I’m afraid if I keep posting about these amazing, flawless trips of mine you will begin to question the authenticity of my posts. Perhaps I am embellishing, falsifying, exaggerating. Well, this post should prove to you doubters out there that I am in fact being totally honest. This past week I spent 6 days at sea, traveling to Scotland’s Shetland Islands on Norway’s biggest and oldest sail ship. And because I am being 100% honest here… I will admit I was a little disappointed. My expectations had been so high it isn’t much of a surprise they were not fully met. Parts of the trip were less than stellar, but other aspects were great! If I were rating this trip like Grace Helbig, I’d give it 3 GraceFaces.
I’m not quite sure how to tackle embodying this trip in a blog post. Starting in the beginning, let me pose a question to try to set the scene for you. What’s grosser: seeing people vomiting in every direction you turn, hearing the surround-sound chorus of puke splattering against the deck, or smelling the never-fading scent of people’s regurgitated meals? (Hint: It’s a trick question.) They are all equally as gross.
I feel as if I should follow up the former glum pictures with something that will rock your boat. If there is one thing that this trip was full of (other than vomit), it was beauty. I thought the waves were just swell (pun intended.) I found myself starring out at sea for hours. The sunsets and sunrises were truly amazing. On the cloudless nights we were graced by the presence of a full or nearly full moon. In fact, it was the brightest and most beautiful moon I have ever seen. Shout out to my love back home, Brenna Monk. On the fourth night we were surrounded by distanced oil rigs, appearing as just glowing dots sitting on the horizon. As I continued to stare out in the distance, time passed. My eyes became so strained the sky began melting into the sea, creating a vast void of darkness. The oil rig sat in the center of the darkness seemingly dimming until I could no longer see it. The ocean and sky had this mesmerizing effect on me the whole week– perhaps because of a kind of vastness and openness I am not used to.
The ships itself, the Statsraad Lehmkuhl, is breathtaking. I admired all of the vertical lines of ropes and wire, which is why I got a little carried away with perspective in some of my photos. I’m sure if I had not felt so nauseous, the 700 pictures I took would have been closer to 1,000.
I don’t have much to say about Shetland. It was very grey. It pretty much acted solely as a solid ground– a much needed break for many.
If there weren’t 140 of us to dilute the workload, life on the Statsraad Lehmkuhl would be tough. A lot of the work had to do with ropes– tugging ropes, tying ropes, climbing ropes. On the second full day on ship I had kitchen duty. I had to stay under deck all day… yay. Despite the sea sickness I enjoyed the day because of the kitchen lady, Annika. She was quite a character, and had many stories from the 8 years she had worked aboard the Statsraad Lehmkuhl. Annika is the type of person I’d love to write a book about. The food was quite good, although eating was not my top priority because of nausea. To my delight we had lots of fruit and vegetables! Apples, bananas, oranges, potatoes, and luckily no leeks. (Boat puns, can’t get enough of em’)
Climbing up the rig was more scary than it looks, and it probably looks quite scary to a lot of you. You are not actually attached to anything during the climb. It isn’t until you reach the platform or sail when you hook yourself in. Good thing no one fell, right?
By the last day, I was definitely counting down the hours to shore. Life at sea was beautiful but I was ready for solid ground. As we reached Bergen I had a mini sailabration. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Regardless, the pure beauty and experience of the sail trip made it worth it. A memory, I will never forget.