Subject to Change

30 March 2016

We did not have Internet access for a while, but since our Satellite connection appears to be working again I would love to provide you with an update. The idea of the updates is to let trainees write them, however, we have not yet presented Sea Change to the group.

On board of a sailing vessel everything is subject to change: the wind, which force and direction determines the sail plan, and unforeseen incidents and destinations provoke changes in planning. These unforeseen events are interesting to write about. But first, to provide you with an idea about living aboard the Wylde Swan, allow me to introduce you to a regular day while sailing the ocean.

After enjoying the Caribbean atmosphere with high temperatures and white sand beaches, we set sail for multiple weeks sailing from Road Town, British Virgin Islands to Horta, the Azores. Crew is scheduled in shifts of 2 times 4 hours a day (20:00-00:00/00:00-04:00/04:00-08:00…). Trainees and lecturers are expected to have breakfast at 07:00. Three periods of 50 minutes self-study start at 08:00 and at 12:00 lunch is served. From 13:00 to 14:00 happy hour takes place, which means cleaning the ship with all trainees. And the afternoon and evening are scheduled for central lessons and group activities. This rather simple looking program is continuously interrupted. Sails need to be set, dropped or adjusted. Then a Minke Whale swims right next to the ship for at least 10 minutes. We catch a Mahi Mahi (or Dolfinfish), a Bigeye Tuna, and… a bunch of blue ropes. The sails flap, due to the lacking wind the captain decides to invite crew and trainees for a swim in the 6 km deep blue ocean. In the meanwhile, all need to be fed. Food is prepared, and 47 plates, bowls, spoons and kitchen equipment are cleaned after each breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It is a rhythm you need to adapt to, allowing you to work and live on a ship together. Your personal belongings should be stowed away unless you use them. Laptops and books right next to others, as are trainees and crew. No privacy. It is living together, caring for each other and experiencing the Atlantic Ocean, together. After almost two weeks of sailing, the trainees start to get familiar with living on a ship, get to know each other better, and comfortably move with the waves.

We will keep you updated and hopefully provide you with some detailed stories soon!