Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cargo boat to Harper, Liberia

Finally, after weeks of waiting anxiously we drove up the ghastly docks through the early morning mist, lurking on the eerie Atlantic waters. The first thing that came to my mind was "ship graveyard" with the pealing paint and rusting iron bodies....All I hoped was that our ship would float...unlike half of the other docked ones. We said goodbye to our AWESOME host Eva and her brother James who dropped us off. We started our next adventure when we stepped onto the boat and recieved warm welcomes from the crew. We got special priviledges being able to set up camp on the bridge deck where as everyone else was crammed on the lower deck together. There weren't many passengers since it was a cargo ship. We sat in the cool breeze on deck and watched the night slowly transform into day, the sun glimmering on the open ocean. We were stuck waiting for 9 hours before the fuel was loaded and we set sail. We weren't well prepared for the 41 hour journey, as usual, with only a couple loaves of bread, some sardines and cookies for the six of us. Luckily the crew was super nice and prevented us from starving. Bre went down to the little kitchen and spent the night cooking delicious pasta with the captain etc. It's amazing how much of a difference it is being on a boat compared to being crammed in a shared taxi for two days. I am almost willing to say it was worth waiting a couple of weeks to take the boat. During the day mom created a nice little shelter out of sleeping bags and blankets with clothes pegs, clips and safety pins. The sun was blazing hot in the afternoon and gorgeous as ever, reflecting off the water in a golden stream. It was fun, from so high up to watch the birds swoop down and prey on the mass of flying fish. For the first time since The Maldives, we got to see more wild dolphins. They are so adorable, leaping through waves and playing along side our vesssel. In some parts, we saw a ton of them near and far. I counted at least 7 in every 5 seconds!!
Mom, being her usual crazy self was trying to draw the lightning storms to us, thinking it would be "so fun!". Sure enough, knowing her luck, we got exactly that. It was far off, thankfully, and quite the show watching the huge bolts of lightning streak the distant sky. We hung our legs over the railing and soaked it all up, each flash lighting the starry night. We slept under the bright, low hanging stars on mats and it was so great! We really enjoyed the trip. The best experiences of my trip, personally have been the cargo ships! Great memories of the Caspian Sea on my 16th birthday, Black Sea and the Niger River.
We arrived in the morning in Harper, headed to Cote d'Ivoire/Ivory Coast.


At 10:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Savannah,
I love the contrasting colours of your and Ammons' blogs on this trip. Yours feels so much more vibrant. I loved your descriptions of the lighting and environment, and your whacked out Mom calling in the thunderstorms, did it involve dancing on the roof?
Hey are you alright from the fall into the septic system? You made no mention of it, but I guessed you are okay.
Can you believe you guys have been on the road for the past 3 years almost!!????!! If you do south america you could be another 2 yrs. WOW!!!!
Thanks for the blog, it really is unique in a great way. Ever thought of a career in writing fiction?

Bear Hugs and Love
The Bear

At 6:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course it involved a rain dance, Shean! We're in Africa after all! She would've had face paints too if Bre hadn't run out of supplies, hahah. The sewer experience did more mental damage than physical, ahah. Two more years will give you more time and fewer excuses to come out here and join us! Now THAT sounds exciting. Thanks for the comments, they're always so great.


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