Our upcoming destination is Valparaiso, Chile, where will be getting off this ship. We will go to Santiago and be there for a day. The following day we will fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina. After 4 days there we will start our second cruise and head South on the Atlantic side, go around the Horn to the Pacific ocean and begin our journey northward toward home.
Today I want to highlight not our personal experience on the ship but rather on acknowledging all those that make their livelihoods working in the high seas and open oceans.
I keep remembering Herman Melville's book Moby Dick. Today has been the roughest day at sea. The ocean was relatively calm until today. The winds picked up last night. Today we are sailing into the swells. You can hear the wind howling throughout the ship. I look out over the ship side and I can see the 8-12 foot swells. The waves have been increasing throughout the day so tonight might be rocking and rolling. We are on a large heavy steel ship moving through with powerful electric engines and modern navigational equipment.
What it must have been like to be in oceans in wooden sail ships? To think of transoceanic travel with only the stars to guide one. To have been out in the oceans for the sake of wealth and commerce, military domination or following the herds of whales for their blubber. To be out at sea for months or years on end. What was it like to be in the open oceans throughout the world all-year round and without the support of the technology we depend on today?
Last year, we were on a cruise in the English Channel as we were visiting the Baltics. On one day the swells were 15 feet and higher. It was a memorable sea going experience never to be forgotten. It was no wonder the large Spanish Armada was dispersed and destroyed by the high winds off the English coast.
The oceans have taken many lives to a watery grave and it will continue to do so. I have a deeper respect for all past and future that make their livelihood crossing the oceans. Each day is challenging as weather conditions change throughout the world. The old wooden ships rocking constantly with open flames to cook and explosive materials nearby in the ships. Imagine living where everything is swaying and creaking constantly plus the dampness inside that never dries? Too hot or cold.
It's exhilarating to be out here with the gust of cool winds and salt mist in the face.
A hearty thank you to all who perished at sea and those that dedicate their lives each day to bring a better life to those on shore.