It’s Saturday, May/14 and I have never in my life been so grateful to see the sun, eat lunch and enjoy hugging Brad without having to struggle with my body.
A week in. We started off from Zurich, anxious for a Jules Verne adventure. Couple of days in Cape Town, then off we went on Barque Europa. It’s Saturday, May/14 and I have never in my life been so grateful to see the sun, eat lunch and enjoy hugging Brad without having to struggle with my body. With small exceptions, the past 7 days were a mix of seasickness, tiredness and sleep deprivation. Top it up with my inability to face my fear of heights and go aloft and barely any progress on my novel.
But today it’s better. SO much better. Sun is up, we’re doing 5 knots towards our 300 true course, sea is the most spectacular shades of deep blue I’ve ever seen, the boat is not rolling over so badly. The crew is great: we learn navigation techniques with Jelte and Penny, principles of sailing with Finn and Jelte. The crew also spends time teaching us the lines (read: the ropes used on the boat), the pins and types of sails, which ones are used where and how and why. We, the voyage crew, are grouped in 3 watches: red, white and blue. I’m in the white watch. Each watch has a 4h watch, with an 8h break, and two 2h watches at noon. Rotation – so we all get to sleep. First day onboard and I’ve spotted a small whale on my lookout. Also several big ships passed by during the first days of sailing. Now we’re about 10-12 days away of St. Helena and I haven’t seen another ship in 3 days.
The days go by from one watch to the other, helping the crew here and there with small rigging activities or for the galley, moving stuff around or handling the sails. Brad is awesome with the sails. He hoists the halyards here, eases the clewlines there or holds the braces, goes aloft, does woodwork and all the other magic. On top of taking care of hugging me and asking how I am, while I try not to tell him everytime that “I feel like dying, thank you very much”. I hope to get as brave and knowledgeable as he is, as I wanna go to Antarctica and pet some cute penguins soon. But all in their time, I have a long way and a lot to learn. I’ll be getting there.
I miss my family though, I think about them every day. They got used to me being the crazy one of the family, but when I’m really sick and scared, I try to keep brave and safe – more for their sake than mine. Not sure I’d be able to be so crazy if I had kids of my own, I wonder if Jules Verne had a family at home worrying if he’s gonna make it back safely from his adventures.
Must run now. Penny is teaching us about computing latitude based on Sun position. This is truly an adventure Jules Verne would be proud of!