After all, the south wind arrives. Gently it sets its wings over us and makes an end to more than 30 days of tacking. A month in which we made many miles nobody pays for, just the hands of the crew which haul and hoist and ease and dowse in any condition and to the rythm of the slight changes in the eastwinds, or due to land under the bowsprit.
Arriving at the continental shelf we received the order to unload some long travelled wine barrels in Douarnenez, which we had to dig out under a few tons of cacao beans, which was great fun with the help of the fine crew of our partners in crime, the Grayhound and Lun II.
Camaret Sur Mer gave us some shelter from an easterly gale where we landed at the pier with a well timed handbreak maneuvre and sailed off again a few days later, together with Grayhound. In ghostly silence we hoisted the sails at the pier and tacked out in direction to Chenal Du Four in a fine race against this incredibly fast pirate ship. After some good tacks we kept hope but at the entrance of the Chenal we saw the beautiful stern of our contrahent and wished them well for the summer season.
Funny drawings we described with our keel all over the channel, France in the morning, England at night, ships all the time, and just behind the line with Greenwich to the north, the wind changed. Slightly ease the sheets, brace back a few centimeters and let her go as she likes it.
Everybody is in great spirit and cannot wait to make fast at the Port of Amsterdam where hopefully some happy faces and cold beers will await us!
But still, when the energy of having completed a voyage of 6 months makes place for life on land, some of us will be thrown out of the comfort of having great food on vast times, work which is prepared and commands which are followed with a will, coming from yourself. Ships life is so out of nature but still so good to the human mind, specially in the speed epoca we live in now. Many will find out later, when they remember the howling winds up at the royal, the nights on remote anchorages, the whales and dolphins, the firts land sights, the foreign people, manners, food and landscapes….. how peaceful and worryless time passes on the ship and how much time one has to think about himself.
It is a life worth living, no matter how long, if its a start or a part of a career. This ship is made for this, to give this experience. Pure and rough, no compromise, not in good times not in hard ones. Alltogether it is more than an experience, but that anybody has to make out for himself. After some rum in the Port of Amsterdam.
Captain Andreas Lackner
P.S.: right now rigging stu’n sailbooms while a control of French customs between Dover and Calais