MY TALL SHIPS RACE JOURNAL DAY 13 – (16/07/2015) – Painfully exhausted, crew parade and our penguin is kidnapped!

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Exhausted and agony are not strong enough words for how I feel today.  I think the climb really took its toll on my body and even with the additional pain I am enduring I would not have changed my decision yesterday to climb as high as the second yard.  I got higher than I ever did before and I am so proud of my achievement.  The pain and fatigue will never take that achievement away from me because I did it.  I could not have done it though without the permanent crew of Nellie and all the voyage crew that hung onto the rope to take my weight.  It would have been different if I was sat here in pain and to not have done the climb then I would have regrets about not pushing through, however I did do what I set out to achieve so how can I possibly have regrets.  I just need to find a way to get through today as my energy levels are running very low and I am determined not to miss any of the action today.

Getting dressed was a real struggle.  Hubby had to help me even more than usual.  I know I am bad when my hands are so sore.  So sore that it is hard for me to write.

We had breakfast which was well needed after all the excitement and energy used up yesterday.  We also had a full crew morning meeting where we told the itinerary for the next two days.  Disembarkation is at 10 am tomorrow.  I will be sad to leave.  Lord Nelson has become one of my babies sailing the seas.

Our taxi is arranged to the airport for 10:30 am tomorrow, there are five of us sharing at the cost of 140 Krone each, which works out at about £11 per person which is grand especially for an airport trip.  I did not think it would be so easy to arrange the taxi and I was so worried this part of the journey would stress me out so much, however it has been so simple.  The taxi will be collecting us from the quay side right next to the ship which is utterly fabulous.

With final arrangements for disembarkation being made it means our trip of a lifetime is coming to an end and it is ending all too soon.  I feel like I am coming back down to earth with a big bump.

Bags are practically packed.  I am so glad I had the plan of the packing jigsaw puzzle drawn in my book it has made packing so much easier and quicker in such a small space especially with everything being in packing cubes.  Hopefully I have transferred some of the weight into hubby’s back pack to bring the weight of the big bag down, if not we will have to do a bit of a reshuffle at the airport.

Just chilling now at 10 am – our last smoko on board Lord Nelson.

I didn’t get an opportunity to write again until 10:45 pm and here are my reflections on the last day on board Lord Nelson at the Tall Ships Races 2015 in Alesund.

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Heading to the start of the crew parade

Today has been fun, energetic and amazing.  We joined in with the crew parade through Alesund this afternoon.  Lead through the streets to the start by our ships liaison officer Ziggy.  We were singing, or should I say shouting as loud as possible this Lord Nelson chant made up by H who shouted the lines in red and the rest of the crew shouted the lines in black trying to outdo the noise coming from the other crews:

People often ask

People often ask

Where we’re from

Where we’re from

Shall we tell them

Shall we tell them

We’re from Lord Nelson

We’re from Lord Nelson

And if they can’t hear us

And if they can’t hear us

We’ll shout a little louder

We’ll shout a little louder

Louder

Louder

Louder

Louder

We’re from Lord Nelson!

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Waiting at the start where Europa crew stole one of our penguins

It was some pushing from hubby to make it to the starting point which happened to be a very steep upward hill, we made it though.  Some of our crew were dressed up – we had a moose, a headless kangaroo (I still haven’t a clue where his head went), a parrot, two penguins and that was not including me, and a captain Darren in a green wig!

Whilst we were waiting in our designated spot for the parade to start Europa’s crew came by and kidnapped one of our penguins, we had a fight on our hands to get our penguin back.  Europa had three penguins themselves and a superman.  All fun and games.  The Alexander Von Humboldt II had a cart and one of their crew were freewheeling down the hill – very brave person!

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Alexander von Humboldt II weaving through the parade

As we moved off it came very clear that the streets were lined several people deep and it was like this for the majority of the route.  Every so often the Alexander Von Humboldt II crew would weave like a snake through us all.  We also did a Mexican wave several times where we would all crouch low and on the count of three all stand up from the front crew through the back crew.

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The cart used for freewheeling down the hill by the Alexander von Humboldt II crew

There was a brilliant carnival atmosphere and it was superb being part of the festivities.

The parade lead into the main arena area where there was an awards ceremony.  At first Lord Nelson’s crew was put to the side half way up and we were told that those in wheelchairs could move forward to the stage.  All of us wheelchair users declined the offer preferring to stay with our crew to celebrate.  A few moments later were being shuffled forward to the front with all of our crew.

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At the ceremony music was played, speeches made and awards given.  UK ships won a fair few of the awards which was brilliant to see.  There was an excellent carnival atmosphere and I got to dance with superman!  Awkward to dance in a wheelchair however it was utterly great fun.  Thanks superman from Europa for the dance.

After the ceremony ended we returned to the ship to get ready for the evening’s celebrations at the crew centre which was a twenty minute uphill walk (or push for hubby) for a dish of chilli, nachos and mango, all washed down with a can of Tuborg.  The food was tasty, the hall was massive but there were not enough table and chairs so our little group perched on steps round the outer edge just behind where they were handing out the drinks.

We didn’t want to stay late because tomorrow is going to be a long hard day.  I am sure the party, once the entertainment got going at 9:30 pm, was great.  However we were happy with a  pleasant stroll back down the hill to the ship and a drink from the ship’s bar up on deck taking in the view and enjoying a peaceful evening chatting with other crew members before retiring to bed.

Long day tomorrow.

Early start.

Final things to pack.

Happy hour.

Voyage debrief.

Sign off the ship and disembark

All by 10 am!

The taxi will be coming for us at 10:30 am.  Hopefully it will not be raining.


Crew of Lord Nelson are about a minute into this video.  This video certainly catches the vibrancy of the day.

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