Welcome on Board
I had spent a few days sleeping just a few hours, every time I went to bed my brain will not stop thinking about all the miles to sail ahead of me, that for someone like me that collects new sensations new experiences that are exited.
The hour has arrived, at the Seville’s airport with my father saying goodbye it is so early I have forgotten this hour existed. I have this feeling hard to explain but sure you had felt it before when you are about to open new windows to the unknown and discovery a totally new world for me, the sailor and North America.
I consider myself very lucky to be alive in this life, capricious at times, usually have a saved ace in the sleeves for those who live life without stepping on the break.
Never before I had taken a flight so long, neither crossed the Atlantic or live with 20 people who I didn’t know. After 26 hours of traveling see where I was going to live for the next 6 months, was between a feeling of excitement and “where have I come” that for sure each of my new colleagues have had when they first came, as well as the ones they were here before me and the ones that will come in the future. I’m in Charleston, North Carolina it is about 2am I felt to sleep in seconds….
“We all live under the same sky but we look at different horizons” a sentence that my godfather Francis Tirana told me before I left, and when I woke up the next morning stand on the main deck and discover the immensity of El Galeon in all her fullness, was the best way to describe her.
I recognize that before I came here I have to learn what was port, starboard, bow and stern because the only hours of navigations I had until the moment was in a hidropedal, and those I was told didn’t count. Everything is new, believe me, it is not easy.
Sailors have a different word for thing and the first days when the captain distributed the jobs, I felt useless asking and interrupting everyone to learn as fast as possible. The have a better idea of what I am taking about. In a Ship there are not ropes, we have strings, neither that we say pull or fork out of a rope here we cobra or leave in band. To learn that make a knot is to make it firm, and like this things many more, at the beginning I recognized there were to many, today a few and tomorrow a fewer more.
I have been here one month aboard and I have to say that the first few weeks were hard. During this time I had I period of training (here they call it “mili”) and no one day of rest. On board, the normal to work two days and rest two days.
As far as the group I believe I’m very lucky, although there are different profiles and ages, the truth is everyone had welcoming we their arms open and lots of patience more so when it comes to teach me. Obviously I feel more affine with some more than others, but the true is that we all get along well. It is not easy because we spend a lot of time together and we have little or any privacy that is why we have to put a little bit of our part.
About my role, my job is communications, i.e., all the referred to social media and the website, but in a ship like this one, everyone have to do everything, what is everything? To refer as the maintenance…paint, sand, sand, sand, sand… Another job is to be a tourist guide, as the ship is a replica of the Spanish Galeon that navigated the seas in the XVI and XVII and we show to the visitors as a museum, usually we open at 10:00am till 7:00pm, except when we have events on board, in that case, we work until 11:00pm or midnight… Easy.
Also we do the typical home work, cook, clean etc etc. Also we do night shifts minimum once a week, for me those are the devil dressed as work. We divided this shifts in 2 shifts, the first one from 9:00pm to 2:30am, the next one is from 2:30am to 8:00am, consist in cleaning the bathrooms or the kitchen and make sure the safety of the others, making sure there is no problems in the engine room or with any of the ropes, make sure that no one comes aboard because every night someone tries to come on board, this happens when we are in ports.
During navigation, we have 3 shifts and work in shifts of 4 hrs. Usually is easy unless the ship is moving too much, you always have the feeling of would I get sick or not, that if you are going to last 5 or more days without touching land.
It is defiantly, today I feel totally adapted and part of the group, I’m privileged and thankful to the Nao Victoria Foundation for trust in me, and life for giving me this gift that for sure I will take advantage of, and maybe prolong it more!