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Sonia and fellow cadets at the wheel. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Cadet Sonia Remøy about life on board

8 months ago
Written by Hanna Thevik, Ronald Toppe
Life on board > Cadet Sonia Remøy about life on board

Cadet Sonia Remøy about life on board

8 months agoLife on board
Written by Hanna Thevik, Ronald Toppe
Sonia and fellow cadets at the wheel. Photo: Hanna Thevik

At the beginning of January 2022, the naval flag was hoisted at Statsraad Lehmkuhl, and cadets from the Norwegian Naval Academy lined up on deck. They are on board for three months, to learn seamanship, leadership, and not least, to learn more about themselves.

You have to experience really rough times before you understand how you will react in challenging situations, and how you then function, both with others and in relation to the job you are to do.

Making the cadets crossing the Atlantic during winter was, in that sense, perfect. It is demanding almost no matter the weather, and this time a storm blew up. The wind speed was 41 meters per second at its worst, everything above 32 is hurricane.

Storm Photo: Hanna Thevik
Storm Photo: Hanna Thevik

The ship and the experienced crew handle a winter storm well, and the cadets have gained important experience.

- Right now it is very cozy, says cadet Sonia Remøy. But it is in a storm you really learn a lot. Respect for the wind and the sea, the incredibly strong forces out there.

Sonia Remøy Photo: Hanna Thevik
Sonia Remøy Photo: Hanna Thevik

Privacy

Statsraad Lehmkuhl is heading southwest towards Rio when we have this conversation. The sea is calm, the temperature comfortable, and the thick jacket replaced with a t-shirt. But there are still plenty of challenges. The lack of privacy for example.

- Here, all 70 of us sleep in the same room. I sleep in that hammock over here, in the middle of the group, but luckily there is an open room behind it. You are not alone much.

Taking turns having lunch in the orlop. There is not room enough for all the cadets at the same time. Photo: Hanna Thevik
Taking turns having lunch in the orlop. There is not room enough for all the cadets at the same time. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Sonia smiles, it's all about attitude.

- It's a bit like being on an overnight stay, like when you were younger, and could say goodnight to each other and wake each other up in the morning.

Sonia takes us down to the bathroom. Cramped back home, but with a sense of luxury here.

- We have three showers and three sinks, and it's really perfect, we are not that many girls. Everyone can leave their toiletries and towels hanging.

The ladies bathroom. Photo: Hanna Thevik
The ladies bathroom. Photo: Hanna Thevik

She also looks at the contents of her toiletry bag with new eyes.

- You can only bring exactly what you need, and are focused on how much you spend at a time. It has to last all the way. The same goes for food, nothing is wasted.

One team

The expression "to pull in the same direction" has become very concrete for Sonia. When the sails are going up, the entire guard team must grab the rope, one behind the other, and pull together, in sync.

- We get to experience a lot together as a group. The sense of achievement, when you master climbing the rig for instance. We are building a uniq relationship.

Pulling in the same direction. Photo: Hanna Thevik
Pulling in the same direction. Photo: Hanna Thevik

The small moments

It's not only the challenges that bind the cadets together. Sharing great experiences does too.

- Small moments where you become incredibly happy. Yesterday I was up in the rig under the starry sky. We sat on one of the tallest crosstrees and watched the stars together. I am so glad to be here on board with the others, says Sonia.

See Sonia tell her story in the video below:

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The One Ocean Expedition is a circumnavigation by the Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl. We aim to to share knowledge about the crucial role of the ocean for a sustainable development in a global perspective.

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