In the past two weeks of sailing, the crew of the Africa Mercy have enjoyed relatively smooth sailing, besides the couple of days in the middle where we hit some bigger swells. One of the many benefits of a smooth sail include the opening of the bow to the crew. It is here, in the past couple days, I have enjoyed the beautiful weather around the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas, whale and dolphin watching, and relaxation in the warm winter breeze.
Many of the crew go out to the bow to relax on their time off, enjoying the fresh air and the sunlight. At times, there are very few people out on the bow, making it an excellent place to retreat and spend some quiet time with God, surrounded by his creation.
Other crew go out each afternoon in the constant search for whales, dolphins, flying fish, seals and penguins (yes, all have been spotted, though I have not seen the seals or penguins myself). Sometimes, the wildlife shows up in full force and in a matter of hours you can spot dozens of whales and dolphins gracefully swimming alongside the ship. Though, at times, you can spend hours on the bow and see nothing but a couple of birds and flying fish.
No matter what sort of creature decides to show its face, the view is always beautiful.
Around lunch time, you will find a steady stream of people out on the bow, enjoying each others company and their sandwiches and chips. Many times, the little children come out and join their parents. They are always welcome and bring joy to everyone present.
No matter the reason for being out on the bow, there is a sense of freedom. You are no longer confided to enclosed spaces of the ship, but experience the wide open seas. It is peaceful and awe-inspiring at the same time. With the salty air blowing through our hair, we all breathe in a taste of the sea and enjoy each and every moment of the experience.
Nothing can take this away.
God Bless and PEACE