Day 0 (Monday, July 12)
I woke up very early in Oslo, and went to the train station where I got the train to the airport. After a short flight I was in Brussels Airport, from where I took the bus to Antwerp under a pouring rain.
When I got in Antwerp the rain was stopping, and I carried my bag from the bus station to the harbour in a nice weather, taking pictures on the way.
In the harbour I went to my ship Christian Radich. After a short tour of the ship I unpacked my bags and went for a short walk in the harbour and to Grote Markt.
On the way I got French fries. I got back to the ship where I met Håkon which I knew from the previous year while sailing with Mathilde, and his girlfriend Danielle.
Together we went to visit the sailing ships in the harbour, then went for a dinner in Grote Markt.
We returned to the ship to see the fireworks, and went to sleep in hammocks.
Day 1 (Tuesday, July 13)
We woke up on the ship and got breakfast while more trainess were arriving on the ship.
At 10:00 there was a general assembly on deck. The Captain welcomed us to the race and the First Mate presented the coveted prize of the race, which Christian Radich held for the past 2 years. It’s a piece of rock from Cape Horn.
After this the ships started leaving the harbour. There was an incident in which 2 ships got their yards tangled, and a few ropes broke and some sailors were injured. But it wasn’t a big issue and the program continued.
During our journey to the river of Antwerp we got a tour of the ship from the Chief Mate Bengt.
All the ships went to the river for a parade through the center of Antwerp.
Day 2 (Wednesday, July 14)
We woke up early and had breakfast, then we were waiting for the race to start. The wind was not favorable, and the race was delayed for a few hours. All the ships were waiting around the starting line.
Around 19:00 the Captain gave the order to raise all sails and the race was on!
We went to sleep under the smooth movement of the ship going from side to side.
Around 22:45 the alarm sounds! "All hands on deck!" We were in the middle of a squall (big storm) with rain, thunders and lightning. The Captain needed everybody on deck to lower some sails. After some time the waters were more calm and we went back to sleep. Later we found out that this storm hit Europe quite badly.
Day 3 (Thursday, July 15)
I woke up early for my 4-8 watch and enjoyed the sunrise.
There were big waves all day and the ship was moving from side to side. The sergeant was holding the plates so they don’t fall off. We were playing some group games on deck. I almost cut my leg off in the heavy door which was closing before I can pass through it.
Day 4 (Friday, July 16)
The ship was stuck in a strange position, on the port side all the time. It was funny to see everybody walk diagonally.
After dinner we were approaching the finish line, and the Captain announced it.
Just as he was saying it the wind changed direction, and all the ships that were behind us needed many hours to cross the finish line.
Day 5 (Saturday, July 17)
In the morning we were scrubbing the deck to clean the ship. We were using the motor to go through Skagerrak Strait to Halmstad (Sweden).
Many people had birthdays on the ship and the cooks made cakes for them and we sang "Happy Birthday" to them.
I got to steer the ship as part of my watch duties.
Day 6 (Sunday, July 18)
In the morning we watched the movie "Around Cape Horn under sail", then I went to do my horizon watching duties. We were polishing the metal parts of the ship to make it look nice for entering Halmstad.
In the afternoon we arrived in Halmstad (Sweden) where we were welcomed with open arms by city representatives. The other 2 big Norwegian sailing ships in the race were also there, Statsraad Lehmkuhl and Sørlandet.
We went for a walk downtown Halmstad and the first stop was a pub where we had some beers. Other sailors joined us, and also from the other 2 Norwegian ships.
We got back to the ship then all the 3 crews moved to Statsraad Lehmkuhl for a BBQ. There was good food and entertainment provided by the watches. There was also a drinking competition with orange juice.
I left the party quite early as I was tired. Many of the others partied until late and even went to the town for more partying.
Day 7 (Monday, July 19)
Woke up in Halmstad and went for an amusement park provided by the town free of charge to the sailors. Then we took a free bus to Tylösand beach and walked back to the ship on Prins Bertils pathway by the coast.
On the way the guys went for a swim. We stopped at a kiosk in Grötvik where we were discussing in Scandinavian with a Swedish bartender for a long time.
Near the ship we met Pia and Hans and got one last beer before going on the ship.
At 18:00 we left harbour while trying to hit Statsraad Lehmkuhl with water balloons, but we were out of range.
After a few hours on the sea we arrived in Aalborg, and fired the cannon just as we entered the harbour.
The captain addressed everybody in an emotional speech and handed out diplomas to the trainees.
We got back to the ship around midnight.
Day 9 (Wednesday, July 21)
In the morning we went to see the movie Windjammer (1958) which is about our ship Christian Radich. It was very emotional to see this movie, which was presented by David Strohmaier and his wife, who found it and restored it. It was nice to see it together with other people from Christian Radich.
In the afternoon we went to have lunch and to the Maritime Museum where we spent a few hours.
We got back to the ship and went out for dinner, at a restaurant where the waitress was Norwegian. We got back to the ship around 23:00 and went to sleep for the last night on board.
Day 10 (Thursday, July 22)
I woke up and had a breakfast, then I called a taxi and left to the train station. I took a train to Hørring, then changed to another train to Hirtshals.
In Hirtshals I had a few hours before the ferry left, so I went for a walk on the beach.
I took the ferry to Larvik, which was actually a 4-hours feast of an all-you-can-eat buffet with lots of different food. In Larvik I took a bus to Oslo, where I arrived around 19:30.