Suncream & Salopettes ~ Six Weeks of Sailing (by Ronja)


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Suncream & Salopettes ~ Six Weeks of Sailing (by Ronja)

Ahoy! If I were ever to write a personal book about seafaring, it would be called exactly that - Suncream & Salopettes.* The latter term is - as I was able to learn this summer - a fancy word for oil pants (or simply the French word for "dungarees") and I just love the sound! The word combination also describes not only Scottish weather, but also the imponderables of living and working at sea. Just a moment ago it was sunny, suddenly there was a thunderstorm. Life is what happens when you had other plans. But first things first. It's been five years since I lost my heart to sailing - so it's the perfect time to tell you about my terrific summer this year on the Pelican.
It wasn't my first summer on the Pelican, but it was a very special one - for the first time I was listed as bosun's mate and thus an exciting step closer to my wish to become a permanent crew on board. And if you're wondering what that is - no problem 😉
In principle, the bosun is responsible for everything for which no one from the engine, bridge or galley is needed - these are mainly ropes and sails, everything on deck, but also all repairs for which no engineering degree is required and general maintenance. From masthead to bilge, the deck team has a lot to do (and always an occasion for a snack 😁). So I could translate my task of the summer as "boatswain's assistant" and wow, I had so much fun! On the one hand, I was trusted with a lot and at the same time I was able to learn a lot and do it for the first time.

Probably the most exciting was my very first stay ride - working in the harness hanging under the highest stay and being secured and moved by the guys on deck via ropes. I had stage fright in mind, but the view was terrific and this feeling, the pride of what I was doing... indescribable. Especially since the crew was just wonderful and I got so much great feedback this summer. This feeling of being in the right place at the right time - I just had that every day for six weeks. The grin was literally stapled to my ears and I was often told that I would shine from the inside out. Because yes, it is. This is the place, the job and the people I want to be with. And to know that is a damn great feeling!
As always, we had mostly young people aged 13-16 with us; first Ireland and Wales and then Scotland. And wow. Everyone says it's nice there - how much, I wasn't prepared for that and my photos just don't capture it. This green nature, the rugged landscapes and waterfalls, the sin... What is also true is the prejudice about the weather - we joked that we sometimes went through seven seasons in two days. From double layer of socks and full oilskins to shorts and T-shirt, everything was there. I got a cold as well as sunburn on my knees We were mainly in the Sound of Mull and wow to sit up in the yards 😅 while the landscape passes by on both sides, dolphins accompany the ship below and the sails fill up...

What else? Ah yes, a lot of ice cream - of course. And a lot of nonsense, funny moments, wonderful conversations, sticker campaigns, seeing dear people again and taking new ones to our hearts, cozy evenings in the pub, silly shirt day, hugs, cohesion in the crew, funny selfies on the mobile phone (just never leave them unattended; that's almost an invitation to mischief!) , snacks in between, laughter and: a cat. Yup, we also made eyes when we saw her sitting in the load on the anchor ball. You can see - just a fantastic time with great people, spectacular scenery, sunshine in my heart and also a little disbelief that I will eventually get paid to live my dream. I can't wait.
By the way, here and here you can find more pictures of the breathtaking landscape 💚
* By the way, the sequel would be called Tea & Naps, also essentials on (British) ships!
Have you been to Ireland, Wales and/or Scotland? Or would you be tempted by a trip there? And of course you are welcome to ask me any questions if you have any about the places or .dem sails 🙂

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