December 29, 2013

No more broken hearts in every port

Sir, at age sixteen and a week, I signed up for three months on a Swedish merchant ship, where I would wash dishes and scrape rust for the next four months (delayed by strikes and storms).

Luckily that happened just “before the containerization, when it took days to unload and days to load, and you were young”. That kind of seafaring was indeed quite different from that described by Horatio Clare in “A freight adventure” Life & Arts December 28… So different I must admit I would never have even thought about the idea of signing up on a container ship.

So different that one of Sweden’s most famous poets and troubadours, Ever Taube, who among other sang about “The girl in Havana”, might never have become inspired.

I feel sad for today’s sailors, and for current sixteen years old who lack the opportunity to really sail the seas and explore ports... perhaps leaving some broken hearts, or breaking one’s own heart a bit while doing so.

My Ms Bolivia