Date: 19th March 2023
Position: North Atlantic
Nautical Position: 36° 45’0N 037° 23’5 W
Ship: Pelican of London
On this journey we have been to loads of different places and have met people from all walks of life. We have seen people living in very different circumstances to our own and people of different religions, races, and reasoning.
I’m taking this daily report as an opportunity to reflect upon how the people we have met along the way have influenced us and changed our perspectives about life. And I have collected the experiences of a handful of students, who talked about how these people have affected their viewpoints in life.
“I can’t tell one concrete story but I remember that I often met people along the route of our voyage who were completely impressed by what we are doing. That changed my mind in the fact that it was crazy what strangers think about Ocean College and showed me over and over again how special this voyage is and how grateful I can be that my parents allowed me to go for six months and that they supported my wish.” (Mama, Papa, hab‘ euch lieb)
“There was James. James is a bermudian man who approached me one sunny afternoon. I had just dried from a refreshing swim in Tobacco Bay when this fellow entered my life. He took it upon himself to teach me the lessons life had taught him. So, my children, listen to James.
James is about 60 years old, has a wife, he was sure to make that very clear as it’s common in Bermuda to divorce, two daughters and a happy life. In James’ philosophy it’s very important to have good friends, follow your dreams and to do what you want. He has no regrets in life other than not having gone to Canada or Australia – yet. This he regrets deeply.
James is a happy man. He later turned out to be the taxi driver for Hannes which I think is a fun and quirky turn of events.
Now let’s talk about how James influenced me and the course of my life going forward.
To be quite frank, I’m not sure. James isn’t all-knowing and neither am I. However, I feel like his effect on me will become of great value in the future when I think back on how this stranger was first my live, laugh, love life coach and then became the taxi driver of someone else I know.”
The Antigua Automobile – Hanna, Sophia, Manuel
“We had wandered endless miles to pursue our happiness on the dreamy Caribbean beaches of Antigua. Far away from civilization we made it to our destination and swam amongst the stars through the shining dark blue water.
When we decided to head homewards, a problem struck as abruptly! We had no time! So, what does one do? One takes the bus. But one does not have money. One does not worry (#dontworrybehappy) and takes the bus regardless. This will solve the problem of getting back in time but unfortunately creates a new conundrum.
Paying without money? Possible! This is the time to employ your big brain cells and reflect on what our ancestors did back in the day. They didn’t have money but got places. They didn’t worry and were happy instead. The secret to their success? Trading. It’s value has been demonstrated to us countless times when in despair for good sugary treats.
We profited from this enriching learning experiences and payed for the bus ride with our skittles. Ironically, we had BOUGHT them with MONEY only two hours before. Money rules the world.”
Sophie & Lara
“In Antigua after the day when everyone went to the beach. We were walking back to the town when Lara stopped a taxi and the driver said that he would drive us for free. He was just a normal guy but he was very kind.
And I realized what a different culture it is compared to Germany. Even the bus drivers in Bermuda are so much more outgoing and friendly than the bus drivers in Germany and it has really taught me to be more welcoming to people I don’t know.“
One day in Cuba – Anna, Manuel, Kaija
“One day in Cuba when we had shore leave, we spent hours wandering around the streets, and we saw a building that we thought was a cinema. We went inside and it turned out to be a sort of film studio, the owner appeared and gave us a tour of the building.
He introduced us to his staff and showed us soviet era film equipment. It was a really interesting experience because he was so open and welcoming to us and made a very strong effort to communicate with us and be friendly, despite the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language.”
“Many told me how fortunate I am, I’ve talked to people inside of every country, which was very eye opening, it’s insane that I am not allowed to speak about some of these experiences because of political reasons, but these situations show me how privileged I am to get the opportunity to travel to these countries, and see with my own eyes.
I haven’t spoken to some people but I have come to many conclusions just by observing. I have also had many depressing moments, seeing, how much potential some people have all around but because of their position in life aren’t able to achieve with it.
I am impressed by the generosity many people shown all around the world no matter in which situation they are. We should cherish what we have in life and make the best out of it.
There is no use in always complaining, just try and make the best out of it. Traveling has also showed me how colorful the world is. Many people have inspired me and helped me to listen to my heart. I have many dreams I want to follow and I will try and do so.
There may have been a small moment for someone but sometimes words can change more than intended.