Moving Baltic Sea Moving Baltic Sea Moving Baltic Sea
Photographs by Nadja Bülow

The Morning After

August 26th, 2008 by Teresa · 1 Comment

I arrived at the ship in St. Petersburg for the last leg of the Lovis journey, thrilled to be in Russia, excited to see the city, happy to see my friend Suzana, eager to experience sailing.  At the turnover meeting, following initial introductions, the crew and the MBS team gave us a general overview of how things would work on board – deck shifts and ship watch, eating and sleeping, ideas for remaining courteous, (we would afterall each be living for five days in a small confined space with 31 other people) where we were going, how we´d get there, when we´d get there.  I sat anxiously waiting. Ok, I thought. I’ve been to the website. I’ve seen the tallies. When will they get to the part about…uh, well, the part about «puking.»  Patience, my friend! We wouldn’t have to wait long to effectively learn all about it.
We departed St. Petersburg the next morning with the motor on. Cruising out of the harbor and along the Russian waterway is an incredible experience.  Cargo ships passed all around, piled high with containers of many colors, coming and going from places we could only guess at, moving with unrelenting, industrial, non-human energy.  My thoughts turned to home and other methods of transporting goods. Ah, my beloved congested east coast of America. If only the New Jersey turnpike could be so awe inspiring. We raised the sails. Suddenly quiet from the sound of the engine shutting off, it was beautiful and quiet felt somehow new. So far, so good, I thought.  The swaying, the rocking. It would be ok. Then the sky became dark and cloudy, the waves grew bigger, and the rain that I hadn’t noticed starting, got heavier. Some of us stuck it out on deck, some of us retreated to the cabin below, staving off illness in whatever way possible. We weren’t so successful. But in the end that’s not what mattered.
After this first harrowing night of our trip, thanks to our highly-skilled crew, we arrived and awoke safely somewhere in the Finnish islands. Wooden red cabins in the woods, rocks to scramble on, mushrooms to be picked and made for dinner. We felt relieved and relaxed and finally able to further our acquaintance with one another. As it turns out, a communal bout of seasickness is a lovely way to break the ice.  On day 4 of the trip, I’m so happy to be here and glad to be able to spend some time with those who have been involved with this project, as well as the friends of the project team.  I am deeply impressed by the spirited collaboration that has so obviously been going on here, as well as the diversity of people and interests that the Moving Baltic Sea has brought together.

Category: St. Petersburg

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