The love of the sea

Posted on by lindaj

July 21st, 2012

Today opened with a cold wind as we crossed the coast of Cherbourg and Normandy. These waters are some of the most famous in history, carrying the Normans to their conquest in 1066, and bringing salvation to Europe in World War Two. Moving along at a steady 6 knots through these waters as the day progressed, moving closer to the narrows of Calle and Dover brings excitement and happiness onboard. The weather continues to hold fair, and maintenance work continues to be done. It is amazing sight to see all the handicraft work aboard this fair ship. The amount of blood, sweat and passion that goes into seeing that she continues to thrive is humbling. One deck hand remarked that the Göteborg seems to be alive, moving with the wind, swaying and creaking as if she was breathing. In contrast to a modern sailing vessel, her rigging and functional parts are entirely made by hand, down to the last stitch in the sail. This brings a certain aura of possession into the ship that is unexplainable. Once a person understands the sacrifice that went into her existence, one can appreciate the effort put into her upkeep.

On the cannon deck, the smell of freshly carved wood and baking bread mixes together in a sweet aroma, while just above, the sour odor of linseed oil covers the weather deck as the boards are soaked to an amber hue. Sailmakers huddle together in the sun to repair some canvas. The snap of carabiners is heard above as the crew secures themselves to the rigging to practice making adjustments and trim the sails. The days here are long here in the channel, and the crew makes the most of it in good spirits with good food and good weather. Crew from all walks of life, as if by some miracle, seem to all work together for a common goal with not so much as a grumble. Every hand has his or her place, and by now seems to be understanding their role. The reason for this cohesion is simple, the motivation that pulls everyone to the Göteborg is clear: a love of sailing, a love of history and a love of the sea.


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