SOIC East-India-Man Replica Götheborg III

2010-06-07 Monday - Preparations for Sailing

2010, June 7th. My second voyage as a trainee ... we were bound to sail from Gothenburg, around South Sweden to Stockholm; later the ship would take part in the Royal Wedding of princess Viktoria. I arrived one day earlier to signing in the next day, by train, to Gothenburg central station...

Most of the experienced trainees (and the core crew of course) was already onboard.

One of many preparations is the approval of Sjöfartsverket, the Swedish maritime authority. A dedicated safety officer leads all excercices.

During the excercises, everybody who is idle gather around the capstan, like on real alarms, in case that the ship has to be abandoned and people have to go into the life floats. (As I was not yet signed in, I could play a dump land lubber, making photos from anywhere I liked :)

To be approved, a life boat excercise ("man overboard"), a fire fighting excercise and an amulance rescue excercise must be performed without failures. The core crew is trained for this and well prepared anytime the alarm comes.

A live boat must be sent out within less than 5 minutes. On the sea, this excercise is repeated on every watch, and every trainee has to learn this procedure efficiently.

At the end of the approval, all details of the excercices were discussed carefully for further events, but Sjöfartsverket was very pleased to see how efficient these excercises were performed.

Safety onboard has always first priority. The Götheborg III may look very old from the outside, but hidden inside, all measures to comply to maritime safety rules are installed: smoke and fire detectors, sprinkler and fire extinguishers, and all the equipment needed. The safety standards are very high, indeed.

But, MOST important of course, is food for one week, for 80 people onboard - we work a lot and so we eat a lot :) We built a human chain of 20 people to get all food in - that took almost one hour!

Even the captain says that good food is more important than himself ... because, with bad food, the whole day onboard is destroyed on the best ship.

But our cooks, Paul and Alexander, are REALLY good :) - and Paul is a marvellous guitar player also!