Bergen & Life During a Passage

Trip Start Jun 05, 2009
Trip End Aug 21, 2009

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Flag of Norway  , Western Fjords,
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stee loved Bergen. His favorite classical music composer is Edvard Grieg and this was his home town. It's beautifully set among the mountains with commanding view in just about any direction you look. The waterfront is a charming place with row after row of homes packed very closely to each other.

From Bergen, we flew to the yacht off shore and proceeded to Kirkwall, in the Orkney Islands. Stee and I were the only ones aboard, aside from the crew. The passage was estimated to take around 20 hours. So far, this has been the longest passage we've made aboard. After about six weeks aboard, this was going to be a test to see how well our sea legs had developed. The yacht is equipped with two pair of zero-speed stabilizers, which makes any passage much more comfortable, although they cannot completely compensate for all yaw, pitch and roll of the vessel. We kept busy and neither of us felt even a twinge of sea sickness.

Life during a Passage

For us, this was to be the longest time we have spent aboard. The captain didn’t want us to go on deck without life jacket and a harness, so we spent most of our time in the main salon, just hanging out with the crew. Before we left port in Sweden, the crew prepared the yacht for the passage by securing anything that could move. All dining chairs were tied down, and all cabinets were packed away to prevent things from moving or breaking. Glass shower doors were secured and all glass decorations and dinnerware were packed away in a secure places. Most of the furniture aboard is already secured to the floor so there were no problems with most of the furniture aboard. Imagine your home tilting to one side, and then the other by as much as 15 degrees. Although it doesn’t sound like much, when you’re rolling a total of 30 degrees, within just a few seconds —it becomes significant.

Life during a passage is very different than life at anchor. For one thing, the chef has many pre-made meals ready to go just in case we hit bad weather and we are not able to use the galley. Also, because of the rolling seas, the crew doesn’t sleep in their bunks, but rather on the floor in the guest staterooms, between a wall and the berth—where they can roll around while asleep without falling off anything. We don’t eat at the dining table, but either hold our plate on our lap, sit on the floor and use the coffee table, or sit at the booth tables in the crew quarters or the bridge.

Of course, the best thing to do during a passage is to catch up on some sleep, but aside from that there are still plenty of things to do aboard. On this passage, I spent most of my time playing video games on the Xbox and watching movies with the crew and Stee.
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