Ocean College

Sonnenuntergang

The notion of departure

Datum: 05.03.2019
Autor: Penelope 
Position: Key West, USA
Nautische Position: 24° 32.591 N; 81° 49.246 W
Etmal: (total) 8403 nm

The wind was picking up that evening in front of the coast of Florida. The man, who stood at the capping rail looked old and tired. The shadows unter his eyes had grown over the last days.

They were deep and dark. A lot of work, he said, a lot to do. He allowed himself a short rest, a cup of tea in his hand, and looked over the capping rail. The waves began to increase and started to build foam.

There was a notion of departure in the air. Almost tangible but also not able to be reached. He closed his eyes. Now he could hear the generator, feel the heat and how the sweat dropped from his cheek.

The only sound that was missing was the one of the engine. He opened his eyes. The wind was stronger now. A lot of work, the engineer repeated and went inside.

The girl that was sitting next to him felt really sorry for him. For her and the other students the last days were a time of waiting and of being patient. Teachers gave their best to keep the routine: school and ship maintenance.

Her hair was thrown into her face and obscured her view. Anyhow, she was enjoying the wind and the waves. She made herself a pigtail and continued her work.

In her free time she was working on the project that the bosun had given to the students. With wire and cans she was building a dead horse, which was a tradition back in the old days of sailing. In these times, it was a symbol of liberty. Day by day the girl spent most of her free time working on the dead horse.

Later in the night, the crew was still waiting. The problem with the engine was solved but still they couldn’t leave. Nobody liked this time of uncertainty. Not even the Captain was sure when they were going to leave.

Despite of all the questions in the heads of the others, the captain kept calm and waited for this one call that would allow them to leave. In the last hours, the storm, that created the wind and the waves, got stronger and the wind reached 25 knots.

There were no more vessels around on the water. The boy that was standing on deck during that time saw a power-driven vessel approaching the Pelican. It came to ask whether they needed help to go to another place where it would be safer, but the captain decided to stay where they were.

For the officers of the watch it would be a long night being at anchor. All the time until next morning they would stay awake, always moving between the saloon and the wheelhouse to check if everything was fine.

In the early hours of the next morning the wind rose shortly to 30 knots and decreased only a little bit afterwards. And still, they were waiting for the message that would allow them to leave.

PS: lot of greetings to all my family. I hope you all are doing well. Sending you love and kisses, your Penelope