“Are you wearing rain gear?” – By Lea

If you hear this sentence, at 4 am in the morning, it means that you are soon going to be completely wet. On the way from Stavanger to Brixham, in the strong gale that rose on the North Sea, the sheet block of the forestaysail suddenly went loose under the beating waves of salt and heavy winds, in the middle of a moonless night. At the beginning of my shift, bosun Signe and I are assigned to repairing as quickly as possible the broken but precious sail, one of the most important sails on the ship.

Waves are washing the deck and the bow is regularly plunging under water. As I climb on the jib boom, Signe next to me repairing the sheet, I can see the ghost of the broken sail batting in the wind, half drown in the dark water. Everything is completely black around me, I barely can see the white foam of the ocean overlapping the boom – and me – every five minutes. Safely clicked on the lifeline that runs along the boom, I feel like riding a gigantic and extremely wild seahorse, and joy is strangel filling my heart. I feel the challenge of the situation I am in; I can only rely on my balance and body strength to make use of the back and forth movement of the ship to stay on the shaking boom.
I am now pulling the sail to me, and the treacherous canvas is filling up with wind and water, which makes it two to three times heavier! But Signe is here, next to me, almost more wet than I am, pulling on the remaining sheet of the sail. I am now passing the block to her, and furling the sail as strongly as I can, as the ship seems to fall from a cliff and climb a mountain every time a new wave hits the bow…

Job done! The sail is repaired in the early morning. I have never been so wet in my whole life! And definitely, the jib boom is and will forever be my favorite place on Tres Hombres…

Lea, Trainee on Tres Hombres.

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