The day begun with the fire-alarm ringing in my ears. All the students, teachers and crew hurriedly grouped together at the mid-deck for the head count and to wait the problem out. I heard murmurs from the current watch of 4-8 that we had a problem with the motor – that this was an unfortunate blessing I will explain, but first I want to talk about what went wrong.
On board we have a motor and below the ship we have a propeller. The motor creates the energy and the propeller literally propels us and the ship forward. Between the motor and the propeller are different gears and eventually it comes to a rubber band which turns the propeller, in English a so-called fan-belt. This part of the whole motor system was, technically, busted. This was the unfortunate part of the expression. Then followed an unexpected twofold blessing, for we were lucky to have a NE (NNE) wind which could carry us to Jamaica. This obviously meant a change of course, which no doubt could be seen on the marine traffic website as an upwards loop and then a winding course line all the way to Port Antonio, Jamaica. The other part of the twofold blessing was our time spent in Jamaica, which many stories about are still to be heard, but I wish to share a small section of the whole experience.
It was an idea onboard to have a boys and girls evening. In the bay of Port Antonio there is an island called Navy Island, this was won by the famous actor Errol Flinn in a game of poker. On the island one can still see the remains of a hotel that was built on the island for Flinn’s own personal pleasure but this apparently fell into disrepair because of lack of funds and further hurricane Sandy that hit Jamaica in 2002. The gentlemen would spend the night on this island, build a campfire and sleep in hammocks, while the ladies would spend an evening on board the ship and watch a film, play games and so forth. This would switch around the next night as the gentlemen would sleep on the ship and the ladies on the island. Of course we were under supervision of teachers and crew. This was one of the most scenic of the memories of Jamaica.
We are now en route to Bermuda and soon we will be going into the legendary triangle, but luckily we are sailing not motoring!