| #1 (permalink) Sun Aug 16, 2009 16:54 pm The Mariner.
|The night I joined the "Goodhope" was the worst night imaginable for weather.
This was to be my first night at sea and I couldn't have chosen a worse one for my maiden voyage.
I had always longed to go to sea, and when the Captain said he was looking for a deck-hand I was delighted to take the position.
I had for so very long dreamed of going to sea, and in spite of my Mother's protestation about the many dangers I might encounter, I was determined to sign-on as deckhand to the Goodhope.
When I arrived at our berth the sea appeared mountainous.
My heart sank into my new sea-boots, and I hoped that perhaps we would put off casting-off our mooring ropes and venturing forth in such arduous conditions, but Captain Jenkins was a seasoned old sea-dog, and a little bad weather wasn't going to put him off.
"Get for'ard lad and cast off. It may be a bit heavy but we will get through all right, never fear. I've sailed in far worse conditions than this and never lost a man in twenty-two years."
His words sounded mighty brave for someone who would be spending the entire trip in a warm wheelhouse, while I had to walk the decks on this floating nightmare.
He'd be snug in there with his cocoa and his pipe, but I wouldn't even be able to have a smoke on this god-forsaken deck.
I huddled behind the wheelhouse as we gently nudged into the swell.
We didn't seem to be making any headway against this heaving tide, but I knew that we were as we slowly passed the other anchored ships in the bay.
As my legs started to become accustomed to the swaying deck I felt the first signs of my uneasy stomach relaying to my landlubbers brain that I was about to be sea-sick.
Luckily for me the Captain was unable to see me heaving my insides at the rear of the boat. I felt terrible.
How long would I have to endure this nausea and feeling of dying?.
Not too long I hoped.
We forged slowly ahead and I realised that we were making headway in spite of the heavily rolling seas.
My eyes were being stung by the spray being whipped up by the gusting winds. I felt cold, wet, and sick.
Maybe I should have listened to my Mother's warnings after all.
I really felt bitter toward the whole world.
This isn't how I had imagined life at sea, oh no, not at all.
The Captain rang the heavy bell and the ramp slowly lowered into the water and slid up the landing platform. I rushed forward and cast the mooring-line around the huge steel capstan.
I opened the boarding gates and the two solitary cars drove off the ferry.
I turned to face the wheelhouse and the Captain gave me a cheery thumbs-up sign.
He'd make a sailor of me yet!
Keep it simple ... Keep it interesting.
Joined: 04 Mar 2009
Location: ESSEN, Germany, (but English.)