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Initial thoughts from a city dweller

I thought I would share some initial thoughts I have on board the ship on our way to South Georgia and Antarctica. But first, a little about  myself. I am a now 32 year old city dweller from Norway, used to playing video games with friends, watching series or movies, letting the days fly by without any particular content, and having access to just about everything I could need or want. My family lives 20 minutes away and I  work night shifts at a hospital. Oh, and I'm usually clean shaven,  because I can't really grow cool beards like proper seamen! I decided going on this trip four or five years ago, and have dreamed about being on a tallship since I was a kid, and my dream is now  fulfilled. I am on board the Bark Europa. And to portray what I feel will be difficult, but I will try. It. Is. Amazing! It took a couple of  days before it dawned on me that I was actually on board this vessel, steering at the helm, pulling ropes, setting sails and keeping lookout. But here I am, doing all that I have dreamed of since I was a child. Climbing the mast is one of the highlights of the first few days. Legs were shaky but I won't give up. Seeing the permanent crew climbing the masts like it's nothing, makes me want to do the same. Today we had our first meeting with some rough seas, and it was awesome. Tall waves (at least for me) hitting the ships side, making objects and people fly 
around. Water gushing over the deck as I've only seen in movies. One would think it would be scary, but it is not. It is fun, more fun than I thought it would be. The reason for it not being scary isn't my undoubtedly fearless personality and my strong, tough Viking genes. It is the crew.The permanent crew here is one of a kind. They are calm and friendly; caring and hospitable. From the moment we all set foot on this ship they have gone out of their way to make us feel comfortable and safe. They always have a smile on their faces, and even if they are super busy they reply with kindness and patience to any greeting or question. It's easy to tell that they love what they are doing. They love the ship, and it seems they have formed some nice friendships with each other. And they want to share this lifestyle with us, and I love it. For me, who likes to travel to meet people, it's an honour to be able to witness this companionship and love they have for each other and for the ship. And I 
feel safe here, because of their "chillness". From the deckhands, to the cooks, to the bartender and the captain, they are all lovely, and I look forward to getting to know them better. They even go out of their way to know all of our names and preferences, simply amazing. Let's not forget the others on the ship, the voyage crew; us travellers. For we are many, and we are all different. Some are like me, with no previous sailing experience. Some have been sailing their whole life. And there are people from all ages, and all professions. But every single one is here for the same reason, for adventure. We have all much to learn from each other and I thoroughly enjoy getting to know everybody. Everyone is unique at it's part of what makes this trip fun. I hope I make some good friends on this trip.
I won't bore you for much longer, but I will finish off by telling about my first day at sea, which happened to be my 32nd birthday, November 15th, 2018. It was pretty calm at the beginning of the day, no clouds could be seen, and the sun burned bright. The temperature was like a hot summer day in Norway, and I had to wear sunscreen to avoid becoming red. It didn't help, of course, as it never does. Red as a ruby around the neck and on my forehead. I will remind you, this is our first day at sea, we had boarded the day before. I had told one, maybe two people about my birthday, but on this day, people I had never seen before came up to me to wish me a happy birthday. It spread like wildfire! Everyone knew and it felt nice. We got some information about sail handling and even had time to climb the mast. I climbed the mast! On my birthday! It was such a great present. And what a day, we enjoyed the summer heat while having lunch on deck. More rope pulling after that. My watch was starting at 8pm, just after dinner. It was a Dutch stew, super tasty and good. As dinner reached an end and our daily 8 o'clocky was finished the crew came in with apple pie, singing my birthday song. Lights on the pie and a nice gift in hand. To think these people would do this for me after knowing me 1 day is awesome. It was perfect, and a birthday that I will cherish forever. My watch started and the wind had picked up a bit. Waves were forming and I felt the sea sickness coming. Close to midnight the inevitable happened. As any birthday party is supposed to end, I was  there, under a starry night sky, hanging over the side of the Bark Europa, feeding the fishes half digested Dutch stew and apple pie, with my thinly grown facial hair and my sunburned face. And all I was thinking was: What an great life this is, and I love it, every second of it. I'm looking forward to the rest of our journey.

Written by:
Per Christian | Voyage crew

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