Back at Sea

Posted on by lindaj

July 31, 2012

We left Bremerhaven yesterday late in the evening, following the sun down to the horizon. We returned through the locks once again, and turned sharply towards the north. As we exited the harbor, we passed by the shipping docks and their crates, ready to be loaded onto the waiting vessels. The ship passes the docks with their massive cargo ships; marvels of the new age of  technology, with the Götheborg a reminder of a bygone era of commerce. Three-hundred years of progress and trade, the old and new, are juxtaposed in such a defined fashion. We sailed on through the night, with a heavy wind from the west, stretching the flag of the Götheborg as if she was made of wood. The main, fore and aft sails were set by the new crew, getting their first real taste of life onboard at sea.

Today we are at sail once again. With heavy rains in the morning, and a refreshing afternoon sun, the crew stays positive, the wind tumbling through the sails serve as positive affirmation. We are heading due north as we make our way back to home port. Life at sea is much different than that of the hectic days at the festival, and the new crew seems to be adjusting to the strict schedule well. Many have not yet found their sea legs, and hastily grab on to each other for stability and comfort. The flailing of appendages along with a seemingly drunken stride in an effort to balance is a common sight on the weather deck in the first few days as the deck tosses to and fro with the rolling of the waves under sail.

The daily routine is educational if not monotonous at times, with bouts of extreme excitement. Today we hurried on deck to catch a glimpse of the Standart, a Russian vessel, making speed towards our aft. The Standart is a replica vessel much like the Götheborg, and coming across her stirs excitement in the crew. This meeting however, is no accident. Drums aboard the Standart can be heard over the rush of the waves as she veers to the Port side of the Götheborg. From a distance, we see her slowly raise her gun ports and run out her cannons. The crew of both ships watches each other as the Standart draws closer. Her cannons, black and menacing, extend from the hull like fists, ready to take action. The Standard stretches for speed as each wave inches her closer to the Götheborg. The Russian aggressors pull along side the Götheborg quickly, close enough to make out the Russian crew bringing their hands to their ears.  A single wave from the Standart’s Captain, and she fires her cannons. Smoke billows from her Starboard side and quickly disappears in the wind as cheers ring out from her crew in “victory”. Our crew applauds and waves back at the good fun, as both ships sail together for a time, admiring each other and taking pictures. Soon the Standart breaks off, and sails around to our Starboard side with the easterly wind, fading slowly to the horizon, where she stays for the remainder of the day. The light rain brings a rainbow early in the evening, folding over the clouds and down into the ocean. As evening turns to night, the wind holds as a full moon appears, casting a ghostly glow onto the wide sails. All that is heard is the rush of the tide and the snap of the sails as the moonlight guides us into tomorrow


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