June 24, 2012
Our last day at sea before we reach the port of Bremerhaven has been spent sailing along the coast of Germany, her white coast guiding us at the far side of the horizon. Silhouettes are cast through open hatches to decks below of crew working above, in ever changing shadows as the ship moves through the waves. Far forward in the bowsprit, the lookout keeps watch for ships above the “blind” sail, sitting motionless, watching the midday sun flash on the water. White jelly fish dot the blue green water, pushing towards the aft of the ship in a slow, stagnated manner, their tails streaming behind them like banners. Seagulls follow the ship for a time, one by one, weaving in and out amount the topsails seemingly confused at this foreign object standing tall above the water. The crew has become accustomed to the warm weather and the cabins are seldom occupied during the day except for the afternoon cleaning. Most time is spent on the weather deck, reading, sunbathing or playing music. Harmonicas, guitars and voices are heard singing in proud Swedish fashion, deep from the lungs and articulated with a rolling tongue. Preparation work for the entry into Bremerhaven is almost complete, the final brush strokes of paint, the last coat of lacquer, the last glean of oil. “Wet paint” signs hang as a warning to unsuspecting deck hands, lest they be “marked” in their carelessness. Water sloshes on deck, cutting a winding path to the aft of the ship as the sound of meticulous brushing is heard, cleaning the last of the days grime away from the wood.
The sunset is a welcome sight in the evening, as the horizon cuts a deep line in-between the dark orange-red sky fading upwards into an inky purple. Black profiles of the crew move about the deck as the last small crescent glow of daylight slips away. So far from the flare of city lights, the stars seem to sway at night with ebb and flow of the ship, moving from fore to aft methodically. Shooting stars burst across the black, with the crew on watch sighing with satisfaction at catching a glimpse. Tomorrow will come in a few short hours, as we will arrive in Bremerhaven with the morning light.
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