Öckerö gymnasium

Our first few hours at sea…

I woke up this morning to the sound of Malou who came in to wake us up for breakfast. Even though we had only been on T/S Gunilla for 3 nights we had all learnt that sleep is key to just about anything.

But our blurry eyed frowns were soon turned upside down when we smelt the wonderful fragrance of the Sunday morning breakfast. Every Sunday, the galley serves egg and bacon for breakfast. While everyone settled down in the big mess and started digging in to their meals our principal, Stefan Carmesund, came down the ladder. He was met with a round of applause since he had only just arrived to the boat during the night.

After breakfast it was time for assembly. Since we were going to be climbing a loft (around the masts) afterwards, we all had to have our harnesses on. The second mate said a few words and then it was time to start climbing. The first few days here in Malaga are for getting to know the boat a bit better. Today is the last day we are in the harbour and after lunch we will set off for the Canary Islands. Estimated time of arrival is the 8th of December.

So, after climbing up to the yards (the things that the sails are attached to) we learnt how to tie the knot “two-half-hitches slippery”, unstow and then stow the sails again. Those who didn’t do that learnt other important knots on deck like “bowline-hitch”. Between climbing and tying knots there was of course our daily 10 o’clock fika which was then followed by some more climbing.

For lunch we had classic Swedish ungspannkaka with apple and lingonjam and at 12 o’clock we had another assembly because it was time to leave the harbour. Also, the portside watch started their shift (I’m in that watch). We all helped to get the boat ready for departure and we were soon on our way. There were many tourists watching us as we left the harbour, which I thought was fun. As soon as we had left the harbour you could feel the wind pick up a bit and the boat started moving more. During our watch we had to move the braces in preparation for the sails to be set. We also got to climb out to the front where foresails are to put their sheets through their blocks. At 3 o’clock it was time for fika again. I think we eat at least five set times per day. And the funny thing is, we always seem to have room for more food!

At around 15:40 the whole ship got ready for a man overboard (MOB) training. We do regular drills so that in case of a real emergency we know what to do. We used a cabbage head as the man overboard person and it was super frightening how quickly it disappeared. We all helped trying to locate the cabbage head so that it would be easier for the rescue crew to “save” it.

At four o’clock in the evening our shift was over and the midships watch took over. A lot of us used our spare time to have a shower after a long day’s work.

The rest of the evening we ate a delicious dinner which was served to us by our wonderful chefs and those in the watch who are kitchen duty. They served roasted vegetables with pork and a tasty gravy-like sauce. If I may say so myself, I thought it was the best meal yet. After dinner, those of us who had free time spent it catching up on writing in our diaries or watching a good film. Our “real” school classes will start tomorrow.

At eight o’clock tonight the starboard watch will go on watch until midnight when it’s time for my watch to go on again. I’ll be going to bed early tonight in hopes of at least getting a few hours sleep before midnight. We might even see some dolphins tonight.

I hope all of you at home and everywhere else have had a good day and a good week to come!

Rebecca Bracegirdle


Öckerö seglande gymnasieskola
Björnhuvudsvägen 45
475 31 Öckerö

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