Away from Loneliness

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In the morning of our 5th full day aboard the Roter Sand, we started a competition to determine who had the greasiest hair, enumerating alternative washing techniques when unable to shower, such as using dry shampoo, cornstarch, etc. We then had a presentation given by a crew member (Alexis) on the difference between anchorage and mooring (attaching the boat to a dock). This was definitely instructive considering we had never moored – despite being anchor experts. So we stopped at the port of Forestville to fill up our propane and water tanks, just a few hundred meters from where we had spent the night. We stayed there for a few hours, which allowed us to practice our communication skills and to test our patience, thanks to a game during which we divided the crew into two separate teams who had to build identical mockups while communicating with a slightly broken walkie-talkie. We survived on soda crackers till a fajita lunch saved us for starvation. Yum!

Then, some decided to burn calories by dancing on songs like Cha Cha Slide and Let’s Go Girl, while others opted for a workout i.e. napping on the bridge during a beautiful and warm day. Even Hannah took her coat off: miracle! But it’s only when we finally set sail that the deckhands decided to move.

We then operated a “mutiny”, which Sylvain had been waiting for since the beginning of our trip. We tried taking the boat to port under the direction of Captain Catherine. Once in Havre Colombier, we went to the beach where crabs lay their eggs, and quickly lit a fire. It became an improvised fire camp where we cooked sausages and marshmallows while playing games and singing, accompanied by Alexis. As we spend hours outside, on the bridge or the beach where we look out to sea (or warm each other around the fire), our urban lives seem so far from us: we’re away from distractions, counted time and a sort of loneliness.


This text was written by Emma-Maria Phillips in 2018, for the Défi environnement du Cégep Édouard Montpetit. It was later translated by our team.

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