Today I’d like to share a somewhat unusual location with you. If you’re adventurous and would like to try new things (as I’m sure most lomographers do), this might be just for you.
Have you ever considered sailing on a tall ship? It’s a challenging but very rewarding experience and I’ll tell you why.
First of all, let me start by saying that sailing a tall ship is hard work. Not just physically like when you get blisters on your hands and all your muscles start to hurt, but also psychologically, when you just want to give up, crawl up in your bed, and just be by yourself. If you’re not prepared to actually work and participate in every aspect of sailing a ship, then it’s not a good idea to join. You’ll be better off booking a cruise then. And by every aspect I mean cleaning (everyday, including sanitary facilities), cooking, hoisting, and taking down the sails, night watch, and much, much more.
However, if you’re ready to make the most of your experience, you might get the adventure of a lifetime. Climbing up on the mast for the first time is an unforgettable experience, as is taking down sails in heavy weather or jumping from the railing into the cold water to take a swim.
The Fridtjof Nansen is a traditional tall ship, meaning it can do without modern equipment wherever possible. There is no luxury on board, only simple practicality. Originally a freight ship, it was built in 1919, but has been renovated and reformed in 1991. It can accommodate about 40 people including the crew who, by the way, is a bunch of nice, fun, and helpful people.
At the end of the day, when all sails are packed and the anchor secures the ship, there’s nothing quite like watching the sunset up on the mast. It’s those moments that you realize the hard work was well worth it and you’ll definitely be back to take another trip on the ship.
If you’re curious and would like to learn more or maybe even sail on a tall ship yourself, check if there is a National Sail Training Organisation in your country. Young people under the age of 24 can travel at much lower rates and after having sailed as a "trainee“ for a few weeks, there’s always the option of becoming part of the crew, meaning you’ll have more responsibility, but you can travel for free.