Report 4 – Getting acquainted
Report 4: Getting acquainted
After the first experience with cold when sailing into the iceberg and floes area and collecting ice, the temperatures became more pleasant from day to day and some first little communication between the four groups of the crew came about.
At the head were the captain and the ship’s officers of the deck and engine. Then followed by the crew: the two boats-men, the sail-maker and the cook, who was a trained baker, with his cook-mates and then seamen and ordinary seamen. The latter had been sailing the seas for several months and they were not decks-boys anymore.
They all had cabins, their own mess rooms and had stewards or mess boys to serve them. Only the ship’s boys were still far away from the Lord’s years. It was not even clearly define what they really were. In their seafarer’s muster book they were called decks boys. In my book they wrote: “D’boy“. With or without the “s” in the middle is therefore unknown. In the English copy of the crew list, the name is simple: „Boy“. Some called us cadets or nautical pupils. After all, the PAMIR was declared a cargo-carrying sail training ship. Only half a year ago in December, 1954, a consortium of 40 German ship owners had assembled and purchased both ships for the “Pamir and Passat Foundation”.
Training still had priority before cargo. But this was not so far away. Most of the time we were kept busy working manually: peeling potatoes, spicing ropes, making knots and working up on the yards without falling down on deck. This sometimes resulted in small talk between seniors and subordinates like for example: „Man – are you stupid“, or „ we do not need people like you here“. Thus, especially those sailors with just one or two years of professional experience.
Usually you were addressed with the first name or: „Hey, you there“! This kept some men from learning names. I particularly appreciated the deck officer, who yesterday spoke to me saying: “You are trampling like an elephant on deck” Why he indicated that working animals must be light footed, has not been revealed to me so far. Maybe one day I will dare to question him.
With the help of explanations, instructions and commands we, the boys made slow progress, and after a few days on southern course we reached the latitude of the Azores.