The day after

This morning is different. And anything but good.

I’m sitting here in the old Boathouse, our accommodation, with todays first coffee in my hand, looking out of the window at the harbour. It’s actually a dream view, directly onto the water, directly eastwards into the sunrise. Already familiar after two days.

But today something is missing and the picture doesn’t fit for me at all: the jetty is deserted and empty. The masts of the Selma have disappeared, as have Piotr, Voy and Ewa.

This empty space hurts badly.

I was never really good at saying goodbye. Especially not when it means staying behind on the pier, on land, while “my” ship sets sail again and slowly disappears towards the horizon. Or – like yesterday – into the darkness of the night.

Ship ahoy

Late yesterday evening, the time had finally come. It came as it was bound to come at some point. It was time to say goodbye. At least from the Selma and from Piotr, Voy and Ewa. Farewell after seven weeks together with a long history, after a wonderful adventure, a fantastic journey with a perfect team and a very special spirit and cohesion on board.

We said goodbye to each other in stages. We disembarked two days ago and moved into our quarters here in Stanley in the former boathouse. We spent a wonderful farewell evening, ate, drank, celebrated, sang, talked and laughed. And went on one last excursion together, to the king penguins at Volunteer Point. But while we still have a few days here in the Falklands, Piotr, Voy, Ewa and Selma have to return to Ushuaia.

It is often difficult to leave. Especially after such an intense time full of shared experiences.

So much goes through your mind at times like this, so much you want to say – but you search in vain for the right words. Fortunately, sometimes you don’t even need them. A silent, firm hug does the trick.

And so last night, under the light of the full moon, we stood together on deck once again, in a circle, arm in arm, our heads together – a close-knit team. For a long time, in silence. Each of us completely alone and yet carried by being together. It was a heartfelt farewell full of warmth and filled with the spirit of the whole trip.

I will treasure this moment forever, as well as every single moment of these last few weeks. I will miss them, these ten people, Selma, the life on board. The ice, the light of the south, the vastness of the Southern Ocean, the wind and waves, the horizon and being out on the ocean together, in the here and now.

We stand like this for a long time, then we first untie each other and a little later the lines. The last words and wishes fly back and forth, a final greeting from the horn, then the Selma slowly disappears into the darkness shortly before midnight. At some point, only the white top light is visible, like a star in the night sky.

We stand silently on the pier, our eyes moist, full of melancholy and gratitude.

And our hearts full of hope and the certainty that this is only a temporary farewell. It’s not for nothing that we say “Hasta luego”. So see you soon, dear Selma. We’ll see each other again, I’m sure of it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *