Day 32, March 2 - IJmuiden
This adventure made me realize that gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. Form better habits and break bad ones in any area of life. Eat less or no meat, ditch single-use plastic, consume less. You don’t need all that. We're all caught up wanting everything we see, and a lot of it we don't need. Instead, be thankful for the blessings of the little things.
The little things on this tall ship were for instance: a hug. A beautiful sunrise or sunset. Great conversations. Being surrounded by dolphins. Kind gestures when someone was seasick. The calm movements of the ship, from starboard to port side. Swimming in the middle of the ocean (5km deep). A short poem or a well-written book. The moment I reached the top of the mast for the first time, with the help of others. However, the most important moment for me happened on the 2nd of March: our arrival in the Netherlands. Although we already reached land twice (in Falmouth and the channel Island Alderney), it was so special to come home safely! This moment was priceless due to the fact that my mother was waiting at the pier in IJmuiden! When she discovered that we were almost there, she traveled from Arnhem to IJmuiden. Additionally, she walked all the way to the pier (which took her 2 hours in total, going back and forth). Everyone on the boat was so excited, we couldn't stop singing and dancing. My mother stood there, accompanied by a few fishermen, and she looked so happy. My sweet mom. I suddenly realized how scary it might have been for my parents and how grateful I am that they always find a way to deal with my crazy, spontaneous ideas. Knowing that my parents are proud of me - no matter what I do - makes me thankful.
Let me encourage you to get up every day and focus on what you do have in life. Write it down. Did you know that taking the time to write down three positive things each day will make you more optimistic and less stressed? Because of my lovely family and boyfriend, I feel justified in expressing satisfaction. I made new friends, new memories, but this journey also made me realize how much I’ve missed everyone at home.
Day 31, March 1 - English Channel
This morning we woke up near the cost of Dover. After, for a few people, a very fresh morning dive in the water, we started crossing. This time no big ocean in front of us to cross, but the English Channel. Surrounded by big ships and buoys, it all felt new to us. On the other side of the canal, we sailed along the cost of France and Belgium, heading towards the Netherlands, heading home. These final days feel surreal. I am going to miss the sailing and the people that I have been surrounded by for the past month. I am going to miss the midnight tosti’s, the happy happy hours and the fact that we always get dessert! Today we had a very special dessert, because it was Geries birthday! We had birthday breakfast with eggs, birthday 4 o’clock snack with cookies, candles and music and birthday dinner with cake.
Heading towards the Netherlands, also means that we’re heading towards our deadline. We are all working hard and everyone has their own task within the group. I am working on the presentation for Technische Unie and the Clean2Antarctica presentation this Tuesday. We’re all motivated to really show and tell our friends, family and everyone who wants to listen what we have achieved. I am proud of the results and the solutions we came up with and I can’t wait to hear what Technische Unie has to say.
Now it’s time to enjoy the sailing some more: climbing, pulling ropes, waving at other ships, making the ship look beautiful (shining the brass and scrubbing the deck). See you soon everyone!
Day 30, 28th of February - English Channel
Wow! It’s been 30 days! 30 days of working on our Quest, sailing, helping out the crew and generally living together in our tiny home with a bunch of crazy strangers I now call my friends. It seems ages ago that I first saw her lying in the harbour of Marigot. I had rented a car as I love driving and exploring and was on my own and I just saw De Morgenster, my future home, out there in the bay. I had no idea how small my world would become on that tiny speck of ship I saw from a distance.
Fast forward to today. We left Alderney last night, the next harbour we’ll see will be in the Netherlands, home. While you may have read all about the adventures of my fellow travellers on land in Falmouth and Alderney, I’d like to take the time to tell you how incredibly proud I am of this group of young people I worked with and the solutions we have produced for our given Quest. I can honestly say I am completely blown away with the work we have done for our Quest, the way we collaborated, and the final product I am currently working on with the “editors” team. The whole process has once again convinced me that a small group of young people can do anything they set their mind to, even in the roughest circumstances. In four days we will be in Amsterdam and we can present our final product. A huge achievement. But the greatest achievement for me lies in all the challenges we faced on this tiny speck now sailing along the European coastline, united, with love, pain and support and a lot of laughter.
Thanks to these 27 heroes I’ve made it across alive and I loved it all.
Day 29, 27th of February – Alderney
After all these days at the ocean, it is time for me to tell something about this journey. Yes, it’s the Lidl back again at the Morgenster; this time as a voluntary crew member! When I was on leg1, Amsterdam – Tenerife for Teijin, I never thought I would be on the Morgenster again. Definitely not joining leg3 on the true ocean crossing, 24 days of continuously sailing. It has been an amazing experience that is not comparable with the experience I had on leg1, this time I had nothing to do with the whole case study business (a relief yes).
Being an outsider makes you clearly see the group process of the Quest for Change, especially group dynamics. I did not interfere with their case, but it was nice to give them some “Lidl piece of advice”, from what we learned on leg1. Hope they used it well, I would have liked to have some advice too when we were struggling with Teijin!
Today was the second day at Alderney, the second stop we made since the end of January. This was truly a more tough journey than ours on leg1, ours was like a holiday cruise hopping islands and cities, this a true sailor’s adventure. I joked a lot with Marco and Gerie about the “harsh conditions” during leg1 in the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea, it apparently was nothing compared to the wind and wave conditions in the middle of the Atlantic.
Being part of the crew also brings some responsibilities, like the fact that even at anchor I have watch duty. Yesterday was my day off to explore the little island, today it was time for some maintenance. Some of the things I learned on leg1 can still be found somewhere in my memory, like renewing the ratlines in the rig. Ratlines: the job of today, nice in the sun with some Morgenster hits as background music. Even with the less spare time, the best thing of being part of the crew is to explain everything to the trainees when we’re sailing, just because I really know how it feels to be a trainee too.
At this right moment the engine is turned on, anchor will be heaved any second and I actually have my sailing watch. So It’s time to get on the aft and listen to the orders Jakob will give me! Saturday we will enter the Netherlands and I really hope to see a lot of the peeps from leg1 at the Scheepvaartsmuseum!
Day 28, 26th of February - Alderney
Today I woke up on a mysterious island; Alderney. When stepping on the deck, I was greeted by the sight of a large Victorian fort towering above the Morgenster. Immediately I knew this island had potential for adventure. I had never heard of Alderney before and I felt that it was an island without much history. I could not have been more wrong. Alderney is the most fortified/weaponized piece of land that I have ever seen in my life. Every square meter has, at some point in time, been covered by Roman ballistas, English cannons or German 88mm PAKs. As a history enthusiast, this was heaven for me.
We spent the day exploring the town, the cliffs and the endless amounts of abandoned German bunkers. I later learnt that Alderney was fortified by the Germans as an extension of the Atlantikwal. Right before the Germans invaded in 1943, the entire island was evacuated by the English. In order to build the concrete goliaths on the Alderney coast line, the Germans imported hundreds of Russian POW’s (prisoners of war). The Russians were imprisoned in the concentration camp S.S Lager Sylt on Alderney, which we visited that day. There was very little left of the site where 400 men never returned from.
We found a bench five minutes from the site and enjoyed a beautiful sunset as it descended over the cliffs. The view was amazing and the sense of freedom overwhelmed all at the scene. I kept thinking of the men who had stood in my place, experiencing the same sunset, but who were forced to see it from behind barbed wire. It was a strange but beautiful paradox.
I have fallen in love with Alderney. It has something for everyone; beautiful nature, great food, intriguing history and jaw-dropping sceneries. I really hope that I come back here again and recommend everyone to see it’s splendours.
Day 27, 25th of February - English Channel
Today we are leaving Falmouth, direction: Alderny. I enjoyed the days on shore, but I’m really happy to be back on the sea! I love the quietness of the seas, the water, the wind, the smell of the air... I have sail watch today, but I still need to work on the case. Normally I would use the morning for the case, but as the outside is calling me, I decide to work in the evening after my watch. I will be tired, but I really want to be outside! Today I helped a lot with the maintenance of the ship. I need to repair some ropes, redlines (the ropes on which we stand in the mast) and some painting. It is really nice work to do, and while I was hanging in the bowsprit, I saw a group of dolphins just below me!! We are back on the seas, but contrary to our trip on the ocean, we are not alone, we are surrounded by those dolphins! The whole day we see them swimming around the ship, playing at the bowsprit. One moment there is a group of more then 20 dolphins, you just didn’t know where to look, they were everywhere.
Our watch was really calm, we only need to steer, but the sunset was wonderful! For me it was the most wonderful sunset on this trip. Al those colours and from time to time a dolphin jumping in front of it! The watch ended in an amazing sky, full of stars. It was a long time ago that we saw this (last night watches, it was cloudy, or the moon was to bright). Sanne and I took our star map and searched for all the different stars. It is so nice to know a bit more about it.
After dinner I finished my work for the case. Tomorrow is the deadline for the different working groups, but we are nearly there. The end is coming closer, and it is so strange that we will be back within one week!
Day 26, 24th of februari - Falmouth
There is a little elastic band connected between me and the Morgenster. The first day in Falmouth the elastic was still really tight, which is probably why walking through town for 1 kilometer felt like I was actually walking 30 kilometers. Today there’s already some stretch in it. The streets don’t feel as long anymore, and time seems to move a lot faster now.
So what do you do when you’re not as tightly connected to the Morgenster anymore? You rediscover land! Chris and I found a park with palm trees, magnolia blossoms and roses all around us. The setting of Falmouth almost feels tropical. High up in the trees of the park we spotted a small squirrel, jumping from tree to tree. I remember the first week on the boat, when I sighed I would love to have a small animal on board. A squirrel, for example, which could jump from the foremast to the mainmast. The coincidence of things that happen on this trip can feel ironic but magical.
The rest of the day revolved around eating. Fish and chips, cornish cream tea with scones, new potatoes with salmon and a soft boiled egg, a cheese plate and a brownie with clotted cream. We indulged. We also found out that the things you were craving for 24 days on a boat are only special when you eat them on the boat. It’s strange how a tangerine in Falmouth can taste pretty normal, while a tangerine on the Morgenster? Absolute bliss.
After dinner we took a long walk through Falmouth. Just one last walk before we board the ship and leave land tomorrow. But suddenly walking uphill in a Falmouth suburb made me feel really anxious. It felt like I was too far from the ship. The elastic pulled me back, and we turned around towards the ocean.
Day 25, 23th February 2019 - Falmouth
The first day on land after almost 4 weeks at sea! After breakfast we did an extensive cleaning of the ship and made plans for our two days on land. Some went for a run, did laundry, took a shower (without falling through the bathroom) and several people went to the supermarket. Especially the fresh fruit aisle was confronted with unknown enthusiasm. We roamed the cute town of Falmouth, went to some shops, ate fish and chips, had coffee and were all totally overstimulated by all the impressions of the town and the people. It’s bizarre to see, smell and taste different things than the ship we have gotten to know so well and the nuanced variation we had the past week in weather, course and motion.
Moreover, it’s a strange feeling to see people other than the 28 you were so used to after 4 weeks. We all had some adaptation issues seeing the first people. (How do you interact with them? Which behavior is allowed amongst strangers?) Yet, all of these “new” experiences were very exciting, such as touching grass for the first time in weeks; walking and running for a longer distance than the 48 meters of the ship. In the evening we went with the entire group of students and trainees to a restaurant and had a festive meal. Being on land also means that we can drink beer again. So, after dinner we did a pub crawl through town to celebrate (once again) that we made it! We drank, danced, sang and were all so happy to have succeeded at crossing with the Morgenster with this amazing group.
Day 24, 22th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
LAND IN SIGHT! We did it, we crossed the Atlantic Ocean!
We ended the crossing in the best way we could have imagined. Many dolphin friends, a lot of climbing in the mast and the sun was shining bright all day. We were all ready to touch land, having breakfast without having to worry about plates, cups and knives flying through the saloon. Going for shower without having to place as many body parts as possible to the wall to make sure you’re not falling. But also: a beer. Or two.
Everyone was happy and excited all day long. Renske even cleaned the floor for us because she didn’t know what else to do with all of her energy. Marlous climbed the mast, even though it was so scary for her! Jakob had announced that we would arrive in Falmouth around 10 pm. That meant that around dinner time it was really possible, for the first time in 25 days, to see land!
I am so proud we made it across. There are so many words I could use to express how it feels, but none of them feels exactly right. Our ship conquered weather, wind and waves and we helped it sail and filled it with many songs and happy people.
Day 22, 20th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
Today we have been out on sea for three weeks, 21 days since we last saw land. With a difference that we do now have good navigational aids and electricity on board, you do start to feel more connected to the sailors which have been traversing the Atlantic over the past centuries.
Days come and go. The day of the week has lost its significance. Who gives a damn whether it is Tuesday or Sunday? It is now either a sunny day, or a rainy day. A windy day or a calm day. A day of sailing on our port tack (good sleep for some), or of sailing on our starboard tack (good sleep for the others). A day followed by a moon, or a day followed by the stars.
You do know, that “someday” we will reach land again. It is a moment you are longing for, since it means pubs, supermarkets and the interwebs. But on the other hand, you also somewhat fear the moment, as it means it will shake up the daily patterns which you have now grown so accustomed to.
Because each day does have a rigid schedule. Whereas, you loose track of the day of the week, you will always know what time of the day it is. One of the most frequent heard questions is: what time is it? Being late for your watch is one of the worst sins on board the ship. Today was a rainy, windy day on port tack. 23:45 personal wake-up call, 00:00 Start white B-watch B, 02:00 Tosti Time, 03:30, Make coffee/tea, wake up next watch 04:00 End of watch. 10:30 Breakfast 12:00 Start of 2nd white B-watch, 12:30 Lunch, 13:00 Happy Hour, 14:30 Plenary TU Session, 16:00 End of watch, 17:30 Dinner prep, 19:30 Dinner.
Our captain informed us that we are now planning to arrive in Fallsmouth in 3 days. We will arrive in the “first” city on the English side of the Channel. The same city which sailors on transatlantic voyages have arrived at for the past few centuries.
Day 21, 19th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
Waiting for land!
Day 20, 18th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
Our night watches are usually quite calm and we do not have a lot to do. We even use the engine to sail forwards and then you really just stay awake and talk a bit and freeze. But after three weeks at sea I slowly understand how the ship works and when to set which sails so I was happy when the wind started to pick up and we had to set all the sails by ourselves. We went from sailing 4 knots to 10 and picked up quite some speed. The highlight of our night watches still stays Toastie Time though.
During our day watch, we had beautiful weather and we even spotted dolphins! The day overall went pretty well – until I was in the navigation room at least. There, I met Esmée and she handed me, not suspecting anything bad, a paint brush which turned out to be the murder weapon with which I was eliminated from our infamous Murder Game.
There are not a lot of people left who can earn the eternal glory of winning it but I am enjoying my personal little achievements such as being one of the few who still haven’t been seasick or simply sailing across the ocean.
Day 19, 17th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
One might think that after spending almost three weeks surrounded only by water we may start to feel first notions of boredom. Luckily, the overall humour of Morgensterrjes is still very good and I would even say it has peaked to a historic level today, due to sunny weather, birthday celebrations and music playing in every corner of the ship.
Let me guide you through our activities that keep us sane and happy:
- Food talks. Although we have a wonderful cook, Isabel, that makes sure we have loads of delicious food in abundance every day, we still have our cravings. They range from chewing on lettuce to having access to an unlimited supply of chocolate. Sometimes small miracles happen: Maike's dream about broccoli materializes in a form of broccoli soup for lunch.
We let the steam out in endless talks about food during our night shifts. Thanks to them I learned a lot about Dutch cuisine. Turns out it mostly consists of deep fried foods. And sometimes a cake. Could also be fried.
- Celebrating everything we can. Valentine's day? Check. Dolphin break (even if there are no dolphins)? Check. Feast on leftovers from lunch? Check. Dancing during cleaning the galley? Check. Celebrating Philipp's birthday with a massive, hour-long improvised music session for 28 voices, 2 guitars, 1 violin, 5 flutes, 1 ukulele and countless small percussion instruments on the aft deck during the sunset? Also check. (That's one of the perks of being in the middle on the ocean - there are no neighbours that can get annoyed with the noise).
- Gymnastics. Keeping balance on a rolling ship requires a lot of practice. We exercise by sliding on the floor, flying across the room, gripping accidental objects and trying out different positions to fall asleep in a constantly moving bed (techniques range from kneeling to sleeping with a backpack).
- Accepting every idea. What worked as a good rule for our brainstorming sessions while working on a case also comes in handy in our everyday life on board. That's how musical day happened. It started as a joke - a remedy for not visiting the Azores - and then became a reality when Wouter woke us up singing. For a whole day we tried to replace speaking with singing. Well, we had a lot to laugh.
- Movie nights. Sometimes around dinnertime we sit together in a saloon, snuggle under blankets and watch a movie. Recently we've seen Pirates of the Caribbean. Although we could familiarize with life on board presented there, those pirates certainly know nothing about sailor's diet. They don't eat anything during the whole movie! (Nibbling on human fingers and rum don't count).
As you can see, we're doing quite fine! Don't know if we'll be able to continue with all of those activities on land though. I guess we'll see in two weeks. We send a lot of smiles and love!
Day 18, 16th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
The first week I learned that the impressive orange sailing suit I borrowed was letting through water on my waist and around the knees. Luckily I could borrow someone else's sailing suit for the heavy showers and waves that splash over the deck.
One of the things I was looking forward to were the nights, the dark nights, filled with stars. The first night I was rewarded with the moonless night. When I returned to the deck from the cleaning duty, I felt temporarily blind and only able to recognise people by voice and navigating by my spacial memory. I couldn't even distinguish the horizon. A few nights later I was greeted by the moon, which left a trail behind the boot since our course is almost straight to the east.
During the days we are often greeted by rainbows, large and small. When the waves crash and splash and the sun shines, there are tiny rainbows that only exist for seconds in the spray of the waves. When there is rain ahead; they are as wide as the sky, or even double. But sometimes they only show a small part, only for a few minutes.
The latest rainbow I added to my collection is the moon-rainbow. Without the colours, but with the distinguished shape. In the moonlight I checked with the captain if he saw this too. He did.
Day 17, 15th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
Valentine's Day is over. Although gossip is spreading around the ship about the deeper meaning of some of the serenades, poems or massages, the ship is also getting struck by depression. And I'm not talking about the mental state of the passengers, but the climatological phenomenon of depression. This means large grey scary clouds constantly covering our heads, waves with the size of small houses and strong breezes that could be called storms, although our captain prefers to call it extreme weather. If we maintained our current speed (10 - 12 knots), we would reach the canal in 4 days. Spreading this hypothetical advancement made some of the Questers get into an instantaneous state of dancing - some people miss the land. This missing of the land can be read quite literally as we passed by the Azores only a few hundred kilometres away and we assumed that the seagulls we have seen have something to do with being so close to the Azores. Before leaving, people took into calculation that this quick stop at the Azores would be combined with some quick candy shopping. Due to this missed stop a new economy is emerging on this ship, solely based on short-term scarcity. People are trading future assets for just a tiny bit of candy bar. The same is happening with bites of apples and legend goes that there is still somewhere an ice-snickers hidden.
NIGHT 16, 14th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
Today it is Valentine's day!!! Fortunately, the sun is shining and everyone is writing poems or organising another surprise for their Valentine. Tess and Isabel got up extra early to make a special breakfast for everyone: pancakes!! Tomorrow, another edition of our magazine 'the Daily Morgenstar' will come out again in a special Valentine's version containing all our deepest desires. To be honest though, at this point, we're all just seeing mirages of snickers, sushi and pizzas. We're already excited to be in a harbour sometime next week, although we're not sure yet where we're going to stop. Some people prefer France, for it's wine and cheese, whereas other people are longing for fish and chips in England. For now, we're continuing to sail and work on the case, while dreaming about seeing land again.
Marlous: lots of love and kisses to Joris, mama en papa. I miss you guys and I hope you are proud!
Michelle: don't worry mom and dad, I'm doing fine and will see you soon! Love you lots <3
Michelle and Marlous
NIGHT 15, 13th February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
The blue watch is known for its heavy rain showers, but this night we were also the wind watch and the cuddle watch. When we started at 4 o'clock in the night there was a clear sky and I tried to find the starsigns. After an hour it was my time to stir, I put on an harness because of the big waves and strong wind. Gerie dreamed about going to the Azores tonight and we joked about changing the course so we would still go. There was a small yellow spot on the radar, so we knew it would soon start to rain. The wind started coming and we changed course, towards the Azores. The yellow spot extended and soon the whole radar turned yellow. The wind got stronger and stronger and Marco told me to go more to starboard, but I couldn't turn the wheel. I was happy with my harness because we were getting tilted, around 40 degrees. The water was coming over the aftdeck and Marco took over instantly. The people who were sleeping had to be roughly awaken, pressed to the wall or their wooden plank. So was the captain, who came outside, barefoot and in his underwear, to turn on the engine so we could go trough the wind. The wind kept his force so it was Marco who got muscle pain, trying to keep course for the next 2 hours of our watch. We all had our tasks, it was the cuddle watch. With every big wave we were holding Marco so he wouldn't fall and we often combined our muscles to get the stirring wheel to starboard sight. At least we are going towards the Azores now, but unfortunately Gerie's dream won't be the truth.
DAY 14, 12th February 2019- Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean
I am writing this on the 13th, and while I have just been murdered at my favourite puking spot, it is a good day. We drew the name of our Valentine yesterday and have to make a little surprise for them for Valentine's Day tomorrow.
Having had a lot to fight against sea sickness, I am still not always on top of my game and the waves at the moment do not necessarily help. However, everybody is incredibly helpful and optimistic and that makes it a lot easier. I love how supportive the team is and it does not matter what the situation is, you always find someone to listen. And if you are bored, say no more, Victor and Marco will gladly give you sailing lessons or teach you how to make knots.
Our night watches, even though at the inhumane time of 12-4am, are always loads of fun and we have some peculiar and interesting discussions during the stormy nights (at this point I would like to apologise to my mum: yes, you were right, it is insanely cold and even with the down jacket under my sailing suit I am freezing my butt off). The highlight of course though still is toastie time at 2am or when someone finds some chocolate (or when Philipp makes his glorious microwave popcorn).
Sleep is rather rare these days and I am still trying to figure out a sleeping position that does not throw me around the cabin. Nevertheless, I highly enjoy the time on the ship with these amazing people who manage to work so hard and stay happy no matter what.
Sophia (aka Bucket Girl. Thanks for the nickname, David)
DAY 13, 11th of February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
Today I had my best day-watch so far: we had to climb up in the mast to pack the sails because a storm was coming. It was quite a challenge with the 5m high waves & the strong wind. 5min after we were back on deck a proper storm blew over us with waves reaching up to 7m and we reached a speed of 14 knots (even though I was told that the max speed of the Morgenster could is 12knots).
It is so cool that the crew just allows, trusts us & has the patience (even in these strong situations) to explain what we have to do; and always with a smile.
After the storm, like we know it from movies, the sun came out & brought a beautiful rainbow that we were almost able to touch. We gathered on the deck, and enjoy the sun with a good conversation, a cup of coffee and freshly baked chocolate cookies. This nature spectacular makes you forget that you are soaking wet. This is the weather that many of us imagined to have and enjoy; but some also don't. We were told, that this situation will stay for the next 10 days.
With this weather it is actually nicer to be outside than inside as you can see how the boat is moving. Inside, if you don't hold yourself on the right moment, you fly - as our cook, Isabel, through the kitchen. But still in this circumstances, she made us delicious food that gives us the energy we need.
And this energy is needed as next to the heavy weather & shaky boat, a good sleep is rather rare. To the question 'how did you sleep?', the answer 'I did not sleep' is the most common; I think we have to get used to it, but it is exhausting. Therefore, I am even more impressed about how motivated and with joy we work on the case.
DAY 12, 10th of February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
At the moment, the ship feels like a 10 day ride in the Villa Volta. We are currently sailing 11 knots, our course is 100 degrees, the waves are smashing over the deck, the swells are 5 meters high and only 2 people are feeling a bit seasick. Last night, I had the night shift from 12:00 till 04:00. I can't say it was an easy watch, as the boat was surfing over the ocean due to the high waves. After learning how to sew, it was my time behind the steer. Right before the end of our watch, my attention levels were considerably lower compared to 4 hours before. Suddenly there was one big wave which turned be boat completely out of course! This resulted in a huge shift of the boat to portside. Suddenly the entire right side of the boat disappeared in a cloud of white foam and at the same time I saw David flying from Portside to starboard. Luckily I handled immediately and this boat is a rock, so everything was fine, but it was a once in a lifetime experience!!! SO COOL.
Today the day started a bit later for me, because of the night watch I skipped breakfast, but the high waves make sleeping tiresome. I woke up way too early and decided to continue my sleep outside, where I fell asleep on a big pile of ropes, right under the sun.
It is already starting to get colder during the day, and we have not even reached the 'cold part' yet.
Today there were 2 announcements from our captain, Jakob. The first one entailed that we would change the time with one hour. Even though we are crossing different time zones, we still use the Sint Maarten time, because we have no phone signal! The second was a BIG announcement!! The last few days there was a lot of uncertainty about our schedule and the big word was out today. We will NOT go to the Azores, because of a lack of wind in that area. Where we will go instead is unknown yet. It will probably be wherever the wind brings us. The only thing we know is that we will be at the ocean for at least 10 more days! WOW!!! 25 days at the ocean, what an experience.
DAY 11, 9th of February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
Sometimes I think of the Morgenster as a little village. We have one bakery, one restaurant, one bar (which has some odd opening hours) and a mayor called Jakob. Since our village only has a population of 27 people, gossip spreads fast. Therefore, todays launch of the "Daily Morgenstar" assists greatly in getting the facts straight! The first edition contains a good editorial about goats, and the financial section indicates that the price of a Snickers in our village has gone up considerably.
Another major event was the opening of the Morgenster Cinema. Right in the middle of our village, close to the Isabella's restaurant, this venture had a first showing of Notting Hill. With close to 100% of the village population attending all tickets were sold out. Some villagers (Viktor), had to cry near the end of the movie due to the sheer amount of love in this movie.
Even though we have protected our own village against rising sea levels (with an ingenious floating concept), this does not mean we want the rest of the world to flood. That is why, after structuring background information and identification of the key problems, we have now started to actively brainstorm on solutions to assist the TechnischeUnie (this biggest employer in our village) in combating climate change.
P, J.E.D.! X Gijs
DAY 10, 8th of February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
An impressive calm day for the Northern Altlantic Ocean in winter, we are heading North with the engine with the sun and without any wind. We had a plenary session to work in the case this morning and from then, the day is passing smoothly. During the happy hour, Maike told me some rumours about a potential swim in the ''Morgenster infinite pool'' and that was true! Few minutes later we were all diving in the Atlantic ocean with almost 5000m of depth under us!! It was also the wonderful occasion for a free shower on the deck, not so bad after 10 days at sea …
In the evening after an amazing sunset, I had a sailing watch from 20:00 to 00:00, it started heading North with the engine and it finished heading East with all the square sails in a good SW wind, we are going in right direction! Nothing to had, a perfect day at sea in the middle of nowhere!
Tomorrow the wind should rise up and the weather forecast looks pretty strong for the coming days, I can't wait to sail the Morgenster in such conditions!
DAY 9, 7th of February 2019- Atlantic Ocean
Today was a nice, but bloody day, with a lot of sailing. I had a sailing watch, so need to get up at 4. During this watch we saw a lot of wonderful things. Today it weren`t the stars, but an amazing sunrise while I was up in the mast to pack the royals and a rainbow that looked as he was ending under the ship. Sadly we couldn`t find the pot of gold at the end. But why was it also a bloody day? The murder game is going fast! Happy hour was transformed in murder hour. You couldn`t trust anyone. I also did a murder attempt, but it failed, so I will try again! During our day watch the captain decided to go a bit more north on the motor. So all the sails need to be packed. Most of us where climbing into the rig and bowsprit during sunset and underneath the stars. This are such an amazing moments! The day ended with a really nice meal of our own catched fishes (maimai)!!
DAY 8, 6th of February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
It's 6am in the morning. The wind is howling and the waves are rocking the boat like a seesaw. I stand there joking with Marlous about how shitty it would be to go up into the sails right now. All of a sudden we hear a snap followed by the fluttering of a loose sail. Murphy's law. Before I know it, I am strapped up in a harness walking across a thin rope towards the jib. The dark waters pass under me and I am being thrown around like a ragdoll. I am very scared, but we manage to roll up the sail. A quick exhale of relief follows; finally safe.
I was deceived. Before I know it I am 25 meters up in the foremast puling rope and shouting 'nope'. For a second I nearly put the reputation of team Winnaars (the rare non-pukers) on the line. But I have no time to be sick. It is time for business. After what seemed to be an eternity in a rollercoaster, we are finally done and slowly make our way down the mast. I look Gerie in the eyes, who had also been in the mast, and she says to me in a legendary quote 'nietleuk'.
Other than that everything is going fine Mom and Dad! De rots van Gibraltar is still alive and kicking. Miss you.
DAY 7, 5th of February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
"Why are we doing this on a boat?!", Wouter exclaims as the ship rolls over from port to starboard for the hundredth time. We have our first real work session on the Quest and chairs, Macbooks, and glasses of water fly through the air. It's been a rough night. Thunderstorms, non-stop rain and strong wind meant almost no sleep (and losing half of our ships nameboard, so we are now sailing aboard the …star!). I myself have a heavy head and stomach ache.
THEN… the rain stops, we have lunch outside (L). Somehow Isabella always cooks exactly what we need. Even better, Isabella our chef has decided it's our birthday, of our crew, of the Questers, and of our stuffed animals (Donkey, Vagismundo, and the rest). It's four o'clock snack time and we have birthday brownies. Donkey and Vagismundo blow out candles. The sun is shining even brighter now, I put on my strawberry suit and Joke and I introduce to the entire ship "the Murder Game". I dance (still strawberry) to "I'm on a boat", and "Boten Anna", as the sun goes down. As I sit down to work on the case inside, all sweaty from dancing in my onesie, I realize my head ache and tummy ache are gone. Off to bed now, blue watch starts at 04:00! Hou van jullie TTM&P!
DAY 6, 4st of February 2019 -Atlantic Ocean
Since yesterday evening, we had kind of bad weather. A lot of wind and big waves gave a sleepless night and made it difficult to move around. As I am part of the white watch I had to stay up from midnight to 4, it was a bit wobbly but it was quiet OK. The real fun was from 12 to 4 in the afternoon! We had bad weather so we put on the sailing suit and we went on our shift. It was raining heavily and the waves where super big, it was quiet an impressive view. Victor (a crew member) was showing us some nots and then al of the sudden, the wind changed from course and we where going against the wind! So we had to put down the sails really quickly and put the engine on to go against the wind. We where doing all kind of stuff so no time for a break! When the wind took back his course and the sails where back up, Victor and I went up the Royals (highest sail) to attach them better. That was a bit scary because up there, it was moving a lot ! At the end, this watch was awesome, we had so much to do and the view was amazing, the best watch ever!
DAY 5, 3st of February 2019- Atlantic Ocean
The first night that our watch had a really clear sky, it's so beautiful and it will never get boring! You can make a lot of wishes here during the night. Jelle is reading Mathilda in our watch, it's so relaxing to watch the stars, eat a tosti and listen to the stories of this small little girl.
During the day, in one of Marco's daily sailing lessons, it was time to break the time record of setting one of the sails against the other blue watch!
Before my watch, I went up into the mast and I looked around me. I was sitting in the sun, writing in my diary, while I was listening to the music Isabelle, Mayeul and Carolina were making down on the foredeck. I watched the watch stirring and talking in the back and then suddenly Maike and Mara came to join me. So many happy moments in one day!
DAY 4, 2st of February 2019 - Atlantic Ocean
Every night a starry sky washes away the beautiful colours the sunset has left. As the stars turn brighter our watch starts. Tonight is a quiet night. The wind is calm, the waves are smooth and we keep a course straight to the north. Despite the fact that we have thirteen sails set there is hardly any work to do. This gives us enough time to stare into the sky and sea while having deep conversation. We each see a number of shooting stars, but even when a brightly burning comet passes, I cannot think of anything to wish for. As I am feeling completely fortunate being on the Morgenster in the middle of the Atlantic.
DAY 3, 1st of February 2019- Atlantic Ocean
The first thing I do when I get woken up by someone for breakfast is taking a look outside. I saw a few flying fish flying away and the sun was already up. The day started with quite a fair amount of wind but got weaker as the day passed. Today was the first day no one threw up, big day! But it was also the first day of case work. TechnischeUnie has given us a challenging quest but after our first session I have no doubt that our group will come up with great solutions. The first session was really good and motivating. We didn't want to make the first sessiontoo long as some people are still feeling a bit wobbly.
Over the next days we'll be brainstorming and forming subgroups. The atmosphere on board and during the meeting is amazing! Climbing the mast is my favourite thing to do, but the 4 o'clock snack (today we had pizza) is always a very happy moment with the entire crew and group on the aftdeck, chatting, sailing, singing. Northwards we go, until the Westerlies catch us!
DAY 2, 31th of January 2019- In the middle of the Caribbean sea
My first nightwatch was beautiful and awful at the same time. It was a long time ago I saw this many stars. But I also fell asleep while standing. The toasties were great. But I couldn't keep them inside of me for more than 10 minutes.
In short: it was a night of many contrasts.
Luckily Esmee still had one of her magic patches for seasickness that I could have. Now I can enjoy everything about this quest much better.
Tomorrow we'll start with the case!
DAY 1, 30th of January 2019 - Bay of Marigot, Sint Maarten
Finally, after many months of waiting, our journey begins. We boarded the Morgenster and lifted the anchor. We set our course to the North. With stable, north-eastern wind and almost all of the sails set, we sailed with a speed of up to 9 knots. And because it was Day 1, we had a lot of firsts: the first time we've seen dolphins and flying fishes, got wet with the first rain, had our first (and not last) puker. We were singing on deck with our wonderful cook Isabel, climbing the yards and getting used to life on board. Which is that kind of life that keeps you smiling.
Zosia (girl who made the drawing)
Check out the Quest for Change webshop! There you'll find more drawings, T-shirts with Morgenster and other wonderful things - by buying them you can support our mission! society6.com/questforchange
The Quest for Change is getting closer! Only 1 more days until we leave from Sint Maarten with Tallship Morgenster back to Amsterdam. In cooperation with Technische Unie we will be working on a key question, something to do with Circulair Economy, zero-waste and energy transition. So stay tuned!!! For now meet the students of leg 3 Quest for Change.