Sunday, July 5, 2015

A well found boat that can travel the world, Oceans apart, continents so near.

A well found boat that can travel the world, Oceans apart, continents so near.
Sailing takes you to many varied and different places, when its good its like there is a rainbow in your life, when its tough and hard and you are so exhausted, a life on land and an office can be very tempting.
However, as a sailor you learn to take the good with the bad, prepare well for the worst, come through in one peace and relax and smile at the wonders of the world, when its clean, fresh and simple.
The world is full of so many countries and people. Every ones lives, just like in the animal world which I have seen many, are also very simple. We all want a comfortable place to live, good food on the table and a secure place to raise our families, not so much really.
On route to the Mediterranean, my team experienced the forces of nature in mixed balance of ways as we transited the Straits of Gibraltar, famous for many reasons, it is a land mark and the closest point from mainland Europe to Africa.
With a passage gap of only 7 nautical miles between the continents, it act as a funnel for the waters and the winds between Morocco and Spain (and a little bit of England, Gibraltar) like all waters of the world, on a good day its bliss, and when it's not its fierce, we had a combination of both all within an 18 hour period.
Wind hard on the nose and hitting 27 knots with a short and crappy sea we were heading for the Moroccan coast before taking to head into the Straits when we received a Pan Pan radio alert message. Not something that you receive every day, the message from Tangiers radio was a surprise.
The message that 12 people were in danger in an inflatable boat somewhere in the Straits of Gibraltar and its blowing a real stinker is not a nice situation to be in, let alone think about. I called the station to ask for more information, but the details were sparse but that we keep a look out on passage.
A sobering thought when you are safely under sail in a well found boat, I talked with my crew about the situation and ramifications if we spotted them. "My Crew" Rusty (Germain) and Madam de Gull (Alicia) were both there as it was watch change over and we talked about the immigrants that were so desperate to get to the north.
Apparently the estimated numbers of people in 2014 crossing from the African continent to Europe were astonishing, even more gut  wrenching is the thought that in that one year 300,000 people died whilst trying to do so, so how many made it safely?
We sailed on, and made land fall with calmer conditions in Gibraltar, "The Rock" but I still had thoughts in my mind.
I am proud and protective of my country, and only want the best for it, like I think most people are of theirs, but for the basic fundamentals of life its not a surprise that people do desperate things, when there is nothing to lose.
I know that each and every country has immigration issues, problems, racial tensions and political processes that make a complex spiders web, for the people within the country and those who seek out a better existence.
But aren't we all children of the world ? and when we are dead we will own nothing, and certainly no part of this world.
I can only wish that our politicians who's role and responsibility it is to form good policy, do it wisely and with the heartfelt empathy that human life is lost every day and that they could possibly be forming ways and options for those who just seek a simple and safer life somewhere in the world.
My kingdom, and the world is in a well found boat, long may she sail, I am very fortunate.

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