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Samara’s sail on ROALD AMUNDSEN

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 16, 2010

August 3rd

 “Samara, Samara…are you awake? Backshafft, ok?” I look at my watch. It is 6am. “What??” I think to myself as I try to translate the instructions into English. After a few questions I learn that Backschafft means it is my day to cook for the ships company. There is no official cook on the ship so all of the trainees and deckhands share the job.  Because it is my first morning aboard Roald Amundsen I start to panic…I don’t know what to make, or what ingredients I have, or even how to use the oven yet. Luckily, however, another deckhand is waiting for me in the galley to share the chore and show me what I need to do.  In retrospect, being assigned galley duty on my first morning was the best way to start my trip on Roald. Spending the morning chatting with Katha, my co-chef, I learned all about the ship and what life is like onboard.

August 5th

I slept through dinner last night so I was surprised to be woken up for watch at 2300, having expected to awaken on my own earlier. At first I thought to myself , ”Do I have to?” followed by, “Maybe just a few more minutes..” But that feeling departed quickly when I realized where I was and that of course I had to get up for watch! I quickly got dressed and headed up on deck for turnover. I wasn’t assigned to take the helm or lookout right away so I stayed back by the bridge to chat with my shipmates. It wasn’t long though until Daniel, our on deck watch leader came up to me with an important job. We were headed into some potentially bad weather so a few people were sent aloft to sea-stow the sails. My job, Daniel described, would be to watch the boys aloft and make sure I saw if someone fell. I almost asked if he was joking…no one had ever asked me to do something like that before. But I could tell he was not, so with the most intense focus I could muster at 3am I stared up at my shipmates and hoped that nothing would go wrong on my watch.

August 6th

This morning I woke up a few hours before lunch and my afterrnoon watch. I sat down in the messe (what the Germans call where we eat) and had one of the rolls that Libby and I made dough for in the middle of the night last night. The winds have come around to our port side since last night which keeps the ship on a roll in between 6 foot swells. Aside from a minor incident with a coffee cup I filled a little too high I am once again getting used to being on a moving vessel. We are near the end of the race, in Sault Sainte Marie and I am excited to see some of the ships again. My watch officer, Michael, predicts that we will reach the finish line tonight.

August 11th

We are anchored for the second night in a row tonight. For some this would be a disappointment, but I am excited to spend the night in another protected bay. On Roald, anchoring is a lot of fun. Everyone is called onto the deck to drop the anchor and once we are secure the captain brings the chart on deck to show the crew where we are. Both nights we have anchored early enough to go swimming  – and as of now I have been swimming in every Great Lake except Ontario!

August 15th

Today is the last day of the Tall Ships festival in Green Bay, WI. The event has been great and I am looking forward to sailing the last race aboard Lynx. The ships arrived in Green Bay on Thursday night following the race across Lake Superior from Duluth. Green Bay has been very kind to the sailors – starting with an awesome crew party the night we arrived. The trip was awesome and I had a great time sailing on the Roald Amundsen.

We head towards Chicago on Tuesday and even though it is the last port of the Challenge series, I am excited for the festival on Navy Pier. I have never been to Chicago before, and from what I have heard from Brian (our marketing coordinator and a local) it is going to be the biggest and busiest festival of the summer. Hope to see you there!

-Samara

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