jueves, 24 de marzo de 2016

You like the sea...

We all like the sea.

Her, as the sailors call her, for that feminine quality that is attractive much as a woman is.

From land or going for a boat ride, it´s one of the most relaxing images and experiences there is. I admit that I have spent hours on the beach, watching the waves roll in, and I swear that there are no two alike. I´ve seen beaches of white sand, brown sand, gravel and rock, as well as water of every shade of blue and esmerald green.

Although when one is a sailor, it probably changes a lot.

On land you leave behind a big piece of your heart, and the other piece you take with you in order to keep living from that which you yourself have chosen which fills you with passion. You clamber up the boat ladder, always counting the same fifty or so steps (*see note at the end) and the first few days it´s quite difficult to leave behind millions of memories joyful knowing that you will soon to live them out.

When in your cabin, you have the best views and no one to share them with, silence reigns. A silence that is smothered out by the sounds of the engines that are constantly driving the ship towards some distant shores. The squawking of the seagulls becomes more and more faint until it disappears altogether and you, the sea and the memories are left alone. The ship grows distant until it disappears, taking you with it. What a difference it is to see a ship get further and further away when you are on the shore, as to when you experience getting further and further away with it. It looks as though everything else is moving and not you, the one who is on board.

And you look at the perfect line of the horizon… It´s always so far away! Sometimes the sky and the sea seem to be sewed together by the dolphins jumping in and out of the water, as if they were stitches in a great fabric. The dawns are unforgettable, and sailing through the mysterious night… Its is deductive and magical to know that those same dolphins sleep with one eye open, perhaps to take in every detail of our passing, or so my tuition tells me. I often wonder how one must feel in the absolute darkness of a night during a new moon in the middle of the ocean…

For days upon end the only thing that you can see is water all around you, and other ships, transporting sailors, each one with his own history, an moreover, of course the sailing colleagues that move about here and there, diligent to their labour. The working hours are intense depending on the seas. The duty time on the bridge demand your constant concentration which quite often leaves one exhausted. The ship is in your hands. The sensation of handling something so big and powerful must be imposing. Absolute responsibility on the bridge with dozens of apparatus to control, hundreds of buttons to push, a course to maintain and problems to solve.

A well deserved rest comes along by the end of the day. A walk on the deck, a few minutes in the gym, music, movies, books... even sending a few messages (blessed Whatsapp) or sitting down to have a meal and chat with others, helps a lot to make it through the day. Sometimes sitting on the bow, and note the force with which the hull breaks the water mass, feel those drops with saltpeter spits by the bow, smells like the sea and tastes like the wind... And perhaps that very same drop that is resting on the sailor´s face, may one day sweetly become a snowflake sliding down the cheek of the woman who waits on land in the cold winter.

We mustn´t forget that it is often more difficult to sail through life, with its hopes and dreams, memories, loved ones, loathed ones, injustices, joys… that it is to sail the seas. The sailors on board may well have a special sense from afar and in their loneliness to study themselves in the most in-depth manner of their person, and to go deeper into everything else that surrounds him during his stay on land. One time they may have dove in the depths of someone´s soul and may have realized that they were standing the whole time, people of shallow waters; at other times the contrary, deep and active souls.

I believe that very few people have put themselves in the shoes of these people who spend months on end in salty waters. Sailors, soldiers, etc. Hard work yours is… But exciting and precious at the same time. I would like to give thanks to the whole crew who have the arduous task and courage to be away from home for so long.

You are always welcome. We are waiting for you.

And the sailors, with the big desire to meet you.

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