Öckerö gymnasium

Gunilla vs. the English Channel

I was sleeping like a newborn baby but got suddenly woken up from the hard sea pushing on the haul making scary and loud noises, and after putting on some clothes in a hasty and stressed fashion I went up to the deck.

When I opened the big heavy door separating the interior from the exterior the heavy winds caught it and slammed it against the wall, I took a quick look around to see if anybody saw, which luckily no one did, and closed it. These were the hardest winds I had ever experienced, over 17 metres per second. When I walked around to see everything I had to lean at almost a 45 degree angle towards the wind just to stay afloat and not land with my bottom on the deck. But to my surprise we hadn’t even left the quay.

Apparently the winds were so strong that we were not able to leave the quay by ourselves because the boat was being pushed so hard by the winds. Luckily there was a simple solution to all of this, a tugboat! We connected ourself to it and then it dragged our huge boat with the help from our bow thruster through the rough winds pretty easily. The tugboat gave us the little push we needed just to get away from the quay and after some metres we managed to maneuver the boat without help. And now you are probably thinking that leaving the quay was the hardest thing we had to go through, but oh boy are you wrong. We had been warned the previous day about how rough the sea was going to be, so the day before we made sure everything was stuck in its place as to not break when the boat will be tossed around in the ocean.

So eventually we got out of the Portsmouth harbour after going straight through the eye of the wind for some time, and thats when the hard part truly began. Right before this I went back to bed because I thought there weren't going to happen so many fun things after the tugboat, but when we got out to the open ocean I started to feel seasick in an instant. The clock was around eleven so I made a plan where I would put on my clothes and sit on the quarterdeck for an hour while I waited for the clock to reach 12.00 when my watch would begin. Opening the oilskin locker (this is where we keep the wet shoes and clothes we wear during rain or a wet watch) was a breeze but putting on the clothes was super difficult. Imagine standing up on a swing and putting on one pair of thermal underwear, then a pair of working pants, a t-shirt, a hoodie, a foul weather gear and to top it all off, a harness and a life vest while it is swinging, that is what it's like.

After sitting on quarterdeck for some time my watch being. This watch I was a post, meaning: rotating between lookout, lifebuoy-guard and helmsman. So I began as lookout but me being me and my body hating me, I became really seasick. So after a while someone had to take over for me while I puked. The rest of the watch I just sat there practically not moving and feeling at my worst. There wasn't anything more exciting that occurred during the watch and when it was over I went straight back to bed and slept from when my watch ended at 16.00 to 23.30, when I was woken up for my next watch, which went way smoother.

So my life lesson for you is to not travel at the sea if there are strong winds, but if you have to do that then at least don't get seasick. If you still have to ignore my tips you can do this amazing cure against seasickness which my watch leader learned from a great captain which she then taught me - take a calm and soothing stroll in the forest.

With the best of regards

Hannes Bjorck, starboard


Öckerö seglande gymnasieskola
Björnhuvudsvägen 45
475 31 Öckerö

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