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We are alive

When was the last time you truly felt alive? For me it was yesterday. While standing on the deck and watching the waves this overwhelming feeling of being alive swelled through me. It was the same feeling I had once before, compelling me then to write to Europa, leave my job, and change my life. And these are the moments that confirm it was worth it. All the crossroads I have taken, the alternative paths I have not chosen. What could have possibly been better than feeling this alive?

It is easy to write about all the daily things that happen to us. Games, soup of the day, that sort of thing. It is much harder to describe the feelings coming over us. But I can describe the scene. As the days have gone by the color palette of the ship has changed. The warm and comforting yellows which do so well on camera are being exchanged for a darker sky. It is time to put the sweaters back on- the swimming stop of days ago feels like a distant memory. The storm had been building up, growing, with the climax arriving yesterday. The watertight doors were closed, Lotte and Cato had to prepare meals that were less likely to fly out, and harnesses had to be worn on deck. And above all, 6m high waves were gushing over the railing.

As the ocean flushes over the ship, it feels like some of the separation between us and the elements has dissipated. I can truly feel what wind is. What salty air is. As if I am not only watching nature and the world pass by as we sail onwards; I am now part of it. It is strange to be on the ocean without being able to jump in and look around. We are there, and yet we are not really part of it all. Now, here in the wind and waves, we are part of it; we are right in the middle of it. Even the fish swimming below cannot feel what we are going through, and understand the sensation of having the power of 40 knots of wind in your back. This is our experience, our conversation with the elements. Me discovering the planet I live on. And as videos and photos could never have explained this experience to me, I will not be able to explain it to my friends.

It is late and dark, and my body is trying to tell me it is time to go to bed. It feels like I am young again, not wanting to go to bed on Christmas, knowing it will be over when I wake up again. Tomorrow we will probably have left the storm behind, and I am trying to soak in every second I still can.


Being a sailor myself I have experienced adventures like that on my own boat. Just great. I know several people who hve sailed on the Europa, all o them tell great stories about thir time onboard. What a ship.

Peter steenbergen  |  12-11-2023 03:34 uur

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