Updated: Jan 18, 2018
Before I got onto the Pelican, I was nervous about what it was going to be like. I was nervous about what would be involved and who I would be on-board with. Questions ran through my mind, will they be friendly, will they make me feel welcome and what will I have to do? I didn't need to worry! The crew were amazing as they made me feel at home.
We arrived at 10am and explored the ship and were allocated cabins to sleep in. We received a safety briefing and then allocated to watch groups, it was like being a crew member. There were talks on the navigation, ropes and tying knots. It was all very interesting and I learnt so much. It was then time for lunch, we had delicious soup and sandwiches. After lunch, we climbed up the rigging to the first yard. Being my first time, I was very nervous but others encouraged along the way and I really enjoyed it.
We were woken up at 7am by the cook over tannoy, breakfast quickly followed, a full english. The Chief Officer then taught us more about the ship as it was very windy and the weather conditions weren't very good. This was a chance to ask questions and be sociable with the crew and other trainees. “Happy hour” approached, this means everyone helps clean the ship. Then we had a long talk about the different parts of the sail and how to set it for sailing. After lunch, we went up the rigging to practice setting a sail. We practiced bracing the sails and what we would have to do if we were to tack. After being out in the British weather for a while, we went into the Mess room to warm up with a hot chocolate before having dinner.
7am returned, and I was excited for the day ahead. Our group had been told we would start our watch at 12:30 to 4:30. It was time to put our new learnt skills to the test, we had to navigate and steer the ship, to avoid other ships and keep Pelican out of harms way. Some of our watch had very bad sea-sickness and needed to stay out in the fresh air. We all supported each other through the watch to ensure everyone was able to continue.
I woke up at 6:45am for breakfast at 7:20am, we were told that we could go to shore for the morning in a little town called Yarmouth. When we got to shore we wandered around the town and shopped. When we got back we were told that we could go and jump of the boat if the current wasn’t strong. So, while we waited we sunbathed because it was so hot. After a while, we were told that the current wasn’t very strong so we could jump off the boat. Then when everyone was dry, we set of at 5 ish. We went on watch at 6pm until 8pm. I started off watching out for boats nearby for a while but then I got to learn how to steer the boat (I was a bit sea-sick when some of the others learnt how to do it!). We then finished our ship and was playing cards in the Mess when we anchored in Weymouth Bay. We went to bed early because our group had an early watch and I had to be up for Mess Duty, which is helping the cook serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and wash up afterwards.
I woke up at 6:45 and while the rest of my group were outside, I helped the cook serve both breakfasts with a person from the 2 other groups. After both breakfasts were served, we washed up and there was a lot of dishes and cutlery to wash! By the time we had washed and dried all of the dishes, we had left Weymouth bay and were in the harbour. Then we packed our bags and put all the bed sheets in a heap in front of the washing machine. Then we had another Happy Hour and the people who were on Mess Duty cleaned the kitchen and the Mess Room. Then I helped the cook serve both lunches, which was pizza, and then wash all of the dishes and cutlery again. By the time I had put everything away people had started to leave. I grabbed by bag and headed out to the deck were a group of people were sat with their bags waiting to be collected. We talked until I had to go. We said our good-byes and I then went to the gate to go home.