Barbados - Antigua, January 26th '13 by Stijn
by the Crew of Tres Hombres on 01/29/13
Left Holland unprepared to chase a boyhood dream: sailing a Treasure Island ship across high seas. All the more appealing because of the statement the Tres Hombres is making: not motoring senseless goods like bananas but sailing fair trade across the Atlantic.
Unprepared except for the expectation of ' having to rough it'. Rough how? I wasn't to know, having read none of the logs. But I'd seen the shipâ€¦ I came mentally prepared for 'rough', whatever form it would take.
Rough came quick. My bunk aboard in the foxhole up front. The spot I'd wished I'd get. Rudimentary, cramped, with 6 others, a hot and humid trap. My bunk a coffin stuck to the ceiling, one side open. Ventilation without circulation insufficient to stop profuse sweating. A choky experience altogether. Home away from home. Hanging up the calendar my kids had made me, that's what it was. It had to make do.
With the first 'high' seas. I got on to be barf boy, feeding the fish. Trying to keep my head away from feeling queasy, attending to chores, learning the ropes, it did help none. Sour saliva flooding my gums, telling me resistance was futile.
Staggering across the deck of the swaying, rolling, pitching ship I spilled my guts. And again, again, the night over.
Early mornings, doubting to either eat or drink the littlest, Rosa the cook convinced me to take banana porridge: twice nice, once down and equally good coming up. She was right.
And yes, I got dirty quick. My skin salty, my clothes moist for the salt attracting ocean spray. But hey, not joining a tourist trap was a conscious choice I still stood by. No giant catamaran for me, with all nations in Hawaii shirts on the foredeck doing the rumba to killer music.
I had joined a tight group of kindred spirits. A reward in itself. Making sea faring a serious but at the same time joyous enterprise. The steady crew eager to learn us rookies about halyards, clew lines, brace up, brace down. We were all to take part, to take responsibility. And we tried best we could.
The great reward the ship itself, out in the ocean. Combined efforts paid off. At the helm first night, all sails up. A steady 6 knots heading to Antigua, chasing the Northern Cross. The ocean a steady companion, roaring along, never ceasing.
A full moon to reveal us her might. The endless blue brine stretching to every horizon uninterrupted safe for the swell rising to meet us.
What a trip, what riches!
Signing of for now, in high spirit,