Öckerö gymnasium

Studying on foredeck

So you see, I have a hard time focusing my thoughts. I’ll take it from the beginning. Midships watch, my watch, woke at eleven. We woke to the choice either to have breakfast or lunch, or both.

I’ll have a hard time putting words on this day. My thoughts wander from formulations such as euphoric, full of life, death defying, to such as an ordinary day at sea, and by-the-book sailing. I felt closer to life today then I´ve done for a long while. When writing this, I sit on foredeck, surrounded by tired and laughing friends. Some of us are singing karaoke to music like “Jack Sparrow” and Avici. It´s warm outside, the sun has gone down, but there´s still enough light to give you a sure footing. A gust catches my hair, putting a few strands of hair free. Slowly, almost like I did some sacred ceremony, I untie my hair knot, put all the strands at place and tie it again. Every move you do have to be slow not to generate unnecessary heat. It’s a state of mind one enters when living with weathers like these. It is very hot. Especially since the air conditioner stopped working a few days ago. Carried by the winds, Gunilla is ploughing relentlessly through the water, making close to nine knots. Almost all sails are set, although the current watch, starboard, are barrowing the royals.

So you see, I have a hard time focusing my thoughts. I’ll take it from the beginning. Midships watch, my watch, woke at eleven. We woke to the choice either to have breakfast or lunch, or both. I made an exception and choose to eat breakfast, because we got a new kind of oghurt. The by everyone dreaded horrible homemade paste called yoghurt we’ve been eating until now had finally been replaced. Thus I wanted to try it. It
was a lot better. Like a bunch of lots better.

All came in time for the change of watches. e´re actually quite good at being in time, we Midshippers. Which is a small wonder. Many of us, there amongst myself, were infamous during the last trip for always coming the last minute, or the minute after that. I guess we’ve grown up a bit. Maybe. Time will tell.

Both Arvid and me were sent up the rigging to “jerk wire”. That is to say we rub some weird fat unto all wire that need protection from the elements. Arvid took the mainmast and I the foremast.  There´s a few things that makes this a truly close-to-life experience. Or close to death, depending on the point of view. To start with is the fact that the wires are only possible to reach whilst the royals are fully at top of the mast, meaning your half way up to heaven already. Then we have to put ourselves in really acrobatic positions to be able to reach all of the wire. Add to it that we have to wear super hot and clumsy overalls to cover our harnesses from the messy weird fat, and that Gunilla is rolling in the waves, which tilts your whole world unpredictably from side to side. Sounds bad? Now multiply it all by having your hands all lubed up by the weird fat, making everything really slippery.
I felt really close to life, so to speak.

The others had to refit the mainsail, working hard with the sun harassing their backs. They too were tired and hungry to the point of fainting. When the time came for “trefika” and we were given chocolate cake, the sounds of satisfaction echoed through the dining room. It was thanks to Mark. It’s his birthday so he got to wish both a “fika” and the dinner, to which he chose flat meatballs, whatever they are called now again.

After we finished our watch, we went down below deck to do some necessary school with Jonathan, the dos. Because the air conditioning system cranked up totally a few days ago, it’s close to hell down there. I sat a few minutes down there, feeling closer and closer to fainting. Looking at my classmates I saw my despair mirrored in their faces When the corners of my view started blurring out, I went for a long cold shower.

Later on, when I had regained a normal body temperature Arvid, me and “Solen”, our second mate, played some backgammon on deck. We all had our thoughts far away, and the games we played were slow moving. Not at all like time. It flies away here on Gunilla. Except when working as “poststyrka”. Then it flows slower and thicker then Johns homemade yoghurt.

Now most the gang’s studying on foredeck. Well at least trying to study as the rest sings for king and country. I love this life. I love being surrounded by friends. I love feeling a bit tired. I love how my hands are sore after a hard days work. Like I really love it. Even though there are a few things pulling my thoughts home, I really love it.

Vincent Carlberg


Öckerö seglande gymnasieskola
Björnhuvudsvägen 45
475 31 Öckerö

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