High School on a Ship
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The Atlantic Crossing (2018)

By Marie Anderssen Lindbäck | Jan 9, 2018 |

On December the 28, 2017, we started our voyage from Cape Verde to Barbados. My expectations for the Atlantic crossing were non-existent. I couldn’t manage to grasp the fact that we were going to cross one of the biggest Oceans on Earth on a sail ship. Nothing else but wood and steel between us and the big ocean and all of its secrets.

Luckily we are still alive, and this crossing is actually the best sail so far in my opinion. I love it, it’s warm and we are sailing fast, up to 12 nm\h. The big ocean is not scary, but beautiful. It is extremely fascinating and hard to try to understand that I am actually here, so far from home. When we look up to the sky during night watch we see the North Star, and the Big Dipper is upside down compared to how we usually see it in Norway. 

I always have to remind myself, that this is it. The raging ocean you have seen in the documentaries. So powerful and enormous that it can swallow the world in seconds. It’s easy to forget because the weather has been very peaceful so far on the crossing. It’s impossible to try to visualize the fact that we are here alone with 5000 meters of undiscovered water beneath us and thousands of miles around us.

This crossing will probably be the coolest thing I am going to do in my life. It is going to be pretty hard to beat sailing over the Atlantic in a 90 years old tall ship with amazing crew and friends. The crew makes you forget your worries about your math test or the new academic night classes. They remind­ you of what an amazing journey we are on. Making us laugh and showing us things like how the fish we caught during day watch called Durado changed color after being out in the fresh air for a few minutes. It goes from green to grey; it’s like the sea’s chameleon.

New Year’s Eve was a magical night, the crew hung a fender from the mainmast decorated with Christmas lights, and when the clock rang 12 the ball dropped. It was a very different, but just as nice of a celebration as we are used to. After New Year’s Eve we started the famous “Watch Wars”. Watch four is leading at the moment, but the scores change dramatically every day. The students at A+ are very competitive. One watch (I am not going to say which) killed a bird for 10 points. Let’s hope that’s the furthest people will go to get points in this game!

Besides special events, the days blend into each other on the boat. This whole year has flown by so fast. My mind gets dizzy thinking about everything we have done the past months. All of the people and countries we have visited and all the new things we have experienced feel like a day dream far away. We are totally isolated from the world, living in our own bubble, worrying about when the next deep clean is going to be, or if your watch is going to see that you lost 5 points in Watch Wars for speaking Norwegian.

I am lucky that I get to experience this, thank you mom and dad, love Marie.