Friday, 22 May 2015

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” (R.M.Rilke)

What is that noise in the middle of the night? Sounds like a mild form of scratching wood. I switch on the light and squint into the room until I find the source: It’s two spare batteries that roll back and forth on my cabin table. The ship is rocking. Now my body is awake enough to feel it, too. Up and down, heaving quite a bit, being lightweight one moment, and pretty darn heavy a few seconds later. It’s inevitable, but gentle, smooth. I stash the batteries away and go back to sleep, smiling.
The morning starts with an announcement. Due to the strong movement the bridge visits have to be postponed to the afternoon. It is much shakier up there than on deck 4, so everybody understands.
Lectures, however, are being held, and the brave audiences cling to their chairs while listening. It’s actually quite funny when the whole group suddenly sways in unison to one side or another, many giggles are heard.
Not everybody’s stomach is up to the movement, many prefer to stay flat out in bed - which is actually the best thing you can do when seasickness hits you. Look at the bright side: One only gets sick on a sea day, and on a sea day you don’t miss much…

So, this is it, the final day of this voyage, huh? It’s incredible to remember the many different landscapes and places we have seen, from the various kinds of Norway’s paradisiac beauty to the barren hunches of the North Atlantic Isles. And now the windblown, wavy ocean, teeming with seabirds whose biggest pleasure it seems to be hovering around us. The gale takes off the white caps of the waves and blows them across the moving surface of the sea. It is a moving sight, and quotations of great poets spring to mind. See above.

A sea day is also the opportunity to finish up things on board, last chapters in diaries are written, books are finished, collections of photographs are ordered. It's also the time to visit the bridge, get a glance across the sea from the captain's point of view.
Karin’s embroidery class has the terminal lesson, and the ladies present their results with pride.
Unfortunately also luggage has to be packed, and the departure prepared. Tomorrow this journey is over. Shame.

But then again, many are looking ahead in excitement, as they have not planned to arrive in Iceland only to leave it already on the same day. Brand-new maps are unfolded and brooded over, addresses of rental car companies are verified, and of course the expedition team is questioned greatly about this amazing Island, born from the Earth’s molten interior.
Tomorrow Island, so not the end, but a beginning!
So many smiles at the Captain's Farewell toast. We will come back.