Öckerö gymnasium

Safety watch

The day started at 11am when we were roused by starboards safety man. She told us about the warm weather outside and said that we had twenty minutes to get up to brunch.

This brunch is always the first meal that we get while having the 12-4 guard after the maximum seven hours of sleep that you can get if you fall asleep immediately after the night watch.

For brunch this day, we could eat the normal breakfast things, that include bread, oatmeal porridge and yogurt as well as the lunch meal which was a fish soup with cod, mussels, cous cous and shrimps with newly baked bread. Because I am a big fan of fish, I chose to only eat the lunch which ended up being very tasty, especially with the amazing bread.

After the meal we had ten minutes until line-up for guard change. All of us went down into our cabins, brushed our teeth, put on our work clothes and harnesses and went up to the pound on half deck.

Today I was assigned the duty of safety man. Each hour, I had to check multiple machines in the machine room and the temperature of fridges and the freezer. I had to change towels and make sure that everything in public spaces was correctly snugged down so that it doesn’t fly around when a wave hits the boat. On top of that, the first safety check after each guard change has to be documented which means that the current status of all machines has to be written down. This used to be quite hard to do on the first trip because some of the meters are quite hidden, but now that we are on our third trip I know exactly where all of them are which makes this as easy as it should be.

Between the first and the second safety check that I had to go on, I climbed to the very top of the foremast where I, together with another student, removed a lot of dirt that was on the wooden part of the mast. I really enjoy this kind of work, high up in the rigging, just seeing ocean all around you while feeling the fresh air and the adrenaline because of the height and knowledge that if you let go you fall.

When we came down it was already one a clock which meant another safety round, this time without documentation. After I had gone around the whole boat and knew that everything was good, I was sent back up to the same place in the rigging again. This time armed with a scotch bright fabric instead of just a normal piece of fabric with rubbing alcohol. Up there, I had to rub the topmast with scotch bright which creates tiny cracks in the current lacquer to prepare the wood for varnishing. If this step is skipped the new layer of lacquer does not stick well to the wood.

Our timing was perfect, we were done a few minutes before it was time for my last safety check on this watch. Everything was how it should be and when I was done it was time to eat “fika”. Fruits and the normal bread was served which is always very filling and nice to eat after having worked a few hours.

When I got back out on deck it was time for a big ship meeting because it was the first day out on sea. Everyone on the ship gathered on half deck where the captain talked for a while which meant that our watch duties were over after it.

Maximilian Esst

Port watch


Öckerö seglande gymnasieskola
Björnhuvudsvägen 45
475 31 Öckerö

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