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Skyelark of London - Day 11 on Skyelark

8th December

"Dear Father and Mother. I write You to tell You I am doing well. My duties on this fine fishing vessel have shown to be in the filleting compartments on the port side. The working conditions are excellent as I have not yet cut myself. The boat often rolls back and forth - not too much of course - which makes it necessary for me to hold the fish with one foot as I fillet and skin the fish. I did cut my finger though, but given the fact that that must have been my own fault and not caused by any helming not being carried out correctly, I found no reason to raise this to the Skipper. The helmsmen, Bob, Dave, Gerard and Phil do all a very fine job, so I just need to accustom myself to the new conditions.

I do now realize how spoiled I have been, working at an office desk.I am being given a wonderful, soft bed in the engine room. It does some nights occur to me that this was not the privilege it initially occurred to be, as I do need to stem my feet to the corners of the bed to avoid falling on the floor. But since we changed tack a few days ago, it is much easier to stay in bed. As an employee benefit we are all called on deck at 4 p.m. every day for the Dolphin Show. We have a very talented event manager, Mr. Stephen, onboard, and he has shown to be a one of a kind talent spotter. I am still amazed how he got hold of the Fabulous Invisible Dolphins. A school of 8 dolphins, doing tricks which no man has ever seen before! And possibly ever will, as Mr. Stephen is not done doing the negotiations with the Fabulous Invisible Dolphins. They are far too demanding, he says, to make a break in the dolphin show business. And he knows, Mr. Stephen does!

I am, however, somewhat worried, dear Father and Mother. My concern is about my employment here on this fine, fine fishing vessel. We have not had any luck in fishing for two days now. We are, of course, still trying. Today we put on a new lure. It was blue and sparkly. Skipper will be satisfied with us only when we get a tuna, he says. He is strict, but very fair. There are plenty of tuna in the sea, so the missing tuna must be due to our incompetence, I realize. If we do not have any luck, I may be necessitated to apply for a new position on the boat. The position as the galley-wench is taken though, by the very talented Miss Charlotte. Her merits are indisputable. Could I only have half of the compliments for my filleting skills as she gets for her cooking skills, I would be more than happy. Fortunately Mr, Stephen is also my language coach, so I may be able to get a real job within a few months. 

I do need to adjust my behavior in order not to be taken of helm duty, which I do enjoy much. Last night I called Skipper on deck for no reason whatsoever, other than me being a scared helm. We were broad-reaching in 25 knots of wind when suddenly the rudder seemed to be stuck. As I am seemingly accustomed with the boat I normally sail to be actually broken, I forgot to take into consideration that I was now on the Skyelark of London. The rudder was not broken. It was just on autopilot. Not my doing though, which may have caused my confusion. Therefore, when the headsail tore the halyard and started coming down by itself later that night - also on my watch - I therefore decided to check the conditions before I woke up Skipper. This time I did not shout, but whispered gently, whether it by any, though remotely likely, chance could be that the halyard had come loose by itself? Fortunately for me it had, and the boys were quickly on deck to secure the sail before it fell overboard. Afterwards we had the rest of Phils excellent chocolate cake and tea.I have learned that the answer to all trouble and distress is a cup of tea.

Kind regards,


malene at the helm

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