcing its way in through all of my clothes, leaving me freezing at the gangway watch. Where I would be stuck all day long, with no way of avoiding the cold.
As a gangway watch on T/S Gunilla, one of the tasks is to make sure everything on the boat looks okay and works as It should. You do that by doing rounds, once every hour. Since we always are two gangway watchers, you only have to do the round every other hour. Let me say; to go inside and meet the heat of the engine room was like a gift from god at this point. Every fourth hour it’s time to write down all the numbers from the engine room and write ok after checking so that everything is working as it should on the ship. You do this at 8 am, 12 pm and 4 pm during the day and since we took turns I ended up doing every writing round, although this was something i welcomed with open arms since it gave me a little less time to spend on half deck by the gangway.
All morning was long and unpleasant but after lunch by 2 o’clock, the wind stopped and so did the rain. The rest of the day was much more pleasant and as stationed by the gangway you don’t only go on rounds every other hour, but you also plan and write the night watches. We decided to pick at random who would watch when. Before putting the list up for everyone to see we had to go get our watchleader, Sorayas, approval, but we got sent back to fix something or switch times between us, in total 4 times. When we finally got approved everyone in our watch had one 2-hour watch during the night and Emma from the kitchen had said she would take one watch during the morning as well. That way everyone could get a good night's sleep. Only thing was that me and Arvid by the gangway had already sat by the gangway for more than 10 hours by dinner at 6:30 pm. From there we also sat for about 3 hours more, and I was done for the day by 9:30 pm.
After 13 and a half hours by the gangway I was very tired and very cold. Before I could go to bed I decided to take a shower to get warm quicker but the water was cold as well. In the morning I was woken up at 6:15 to sit by the gangway for another one and a half hour until the morning lineup at 8 am. So as a finish to this incredibly long day i set the swedish flag, and then i went straight back to bed to sleep an additional couple hours.