On Board the Pelican of London

19 July 2012

On Board the Pelican of London
It is Day 10, the 16th of July, the day that we arrived in Lisbon, after nine days sailing on board in one of the most popular English tall ships: the Pelican of London.
These nine days were completely different from my ordinary life, and I'm not just talking about the space where I'm in (like stay 5 days with the ground at a lean of 15 degrees with 24 other trainees). Also living with rigid schedules to comply with is a thing that I¹m not used to do. But probably the biggest difference was for a person who has lived for 3 years alone like me, to share a "house" with more than 30 persons who I never saw before, from all "corners" of the world.
In my case, as a student of naval engineering, it was like living in one of the books that I used to study.  Sailing on T.S. Pelican could be a lecture in my course. Here I could see that I'm not just engineer, I can be also a sailor.
It also was my first time in an inter-cultural experience as in my watch there were trainees from 7 countries: Italy, Norway, France, UK, Australia, Switzerland, and myself (Portugal). I learnt that in spite of people coming from different countries and cultures, we are not that different, we are all similar. It was an enriching experience, for example tasting different foods from other countries. Also the linguistic difficulties sometimes were hard and frustrating because I was the only one not fluent in English in my watch but after some days, I was improving.
What did I enjoy most? Climbing the main mast, to the top. Also facing an angry sea in the bow of ship was not a scary moment, it was peaceful, I felt alive, being able to feel every movement of the ship. Set sails, seeing daily progresses on charts and GPS and trying a lot of things make the ships faster and faster.
And now, I am looking forward to the rest of the voyage and the time in Lisbon, my current home,  with the other trainees and my new friends.

Pedro Mendonca
Oman Bursary Trainee
Race 1 Saint Malo to Lisbon

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