Tall Ship Soren Larsen ~ South Pacific Sail Training Adventure for all ages
  

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Vanuatu Discovery 27th Sept - 7th Oct 2004

Norwegian Voyage Crew Trine Torgersen joined the ship to sail from Santo to Vila, through the islands of Central Vanauatu - her first tall ship voyage. Here she shares her impressions of the experience:

After being on the road for 8 months backpacking through Asia and Australia, I signed on as Voyage Crew on Soren Larsen in Luganville, Vanuatu on 27. September 2004. This voyage had been booked almost a year earlier, and since then I'd expected this part of my journey to be the highlight. I expected it so much, that I'd begun to prepare myself for disappointment - you know how when you're really, REALLY looking forward to something you're always disappointed! Well, I guess this occasion was the exception that proves the rule, 'cause let me tell you: I was NOT! If anything, it turned out even better than I expected.

Asanvari-dance PhotoTrine 036.

Barry Line PhotoTrine 158.

Barry PhotoTrine 050.
My friend Kjersti and I, two lovely Norwegians in their thirties (hehe), felt warmly welcomed already the night before we were due on the ship, when Captain Jim came up to us in Aore Resort outside Luganville and asked "Er dere norske?". Which means "Are you Norwegian?". In Norwegian. Turns out he's worked on a Norwegian tallship for quite some time...Gorgeous man, our Captain Jim, Team Norway (as Kjersti and I was fondly renamed by Team Canada, two great Canadian chicks) was lucky enough to be assigned to Jim's shift, which proved to be a very educational experience...I'm now very skilled in brass polishing! No, seriously, Jim is a very knowledgeable man, he taught us heaps of stuff we didn't know we needed to know, as none of us had ANY previous sailing experience AT ALL.

On the second day of our voyage, we sailed around the clock from Santo to Maevo, and that night we sailed under a clear sky with bright stars and a full moon. I thank that was when I fell in love. A new passion was born in me, and with 8 more days still to come, I was already dreading the moment this wonderful adventure had to end.

On our way down to Vila, as we anchored up in one bay more beautiful than the other, we were always warmly greeted by the locals. In many places they put on a traditional custom dance for us, and often cooked us a meal or made us kava...interesting stuff, by the way. I think all of us were amazed by the joy , warmth and happiness these people expressed, when they have so little by our western overflow- society standards. Guess that proves that money and possessions is not what makes one happy...

Sunday night we all dresses up in our best clothes for dinner, and this was also Kjersti's birthday - yet another excuse to look our best an have a ball. She was treated to drinks by the rest of us, she got a lovely pink maple-leaf decorated pair of knickers from the crew and Team Canada, and she had the honours of dining with the Captain himself. And Barry the mate (who by the way also speaks quite a bit of Norwegian) and I sang her the Norwegian birthday song. I think she enjoyed celebration her birthday in the Pacific...

Kjersti & Cap Jim Photo 095.

Kjersti deserted attoll PhotoTrine 104.

Trine deserted attoll PhotoTrine 104.

VC on Braces PhotoTrine 133.

Local and Trine at SW Bay. PhotoTrine 074.

Mescalyne islnds. PhotoTrine 086.

Nick PhotoTrine 139.

Noreen fish PhotoTrine 044.

Soren anchor sunset PhotoTrine 109.
By the 8th or 9th day, as the end of the voyage approached, I was finally beginning to get the hang of things. When Andy said "Come on, we're bracing the yards" I knew exactly what we were going to do. And I knew enough knots to hang up my hammock on deck myself (although to be honest, the hammock DID fall down one night, but that was NOT my knots, that was a crappy rope). I knew the names of at least some of the sails and ropes, and I could do the safety round alone without missing or forgetting anything. To bad I was soon to be leaving, should have booked myself on to voyages. Speaking of safety: we had a "man overboard" drill one of the last days, and I personally think fluorescent outfits should be obligatory on any ship. That bright orange buoy (the "man" that fell overboard) was not easy to spot in the water, I dread to think what would happen if an actual person was to fall off...Fortunately that has never happened on Soren.

Thanks to Captain Jim, I not only know a lot of knots, the principals of navigation and how a sextant works, I also know a lot of nautical terms and parts of a tallship in English AND in Norwegian. Because this lovely man took the time to write down all the names and expressions listed in my "Soren Larsen" booklet in Norwegian as well.

Soren Asanvari PhotoTrine 034.

Soren Larsen Under sail PhotoTrine 162.

SW Bay group PhotoTrine 080.


So now I'm prepared to keep nurturing my new passion when
I go back to Norway.

It has been an exceptionally rewarding experience sailing with Soren, very much thanks to the wonderful crew members, but also to the good fortune of sailing with a great group of voyage crew. I cannot begin to express how impressed I am with the permanent crew, though, they're all marvellous people that deserves all the praise in the world. This was my first, but by no means the last, tallship experience, and I hope I will be back on Soren some day.

'Cause you know what they say, you never forget your first love. And Soren will always have a special place in my heart.

Trine


Leaving PhotoTrine 193.
See Trine's complete Photo Album online at https://wulff.dynip.com/gallery/sorenlarsen
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