From the get-go, the constant rolling of the ship,
The wet, the vomit, the wish for death
The never-ending expanse of water, and this was only the end of the first day.
Six weeks of this, they said. The food rationed out, tasteless,
Disgusting, boiled, best eaten with your eyes shut.
They said the rounding of the cape would be the test of the ship’s captain, a ruddy-faced man, given to obscenity and aloofness but his handling of the ship when the going got tough had to be admired.
Health wasn’t an issue on the ship, survival was all that mattered, and when Charlie died, they dumped his body over the side, said a few words and sailed on.
We sighted land finally, and what a welcome sight, some dropped to their knees to give thanks, others rolled over in their bunks and wondered how much longer they had to endure.
Then we were in a harbour more beautiful than anything we’d ever imagined.
The Captain shouted orders, his crew jumped to it; we hung off the rails watching what was purported to be civilisation come more into focus.
It didn’t matter how crude the place appeared to be, it had to be better than the previous six weeks.