Today, we had an open ship, which also marked the first day of the Belfast Maritime Festival. During the festival, you can admire various types of ships in the harbor, and one of these ships was Gunilla. The day started like any other with assembly at 07:55. During assembly, the captain informed those on duty today was my watch (Port side) that they would be in charge of the open ship, welcoming visitors, guiding them around the boat, answering their questions, and most importantly, wearing a smile.
It was the workforce and ship guards who would be responsible for the open ship, while the kitctchenhelpers would carry out their regular duties in the galley, helping with cooking, doing the dishes and etc. However, we were one person short in the galley today because someone in our watch recently returned home to Sweden, and he was supposed to be in the galley today. So, a person from the workforce needed to switch to be kitchenhelper today instead. Our watch leader, Olle, told me and Vilhelm that one of us would have to be in the galley, and we had to figure out between ourselves who it would be. But neither of us wanted to be in the galley today; we both wanted to help with the open ship and talk about Gunilla. So, we came up with the brilliant idea of playing rock, paper, scissors to decide who would avoid the galley work. Luckily, I won, so I didn't have to be in the galley today.
We were scheduled to have an open ship from 10:30 to 15:30, so we needed to prepare the ship to look neat and tidy for all the visitors who would come aboard. We also needed to put up signs and ropes that stretched across the deck to prevent people from going below deck. One of our three watch leaders, Johanna, had drawn up a plan for how we would guide everyone through the boat. We would stand and guide in positions, where each of us had a specific location around the boat. My first position was on the poop deck, which is at the back of the boat, and I was the second guide people met when they came aboard Gunilla. So, I was the one who received the most questions about the ship. The most common questions were: "How old is the ship?", "How high is the mast?", "Do you work on the boat?" and "Where is the boat from?". People were always equally amazed that this was part of our school.
Those of us who were guiding were divided into two groups, each taking turns guiding every other hour during the four hours we had the open ship. It's more tiring than you might think to stand in the same place for hours, having to talk and guide people while the sun beats down on you. But when the clock struck 15:30, it was the end of the open ship, although, we will also have an open ship tomorrow. But for now, we took down everything temporarily so that we didn't have to run around with a bunch of ropes on the deck or duck under signs that said "crew only" for the whole day just to because were doing the same thing tomorrow. At last, we counted how many people had visited Gunilla today, and it was a total of 891 people. That's a lot of people, and we hope we'll have just as many visitors tomorrow, if not more.