In July the “Shtandart” ranged norwegian waters, where the second leg of the Tall Ships Races regatta was held. The crew has got there a lot of useful skills and acquired new friends.
Lyse — Stavanger
Larvik, Langesund, Lyse... on this leg the “Shtandart” passes norwegian towns which names start with L. By the way the crew learns new things and puts their knowledge to use.
For radiocommunications practice we were divided into groups: coast, forecastle, bridge. We learned how to use a hand-held radio, how to call and to respond properly. Every mooring is also a part of training process: at first a piece of theory on board, then practice and after all – short debriefing. And the fjords are the perfect place for meteorology studies: there one can see clearly how does the warm front collide with the cold one, observe the cloud formation and the rain fall.
Also we had a “Man Over Board” training. A blue fender rolling on the waves was picked on the dinghy and taken on board by our brave sailors
Stavanger — Tysnes — Bergen
In Tysnes the “Shtandart” visited a local music festival, where the crew could listen to vikings’ songs and watch them dancing on the tables in a small harbour pub.
Then the ship headed for the rainiest city in the world – Bergen, which managed the expectations and welcomed the travellers with its best fogs and rains.
For this leg we had an unusual crew – 15 young sailors from “Polvetra” project , in age from 9 to 16, called the tune on the ship. Сhildren learned how to set sails, bind sailor’s knots and cook dinner for 40 persons.
Our dreams have already come true, now we fulfil others’ wishes. I also had a personal reason: I wanted to put my brother in touch with sailing. We live in different coutries and see each other rather seldom (I left home when he was a baby). These children are now in that good age when it’s not too late to carry them away from television and computers and get them going on something else. And sailing is the best education ever. In the USA, for example, it is a very popular practice to send teenagers to sailing training ships, without connection with career in the Navy.
The “Shtandart” crew tried also the real norwegian fishing.
The first two hours fishing goes in peaks and valleys, but no sooner then the Captain declares the final 10 minutes, fishes so predictable begin to bite madly. Finally, by the score 4:3 (cod vs. mackerel) from the depth of 72 meters comes the kingfish of norwegian seas with the shimmering golden crown and… gets away with the new hook for 150 honestly earned norwegian krones. But no one can resist the fascinating charm of our little ship – the golden fish comes back after a while and bites another hook, captivated by brave russian sailors.
Ålesund, 2nd leg of the Tall Ships Races
About 20 A-class tall ships besides the “Shtandart”, and a vast number of smaller vessels were accomodated in the harbour.
There is a plenty of amazing stories, outstanding even for the sailing comunity: the british “Lord Nelson” has a crew of handicapped persons, bark “Europa” is a former lightvessel and the “Cisne Branco” has come to Norway from the distant shores of Brazil.
Before the race started, the crew had 3 days for all joys of coastal life, parties on board and visits to other ships. And also – for participation in the crew parade.
Meanwhile junior trainees have left, and new romantics and adventurers have come up to take their place. Among the new sailors – design engineer of nuclear power plants, gamers’ brain researcher, builder, programmer, entrepreneur, blacksmith and professional mom.
Ålesund — Kristiansann
The next stop of the “Shtandart” — town of Måløy, south of Ålesund.
We had only half-day to “plunder” the town, but we’ve managed everything. But we had to split up: on board there was a pirate show for local children, and those who were not on watch, set theitselves as tourists and visited an animal farm. Donkeys, goats, deers and farmers were happy to meet our sailors, and no animals were harmed during this visit.
Then the ship set sails to the fjords and skerries with their waterfalls, rocky shores and snow caps – and there the newcomers met their first storm.
Socks and slippers fleeting in the crew’s quarters, flying teapots and morning couscous trying to escape – well, that was not a real storm, just some pretty fresh wind 5 to 7 Beaufort. But it was just out of our way. At first the newbie sailors feel joy and passion for riding a big swingboat, but soon they get overpowered by different unpleasent side-effects of the seasickness. In the afternoon only the captain and a couple of most resistant sailors stay alive (including that one who stands abaft the wheel – he simply has no choise), and the sterncastle turns into a sad and slumberous seal rookery.
To be continued
The ship has a lot of interesting ahead. In August the “Shtandart” sets sail to the Netherlands, where the crew will have a lot of sailing practice and small towns to visit. And 19th August in Amsterdam starts the large-scale maritime event – the “Sail Amsterdam” festival, that takes place every 5 years. And afterwards the “Shtandart” will make a traditional voyage to the “little dutchmen”, then cross the English Channel and make a break in Poole by the end ot the month.