"Oars out... row. AND FAST!"
I can hear the seriousness in the voice.
It is black night. The rain is pouring down. We have just set sail after six hours of rowing. But the wind dies in the same moment we have put up the sail and now the Sea Stallion is drifting towards the shore. Pushed sideways by the waves. And maybe the current holds us in a stronger grip than what is good.
I can hear the surf from the rocky shore. I help loosening the oars and send them to the front of the ship. I almost cannot see a thing, but feel the oars disappear as they are moved to the fore. All well. Turn around and take a look at sail and surf - the last coming closer.
The surf can be seen due to phosphorescence. I'm sweating, but a shiver runs down my back, when the front rum turn on their strong light and point it to the surf. There is under 100 metres, and we're still drifting sideways. A sailing ship is in trouble with no wind and so close to the coast.
"Ready to take down sail, make trail rope ready!" Skipper's voice echoes through the night. People are working fast midships. Light beams from the lamps on their foreheads flicker through the heavy rain, as we prepare to throw a tow to the escort ship, to be towed from this very tight spot.
The light beam from the front of the ship sweep across the waves and hits the surf. We are now much closer than I like. It is difficult to estimate the distance in the heavy rain, but I can hear the waves hit the rocks very clearly. There might be just 50 metres now.
"Wow," I think, "have we reached the end?"
"Who is on the mid sheet?" Preben yells. He is foreman midships. I yell that I am.
But then it happens. Wind increases a bit. And an almost imperceptible movement in the ship takes a bit of the drama. We start moving forwards instead of sideways. And as quickly as the atmosphere on board tensed, just as quickly is it falling back into normal. Coffee cups are taken out and crackers passed around. And we talk to each other about how we feel. And we feel good. The rest of the sail until 2 AM is fantastic. We round a point and with the wind coming in abaft the beam the Sea Stallion is soon reaching the 5-6 knots where the ship really sails good.
We put in in desert Inverie. A peninsula you can only reach by sailing or wandering. A place with a very exciting story. So exciting, that I have to tell it in my next diary, after I've spoken to Tommy and other of the locals. They were ready on the quay to help us and drive our gear to the camp in their Land Rovers.