First Sunrise in the Baltic

Following our return from our Baltic tour, the team at Excelsior received some wonderful words from one of our passengers from the Gothenburg – Oslo leg. Read on to hear what Nathan had to say about his time on board.
It’s been over a week since I’ve been back and I’m still processing the experience in my mind. These are a few notes on our voyage on Excelsior from Gothenburg to Oslo in May this year. After the boat trip we had another amazing adventure driving to Bergen in a VW camper. Norway in May is simply breath-taking.
Thanks again to you and the crew for making the trip so memorable
Peter Taylor Photogrpahy

Excelsior

Excelsior has been the most amazing experience in more ways than I ever could have imagined.
Lying in my cosy berth is like being inside the womb of a great living beast. With the gentle rocking motion of the boat, the intestinal sounds of water lapping the hull, the gurgling of water heating in Deirdre the Diesel stove, makes me feel I’m waiting to be born again. Each morning when we squeeze through the narrow hatch up on to the deck, it’s like our first. Born out into bright new world of another adventure.
Although she’s not yet a 100 years-old, she’s from a much older era. An era that stretches way back into our maritime history. Like an iceberg she hides most of her 100 ton mass below the waterline. Some of her oak timbers were growing in the 1700’s. The hull is 75ft but when under sail and the bow spit extended, she’s over a 100. I can stand in between the timbers but have to duck to move aft down the boat.
Where I lye in my bunk I can hear the crew sleeping in their bunks,  the water gently lapping the hull,  swans honking as they splash land into the mirror glass of the bay outside. In her warm belly of her galley we feed and drink and talk of plans for the day.
Preparations are made to cast off and get under way. The bow and stern lines are release… We slowly pull away from the key side.
Butterflies of anticipation.
Where are we heading?
What adventures lie ahead?
Up on deck there’s a frenzy of activity to make ready. There’s a feeling of excited anticipation as the 1st mates calls go out.
Bow line ready,
stern line ready?
bow spring ready?
Make ready the fenders!
Out in the open water there’s the call of up the peak,
up the throat,
two, six, heave…
two, six, heave…
Slowly the huge mainsail is hosted up the mast.
Then up the mizzen…
Main top sail…
Mizzen top sail
Out the bow spit
Five more sails to go.
The routine of the watch… being lookout or on the helm, out in the wind and the weather.
Coming into port in a tiny island harbour, or tying up to a rock on a headland, there’s the excitement of new places to see, people to meet and the pride of arriving on a beautiful historic ship.
Her crew were amazing, patient, kind and encouraging. They were generous with their time as well as their beer. They gave us the sense of confidence that what ever the weather throws at us we were always in safe hands.
Excelsior has opened our eye’s to the seafaring world, made life long friends and awoken our mind’s to the possibilities of new adventures.
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If this has made you want to sail with Excelsior then get in touch to book your berth today.