Daily routine at sea
The routine on board the “Dagmar Aaen” is influenced by the watch-duty system. Four hours on watch – eight hours off. This is the rhythm on board a ship. Jan and Matze are responsible for the “Dagmar Aaen” from 0:00 to 04:00 and from 12:00 to 16:00, then Thomas Hillebrand and Peter from 04:00 to 08:00 and 16:00 to 20:00. This cycle is then completed by Arved and Thomas Dietz from 08:00 to 12:00 and 20:00 to 24:00. Day after day. During a watch one has to navigate, steer, be on the lookout for other ships and adjust the sails according to the changing wind conditions. This calls for heavy physical work.
There are no electrical of hydraulic winches on board the “Dagmar Aaen”. Everything is done by hand. Hands therefore take a beating and are covered in scratches after a few days. The rough cordage and salt water are hard on the skin. A good hand cream like “Wind and Wetter Balsam” from HIPP is not a luxury article but helps hands from being too damaged.
Besides the watch-duty system meals are an important topic on board. Only after a good meal, can you do a good job. Loads of provisions were stowed away on board the ship before setting off. Every free space on the “Dagmar Aaen” is piled up with bags of freeze-dried trekking meals, tins, flour, delicious spices and an important elixir of life: coffee and tea. Without these two beverages on board – nothing goes. A hot cup of tea during a night watch can make the sometimes long hours spent in the cold and damp bearable. Thanks to the products of LEBENSBAUM, we can choose between different flavors. Arved swears by a hot cup of coffee at any time of the day. Here again, the Gourmet coffee from Lebensbaum is a good choice.
On the subject of provisions: We have not needed many during the last few days. The reason: Loss of appetite. In contrast to the long rhythmical waves of the Atlantic, you can often have short steep waves in the North Sea. And we are right in the middle of such waves. With waves of up to three metres, the “Dagmar Aaen” rolls and comes down sometimes rather heavily. Not every stomach can take this. The fish are getting a good feed. This is unfortunately the way things sometimes go. But in a few days, the crew will have grown the necessary “sea-legs”.
A surprise quest had difficulty with the outside conditions as well. About 25 sea miles west of Sylt, a pigeon landed on deck. Waltraud (her name is fictitious) was totally exhausted and tried to hide in the wind-sheltered corners of the ship. She had rings on both of her legs and so we assumed that she was a carrier pigeon. Her condition was anything but encouraging so we feared that she would not last the next few days. But the following morning she was still alive and changed her tactics. She now wanted to be close to us and kept right at our feet. This way we were able to look after her. Waltraud didn’t have to be asked twice about granola and fresh water and by the afternoon she seemed to have gotten her strength back. After circling the ship twice she finally set off on a new destination and disappeared over the horizon.