Öckerö gymnasium

The secret of a look out

My “day” started at 12 pm with four hours of watch. The sea was calm, and Gunilla was peacefully crossing the still waters of the Irish Sea with all sails set.

I was “post”, which means you are the helmsman, “lifebuoy guard”, and look-out together with two other people in the watch. Sometimes it’s very nice being post if the workforce has a lot of work to do since being post mostly means
standing still, but the night was calm and silent and the workforce was lying on the deck half asleep.

Here comes the problem. Being post means exactly standing still, not sitting or lying. Malva, Arvid and I kept on rotating between the different posts and fought the urge to sit down and rest our legs and minds - tired of the medicine to cure
seasickness. My last post of the watch was lookout. The lookout’s job is to stand in the front of the ship and report all boats and buoys in the water to the second mate. Most time, being lookout only means half an hour of nothing to do, standing all alone without any sense of how much time is left.

We all have different strategies to make the 30 minutes pass. For example, standing on the half deck you can always see Malva in the bow doing push ups, squats and jogging around in circles. Others prefer just standing against the rail, staring down in the waters and trying to get hypnotized by the waves in
order for the time to pass faster. I myself always sing, which is a quite popular strategy. This lookout was not an exception, and I sang a couple of songs from the Frozen-soundtrack and then kept on with some Ted Gärdestad songs and the grand final: Man In The Mirror.

However, the time was not on my side this night. It did not seem to matter how many times I sang “Do you want to build a snowman?”; the lifebuoy guard on half deck refused to ring the bell those eight times that signaled that our watch was over. From the other side of the boat I could hear the Starboard watch beginning to come up on the half deck. My eyes were heavy and my legs felt numb and I decided to sit down, just for a minute. But the deck was too comfortable and in a second I found myself lying on the deck, looking up in a sky full of stars and on the sails. I tried not to close my eyes, but the rolling waves and the sound of the
wind soon took my consciousness away…

Ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding. I flew up on my feet and almost knocked myself out when my head hit something. Quickly I answered the lifebuoy guard with eight dings from my own bell, before I finally could go to bed.

Tua Eilard
PS. Please dont tell my watch leader Sofia that I fell asleep, because I think my


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