What have I learned today?

28.04.-05.05.2012 Kiel – Stralsund

Crew: Fabio, Hans-Georg, Hanspeter and Markus
“Qu’est-ce que j ‘ai appris Aujourd’hui’ hui?”, asked Fabio at the evening debriefing on the rolling Swiss II. “je pensé, que je n’ai rien appris.”, he mused. “But”, my response was, “you have learned about yourself”.

What happened on the day? Rather windy conditions of BF 6 were forecast on the second day of our trip  towards Heiligenhafen in Kiel. We had planned two alternative routes in the event that severe weather could increase. “We” was a crew qualified on a high level: two proven skipper CCS with over 10’000 nm experience, a future skipper of CCS, who  wanted to get his last qualification, a future Skipper2, a member with the German high seas ticket and distinguished with good practical electronics and radar capabilities.

And the weather did strengthen: the more Rolling Swiss II ventured from Kiel fjord into the open water, the wind was all the stronger and the waves were higher. BF 7 and a swell of 1.5 m, we decided to take the shorter route along the coast towards Heiligenhafen. The decision was correct. Shortly thereafter, two members of the crew were in their berths horizontal: seasickness. A third suspect stood at the railing, eyes fixed on the horizon, and did not want to take a different position at any cost. The waves broke over the bow, such that we were no longer dry in the cockpit. Our “hardcore sailor” assumed the role of trouble shooter. He had to secure the Interior of the vessel that seemed to have become alive: what was not nailed down flew around. Locked drawers and closets were opened and their contents glided through the Interior of the vessel. The foredeck mattresses came off and we had to choose whether we wanted to sacrifice them to the sea. The salvage succeeded on a wild ride with the waves. Again struggling against the waves we sought refuge behind an island off the wind increased to BF 8-9. On the motion of the waves the protection proved rather wrong  because the waves became larger due to the shallower depth. Suddenly, a blip on the radar was identified on the AIS as a SAR-vessel who had showed up. She joined us about a half hour later. We were under observation and protection of the German sea rescuers – A soothing feeling. As we approached the entrance of Heiligenhafen, the ship  disappeared. After the difficult mooring (wind speed) I have registered ourselves to the harbour master. “Well, how is it out there?”, was his question. “Not without” was my response. “I thought that as well,” he said dryly, “you are only the second, and probably last ship that arrives here today.”

In the debriefing, the question by Fabio came: “qu’est-ce que j ‘ai appris Aujourd’hui’ hui?”

You have learned about yourself, we have come to know about ourselves as a crew and about the sea. Finally we learned about Rolling Swiss II. It developed social skills to take responsibility for each other and to put the abilities to the test, and also to respond with empathy to persons and material. Pretty much what our Vicecommodere APA Ulrich Schmid in the latest CRUISING describes as follows: “what good is the best trip organisation if we do not perceive that a crew member no longer may look us in the eye: an unmistakable sign of a conflict early on.” (…) What sounds so complicated, is simply poignant: Eyes on! Ears on! “Heart on!”

The crew of sailing trips 08/12/18 from Kiel to Stralsund, we are looking forward to look you in the eyes at  the next meeting. We have turned ourselves into a team, the yacht and the surrounding elements during a week with empathy. We have also learned much.

Beat, skipper CCS

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