Where the silence begins… Shetland.

The sea was smooth and dark blue. I could see a faint line of the land on the horizon – a different sign than the emptiness of the sea we were looking at for the last 30 hours. The rain stopped whipping our faces and the wind lightened a bit. I felt too exhausted to hold my camera so I was staring at the horizon, praying inside we could get to the land faster. Still, even though we could see it, there was another 20 or so hours of sailing in front of us.

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Sailing from Bergen, Norway to Lerwick, Shetland – our first 55 hours passage.

Bergen welcomed us with a cloudy sky and the promise of a rain coming our way. We have quickly located Brego, resting attached to another boat in the centre of the town. My knowledge about the sailors’ etiquette was non-existent and I did not realise that if you want to get to the boat which is located further down the line, you just getting on the nearest boat and crossing over. For some reason doing that seemed impolite. But as we soon found out – this is what you meant to be doing as there is no other way. No one expects you to swim between the boats!

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Bergen, Norway
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Bergen, Norway
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Bergen, Norway

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Introducing Brego – the sailing boat which will take us from Norway to Iceland…

Brego’s sails are burgundy red. A little dirty burgundy red, like a good wine. Its body is dark, made of steel, with a horse head clearly visible on the sides. The boat itself is 13,44 m long and 3,91 m wide. Brego is a ketch – a sailing craft with two masts. The forward of the two masts (the “mainmast”) is larger than the after mast (the “mizzen”).

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24 days left before we sail to Iceland and shopping for wellies…

The list of the things we need to purchase for our upcoming sailing trip is steadily growing. I did not manage to have a good look at our sleeping bags hidden away in the cupboard and I am not sure if they are ok for the trip. Then you have a simple fact of a travel bag – the suitcase is useless on a boat, it’s too big and awkward. We do need proper bags, which can be folded and squished. We do not have proper wellies, which would allow us to move around wet surfaces easily and help us avoid breaking leg or land on our bottoms. We need water-proof and wind-proof trousers and jackets and proper gloves and Marcin needs to see an optician about the contact lenses, in case his glasses land in the water…

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Heaving – in case you need a break while sailing.

On Friday morning we were not aware that our exam for a Yachtsman Certificate will be taking place in the afternoon. I was still battling with myself whatever to try it or not, but I am not a quitter, so even though it was a hard decision I knew I would try, there was no doubt about it. A month before we went to Poland I implemented a hard learning regime at our home driving Marcin mad with asking him to read the materials we were given at least once. At the end he just gave up and was spending some evenings on reading about Theory of Sailing and Meteorology, lying quite relaxed on our bed while I was trying not to lose my head over Yacht Construction and Sailing Regulations.

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The Man overboard! How to rescue a MOB :)

I was sailing, holding the tiller and observing the sails, constantly moving my head around like a dog following the scent in order to guess the wind direction.

– You can sit, when you sit you are sailing much much better – said Krystian for the hundredth time.

Yep, I knew that, but the problem which I had was not seeing where I was sailing if I was sitting. I needed to lift myself up from time to time to assess the situation, but I kept forgetting to sit back. When you sit you are more relaxed, your legs are not killing you in the evening,  just your arms muscles and your hands from controlling the ropes.

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The nightmare of multitasking while trimming your sails… “Prepare to tack!”.

Another night at the marina was quiet and noisy at the same time. I was lying in my bed trying to imagine how I would feel if we were in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea trying to get from Malta to Crete or from Turkey to Italy, pulling a “nighter”. It did not scare me at all. I had a feeling that I would love it – the sense of freedom and being so close with nature on my own applied to me rather strongly. Parcifal was slowly rocking me into the sleep but I kept looking thorough small skylight above my head, watching darkening sky losing its golden sunset colours. The ropes of our and neighbouring boats were banging on masts and I could hear ducks talking quietly with each other. In the evenings, when everyone apart from us and few people went home, the marina was quieting down, getting ready to sleep.

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