Category Archives: Amsterdam

First days on the boat

Hey! So this is the first two days So in Toronto mom and dad dropped me off at the airport. It was a great time to get in my last minute alone time and also free high speed internet use. I flew with Austin and Josh. But unfortunately we didn’t sit beside each other. It was a good flight it was pretty tight and crammed in but I thankfully slept for most of the flight. Which is good because the flight was an over night flight and that was the only sleep I’d be getting for a long time. First day on the ship. It’s exciting in so many ways. After we got off the plane customs was very easy because they knew about CAF(Class Afloat). Then we met waited for a few people at the airport before making out trek to the ship. We carried our 70lbs bags for a long way. And believe me when I say it was definitely  the most strenuous work I have EVER done! Oh and my bag broke half way..and it was raining. Despite that it was still very fun and memorable so no worries there. The boat is BEAUTIFUL! It is the coolest sailboat I have ever seen! There is very and I mean VERY minimal space…. Just look at me in my bunk below. I have top bunk and I’m at a part on the ship where the ceiling slants downwards giving me even less head room. Its basically like sleeping in a coffin. But thankfully a comfy coffin. I over packed and also under packed at the same time. It is very cold in Amsterdam and very windy where our boat is docked. So looks like i’ll be living in sweatpants for the next few days. Last night(aug 31st) I had my first gangway watch. We just make sure no one comes aboard that isn’t supposed to come aboard and do small tasks like make sure the flags are down and the fenders are in order. Also checking the fridge temperatures so the food doesn’t go bad. There is ALWAYS someone on gangway watch… so that means you get woken up in the middle of the night for your watch. Thankfully my watch was from 8-10 so it was perfect I had time to relax and I wasn’t woken up in the middle of the night for my watch. Which will happen in three weeks when we change shifts. There are so many names to remember! So glad we do many name games throughout the day. Today we provisioned the boat. There is a lot of cereal here now! Haha the ship must have sunk a few inches or so. The assembly line is very efficient tho! There have been many rules meetings and talking sessions about expectations but its all expected. We had a ship tour as well. Tonight the plan is to eat dinner on the boat then go out for free time to finally explore the city of Amsterdam. Don’t worry mom the food here has been pretty good so far. Well this has been a long update and I could go on for hours but then less people would read it. So seems like a good place to stop. More pictures and videos of the boat to come once i get better wifi.

Last few Days in Amsterdam

So had a very busy last few days. We are learning all about the ship, about watch other and still trying to learn about Amsterdam. I went on a little adventure with the medical officer today, Hannah, into town to have a rash looked at that has started to come on my stomach. We leave tomorrow for a 15-day sail and its best to have this looked at. So we took the free ferry over to Centraal Amsterdam. Then we tried to hail a cab but no one wanted to take us to the walk in clinic… That’s probably because it is literally right down the block from us.. whoops. Oh well so when we got there we were informed that the doctor could not see us because he was going for a visitation. So we leave tomorrow at 11 and we can’t see the doctor. Did I mention that the rash is spreading, quickly?! But no worries everything always works out somehow. The doctor was very nice and would be able to take us in an hour. So we went out for lunch. It was nice to have some alone time and be able to just chill out. I’m learning that you take the alone time whenever you can get it. So Hannah and I had a really good sandwich sitting on the edge of a cannel. I went up aloft today. That is when you climb the mast. Such a cool experience!! Check out the pictures below! We leave for Lisbon Portugal tomorrow morning at 11. So tonight will be filled with storing and getting the ship ready. I also have gangway watch with Mary from 8-10, so unfortunately I wont be able to go out for dinner and explore Amsterdam for the last time.

Update from the Gulden Leeuw

Good morning –

Today the crew of the Gulden Leeuw woke up on their 4th morning
onboard the vessel at sea!  I wanted to send you a quick note to let
you know everyone is doing well and adjusting well to life at sea.

According to Sean and the Captain, on the first couple of days the
crew encountered what I will refer too as refreshing and brisk sea
conditions – nothing like a proper welcome to sailing!  This caused a
significant percentage of the crew to be lucky enough to experience
sea sickness – a normal rite of passage, but my understanding is the
crew are largely getting their sea legs and are well on their way to
become seasoned sailors.  Everyone is settling into the day to day
routines of life at sea with class, colors, sleeping, eating,
cleaning, day and night watch and galley duty and learning how not to
be 1 minute late for anything!!!  Classes started as planned yesterday
and will continue until arrival in Lisbon.

The wind has been favorable for sailing and the crew were able to
hoist most of the sails and sail down the English Channel – seeing the
Gulden Leeuw heeled over under full-sail at sea punching along would
have been a spectacular sight.

Currently, the ship is sailing in very light winds (Beaufort 1) 16
degrees Celsius, and clear skies in the middle of the English Channel
off the coast of Plymouth, UK.  They have sailed 119nm in the last
24hours, and are 813 nm from Lisbon, Portugal!

So, all is well onboard the Gulden Leeuw, and we should all be proud
of their progress so far.  By the time our fine crew arrive in Lisbon
they will be working as 1 crew with 1 mission which is to sail and
care for their ship with teamwork, growing skill and determination.
They will have gotten their sealegs, and will be well into this
incredible voyage and experience.   I am sure they will also have some
great stories for you too!

The day before arrival in Lisbon (September 16th) I will send you an
update on the sail, and the port schedule for Lisbon.  In the
meantime, as always, if you have questions or concerns please contact
me anytime.

Have a great day


Sailing update Sept 8

Hello everyone!

Please find below your first official sailing update from the Gulden Leeuw – the first of many!

Time: 0625hrs

Date: 08/09/2015

Latitude: 48 deg 16 min N

Longitude: 05 deg 00 min W

Average Speed Last 24h: 5.2 Knots

Distance in last 24 hrs: 98 nm

Total distance travelled this voyage: 445 nm

Distance to port: 738 nm

Temperature: 14 deg C

Sea state:  1 (calm – rippled)

Wind: Force 3 (gentle breeze)

Sailing status: flying jib, outer jib, inner jib, course, lower topsail, upper topsail, topgallant, main staysail, mainsail, mizzen

Log Keeper: Marguerite

Other: The watches continue to learn about the ways of the ship and how to be a sailor.  Today the horizon shows no other ships – it should be a beautiful day of sailing!

A few things:

nm = nautical mile (1 nm = 1,852 metres, or about 6,076 feet)

Sea State scale –

Beaufort Wind Scale –

For those of you who are interested, there are several ways to track the ship’s progress, in addition to these updates I’ll be sending.  Our website is linked to the ship’s Yellowbrick tracker, where progress is updated every 4 hours; you can check it out here:  For now, please choose the option to view “Last 30 days” from the dropdown menu at the top left.

Another way to track the progress is via; you can search for the Gulden Leeuw using the search tool at the upper left corner.  The ship will appear as a purple icon that you can click on for more information.