REGATA: BEGINNING

A series about the sea passage through the Atlantic.

June 9, 2017
A series about the sea passage through the Atlantic.

Meeting the ship for the first time. It had seemed bigger on-line.

There are 33 of us. Splitting into 3 watches according to the masts: mizen mast, main mast and fore mast. The watch begins. The watch is 4 consecutive hours, because the ship is sailing non-stop.

The guys from the previous group recommended the hammock. I was scared to fall off the hammock the first night at the port. Stupid, I wanted to trade it for the plank-bed.
There' s a new morning – we're sailing out to sea.

The day begins with training with the masts. While at the port, it's recommended to climb as high as possible, which is 30 meters above water.

The sea always runs high, which is ok on deck. But at the top it's a serious lurching. There's safety harness, but it's not helping. In a few days we will get used to it and stop noticing. But right now it's so scary it hurts :)

The first maneuver is done, time to sail away.

We motor away from the port and start breaking out the sails. We're amateurs, so it's long and clumsy.

Here we are sailing to the Bay of Biscay, sounds romantic. But after a while sea sickness washes over me and romance goes out the window.

The entire crew is on deck, to throw up overboard if needed.

We are the first on kitchen duty. Gotta go get everything in order. I'm the first one volunteering to go to the lower hold. I feel relatively five, compared to others. Haven't had any hallucinations yet :)

In closed quarters the vestibular system loses orientation and goes haywire like an old computer. Plus, all smells are especially vibrant at sea, so that doesn't make it easier. Kitchen today is twice as dangerous.

I'm rushing to deck as fast as I can after cleaning to breathe some fresh air. My breakfast decides to leave my body.

The body gets used to the sea sickness. Pros say that it takes a couple days to get used to.

Feels like the first day will never end. Some of us keep on throwing up bent overboard the entire time.

One of my friends spent two days lying flat on deck like a potato sack, showing no signs of life. Only on day 3 he got better.

The rest of us, myself included, don't look so good either. Everybody is smeared all over the deck, throwing up constantly.

The vestibular system turns off when standing, so lying is better.

I finally appreciated my hammock when it was time to sleep. Relative to the ship itself, it's not so rocky, so it's almost comfortable to sleep in it. Unless you concentrate on the wave rippling and the wood squeaking.

I think sea sickness is better handled in the open air lying on deck. It helps to look far at the horizon. Exercising also helps. I, for one, walked the deck and stretched.

The pills are controversial. They don't really help, but can blunt the awareness. Santiago took them, but was still running to feed his dolphins.

Of course, we weren't really eating. Black tea with lemon was the only thing keeping us going.

Soon is another day.
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