An update from Wieger:
“As a lonesome bird the vessel ‘Oosterschelde’ glides over the seemingly endless disc of water, the horizon marking the abrupt ending of the sea and the appearance of the light blue sky.
We performed a controlled jibe, after being for a long period on port, the sails are on starboard. We had to jibe because our course was too northerly due to the northeasterly winds which the ‘Oosterschelde’ does not like to have in the back. With its large sails and booms it’s a tricky course for a topsail schooner. Though the booms are prevented from an unexpected swing from one to the other side by boompreventers, fist thick ropes attached to the end of the boom, an uncontrolled jibe can be disastrous.
In Dutch boompreventers are called ‘bulletalies’, a beautiful word as there are still many in use on sailing ships. ‘Pardoen’ for a stay, ‘schavielen’ for chafing and ‘kalefateren’ for the cleaning of the outside hull and there are many more of those words. All these words were due to end in the encyclopedia of forgotten words if not the proud fleet of tall ships were using them. Saving them from distinction.
There is more on the ship that withstood modern ideas, gender neutrality is not yet recognized here. A single shower has to be shared by 10 men while 3 showers are in use by 4 ladies only. And men are not supposed to use the female facilities. Now we men get the feeling how it is to wait in line for a thorough cleaning. Actually, there are 4 female and 11 male guest crew, again clearly biased for the male side. The atmosphere is good. People are lucky to be on the ship and on the wide ocean. And now everybody seems to be accustomed to the watch system, at breakfast it is quiet now and more people seem to be at sleep in day time.
We changed watches again and now I am in the favourable blue watch, we see the sunset and sunrise, both happening in spectacular colours while surrounded by a warm breeze and the beautiful ‘Oosterschelde’ in front of us.
Maintaining the compass course while staring at a point somewhere in front of us trying to follow the course given by 3 pawns standing in line as 3 little watchmen each with a number at his back, staring in eternity with their empty faces.
Steady as she goes.”
13 maart 2018
An update from Wieger: