Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Western Endeavour - Issue No.: 922 Issue Date: 2 Aug, 2020

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Captain Black Beardman

Georgia Beardman's

'Copenhagen Tour'

On Wednesday 7 June 2006, a group of exchange students arrived in Oldenburg to catch our bus up to a northern coastal town called Kiel. It was from there that we would jump on board our 120yr old sailing ship and attempt to sail from Germany to Denmark. Originally I had thought the trip would take a day max. and that if we would have to stay overnight somewhere we would dock and stay in a hotel...WRONG!

It took a good 3 days before we hit Copenhagen and two of those nights were spent working through the night because we didn't have enough time to anchor! So the group was split into 3 duty groups and we had 2 shifts each between 3pm and 12pm right through the night. one night I had to work 6-9pm then again from 4-8am! it was hell! But each group had 6 people so it wasnt so bad...in fact some nights were quite funny!

So what duties did we have to do I hear you ask?...well I spent most of my duties steering the boat(yes the direction of the boat was in my hands!!!) and keeping an eye out for other ships, boats and buoys. All this went on very uneventfully for two days and we were all getting really bored cos there was no wind and we were virtually floating to Copenhagen at what seemed like a metre an hour! and then on the last day when we were due to dock the fun began!

I didn't mention this but the boat had no showers...so after three days with no shower, we all smelt pretty bad. The Captain decided we would take a 2hr shower break in Sweden. So at about 10am on the Saturday after we set off, we docked in beautiful Sweden for a quick shower and relax.

At 11.30am we set sail again in what was to be the last leg of our trip. Then the fun began. It started at about 12pm when we hit a massive fog. We couldn't see further than about 20m in front or around the boat and guess who got caught steering the bloody thing...yep ME!!!! what was the crew thinking!? But I managed to keep everyone alive. I steered us perfectly through 4 sets of buoys and then past a massive cargo ship which looked like it was only about 50m away! VERY SCARY!!!

Sunset from on board ship

A few aussies join the crew


So after we got through the fog at about 2pm I was finally released for lunch (keep in my mind the other exchange students were lazy as... and while only 4 of us worked on deck to pass the fog the others were eating and playing cards!). So I went downstairs and ate my lunch and suddenly I hear all this panic upstairs...I'm like 'shit what now?!' and I go up for a look...turns out we had run aground(meaning we'd become stranded on ground that was shallower than we had anticipated). The captain called the German Coastguard, the Swedish Coastguard and the Danish Coastguard and not one of them would help.... so we just sat it out 'til about 5pm when the tide finally changed and the water became deep enough for us to sail again. We arrived in Copenhagen at about 10pm that night!

Copenhagen itself was fantastic. It's a very clean and incredibly beautiful city! The people are lovely and the whole place has this relaxed, calm air about it. Everyone in Copenhagen spoke fantastic english which helped, because my Danish just isn't that good. Oh I almost forgot, the reason we were in Copenhagen to start is that there was a Rotary World Convention on at the time. Which basically means 20,000 Rotarians from all over the world in one city for a convention.

It was crazy! I barely saw any Danish people in the street, only Rotarians. And with us residing on a historical masterpiece, plenty of Rotarians came to visit. I did successfully hand out three of our club's banners to Rotarians from QLD, Sth Africa and America.

Other highlights included The Little Mermaid statue, Guiness World Records Museum, Australia vs Japan(!!) and of course, the tour we did of Princess Mary's Palace.

We arrived home at 11:30pm on Tues 13th and then it was back to school. Summer holidays start in just under a month and I can't wait!

Author: Georgia Beardman

Published: 24 June, 2006

 


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