That was how we started the first day of our trip from Copenhagen to Amsterdam. The winds varied enough throughout the day to keep us all busy with sail changes and although all the crew had sailed on Trinovante before it took the whole day (and more) to remember the difference between the staysail halyard and the main fisherman downhaul.
We must have had nearly every combination of sails hoisted at different times during the day but there was quiet satisfaction amongst the crew when we achieved the full compliment of 3 gaff sails, 2 foresails and 2 topsails – and we nearly got a well done from Su – well nearly!
And then it came to my turn on the wheel.
I have spent most of my sailing time in modern yachts of various sizes but having the helm of a 3 masted schooner under full sail is an experience like no other.
It may not be as fast or as responsive on the helm as a yacht but the sheer power and majesty of Trinovante as she pushes the waves away is quite something to experience.My crew mates were very kind and let me stay on the helm for a long time with the comment that my smile was so wide they didn't want me to lose it.
On long passages on a yacht you can feel that once the sails are set and you have left harbour there is not a great deal to do unless you are on the helm or navigating. We are stuck in the cockpit because it is too exposed to be on the deck.
On Trinovante it has to be really bad weather (for that watch this - Schooner Trinovante Wild Weather) not to have access to the whole deck area including the bowsprit, chest high safety rails help.
Now here we are at the end of a truly perfect sailing day heading into our first port of call Stubbekobing, Denmark. Time to stow all the sails, get the mooring lines, get the giant fenders out and admire the skills of John as he brings the ship (I can't think of Trinovante in any other way than as a small ship) alongside the quay with masterly precision.
Now for our first beer.
Truly a diamond day.
By Keith Lamey