After a great first port of Porto, there were lots of emotions coming back onto the boat. Many people were excited to get sailing to our next port but most were sad to be leaving Porto. The first day back on the boat we started right back into our typical schedule with a full day of classes and watch. After having so much free time in Porto, it was a little hard to adjust to getting back into the schedule.
The next day we sped up to get to the Straight of Gibraltar as fast as we could. We had almost all the sails set and were going about 12 knots. With speed and wind comes lots of heeling so the night was spent trying not to fall over just by walking in the mess. When we needed to slow down we had our first “all hands on deck” call to take down some of the sails.
Calmer seas followed the next day. Now that we are more into the rhythm of life on the ship, many students have been organizing activities at night. These are fun because we can learn more about talents that other people have and we can also learn new skills ourselves. Things like Merengue Monday, Karaoke night, and Trap Thursday has kept evenings on the boat very busy and exciting.
We made it to the Straight of Gibraltar and woke up on the 25th to hear “Spain is on your left and Africa is on your right.” It’s pretty crazy to hear something like that. I sometimes think about what I would be doing if I were home and how my life would be different. Instead of sitting in the same building every day for 7 hours, I get to wake up every morning to something new. We stopped in Gibraltar to get fuel for the rest of our journey.
For many people including myself, it is starting to sink in that we are on this boat for the whole year and are missing things at home. For me personally, my high school homecoming dance is during this crossing and it is weird to think about not being there with all my friends. But it is also comforting to know that everyone is feeling the same way on this boat. People to be able to talk to always surround you. The boat is now feeling like home to many people, myself included.
To avoid a storm, we anchored off the coast of Almeria, Spain. We had a great view of a beautiful castle and a busy city. It was little bit taunting to us since we were so close but still had classes and couldn’t get off the boat. In our watches we had remained busy doing ship maintenance such as oiling and painting different parts of the boat.
Off the coast of Almeria Spain. Many boats come over to get a better look of the Gulden Leeuw.
The same day at 1830 hours we had an evening muster right before dinner. We all gathered expecting to hear when we would leave Spain and continue on to Corsica. Instead we found out that we would be skipping Corsica and stopping in Mallorca and Barcelona! There was too bad of a storm to get to Corsica so we would skip that port and then after continue on to Valencia. We all cheered since Mallorca is known for beautiful beaches and Barcelona is such an interesting city. With this excitement the reality of still going to school on a boat hit us because news followed that while in port we would still have classes since we weren’t expecting these extra port days.
While still anchored of the shores of Spain, we got the announcement we had all been waiting for. Our first swim call! We all rushed to put on our swimsuits and then got to jump of the bowsprit and swim in the blue waters of Spain. Jumping in from the bowsprit was intimidating at first because it felt so high up, but after jumping once you just want to keep going. This felt amazing after almost a month of hard work on the boat.
Beautiful sunsets as we sail to Mallorca.
Written by: Class Afloat student, Alanis Reznar
Featured image: Photo credit @izzy.englandd