After a marvellous stay in Morocco, we were all excited to see our parents. We had a short four-day sail from Morocco to La Palma that was quite enjoyable. The sail consisted of calm weather and smooth seas with a sense of hope and excitement on board. There is often a slightly negative aroma around going back to sea, however everybody was content with our long stay in Morocco and our upcoming sail to The Canary Islands. We were prepared to sail in, scraping the clouds at the top of the mast, flailing our arms, in hopes of recognizing our parents.
Finally, we arrived in the beautiful city of La Palma. All of us waving and watching our parents slowly come into sight as we arrived. It was a beautiful day as we sailed in on our majestic tall ship we call home. Honestly, it was slightly awkward to see my parents after such a long time apart. I had so much to say and so many emotions bottled up that I just did not know where to start. As we sat over a slightly awkward dinner, I slowly built up into a very vocal ball of anything and everything that came to my head. It was a relief to talk to someone who knows you and your past.
The beautiful view of la Palma as we sailed in, excited to touch base with our loved ones.
After I got some of my thoughts off my head, I set out to explore. I will not lie, I did suffer from a slight amount of separation anxiety from my friends onboard, however it did not hold me back. My parents rented a car and we set out for the top of the volcano. Looking down, shivering from the bitter 7 degrees celsius in the clouds swirling in the volcano was an amazing feeling. On the way there, I witnessed the sheer breath-taking steepness of the volcanic island. I saw lizards, ate fruits off the trees, and explored dark and dingy caves. After a long day exploring, I was content with dinner and a nap to catch up on some rest.
Looking down on the clouds swirling inside the volcano that created the paradise named La Palma.
Another adventure I went on was to a place called “Charco Azul”. It is a natural seawater pool on the coast that was absolutely awe inspiring. Charlie, Jeremy, and I, along with all our parents, went there together. After mild separation anxiety, it was nice to spend time back with my shipmates and share stories of our time in La Palma. We spent a couple hours flipping and playing in the refreshing crystal-clear water. This was all followed by a big meal of sushi back with our families.
The bleach boys, Charlie, Jeremy, and myself, spending some time together having fun at the majestic natural sea water pool.
The port program with the parents was actually a day sail just off the coat of La Palma. Us students got up, had a meeting, and then cleaned the ship together. After that, the parents joined us onboard and we pushed off, quickly setting the sails. For the most part, the parents were amazed with the functionality of the ship; so much so that they couldn’t remember to pull a rope longer then 30 seconds.
I now see how annoyed the maritime crew must have been with us our first sail. Furthermore, this was eye opening to the parents, seeing our life, and what it is like onboard. The constant stream of work and the rolling of the boat stood out to my parents, and I’m sure I can speak for the other parents in saying that they now have a better understanding of the difficult life we all live. Although life on board is arduous, it is not impossible or even worth dreading. We all work hard and in the end we support each other to ensure we enjoy our time on board.
Over all the parent port is an important aspect for us Floaties. Often, we feel isolated from everything because nobody truly knows what our lives are like. We live a life like no other and getting to actually show our loved ones is an important opportunity that I was lucky to participate in. The parent port was truly revitalizing and it gave us a chance to get away from the boat. In conclusion my stay in the beautiful volcanic island, was much appreciated and I would not trade my experiences for anything.
As my family of three reunited on the black sand beaches of La Palma I shared tall tales of life at sea.
Written by Class Afloat student, Ryan Combden