Twenty years ago today, this became my home for a month. It was exciting and terrifying, encompassing and isolating, exhilarating and exhausting – I did everything, navigation, pulling on ropes, lots of pulling on ropes and the coiling and tidying of them afterwards, there was food preparation and dishes to do, daily ship cleaning and participation in the rotational watch, where we took helm, kept watch, completed Met Office reports … oh and watched dolphins, whales, fishermen and the skies. The night skies have never looked so brilliant nor the dark as dark.
I boarded in Southampton and eventually made it to the Canary Islands, the crew of 52 started as utter strangers and grew to comfortable friends – well you had to, there are no cabin doors just curtains and en suite is a mis-pronounced piece of candy.
During all my trips I kept a very detailed diary which I called my [dis]Abled Sea-persons Twig, many years ago I uploaded it to LiveJournal but it has been removed or lost over time – shame really. Three of my trips are blogged on my web site, I really should get round to adding this one as well.
Looking through the photos and books of that time the memories are warm yet edged with a sorrow, some of those faces are now dead, people have moved on to other adventures and pastures, but for a month we were in our own little bubble and shared a great deal together.
I miss that version of me – but maybe not the permed hair.