I’ve had an eventful day filled with pranks, geo-political confusion, nature experiences and spiritual insights.
I started my day at six in the morning to a two-hour long watch. It’s usually four hours, but we went by motor from Ceuta to La Linea which takes only a night. Me and my friend in the watch were in the kitchen making breakfast. We were even fast enough to prepare a song to wake those who were going on watch after us. Me, my friend and the “Rondman” (the one who’s supposed to wake up those who are going on watch, among other things) sang a song for the port side watch. It wasn’t much appreciated; I think a lot of the students on the boat are not morning persons. Later, I served the almost sleep-walking students either oatmeal or yoghurt. After our watch, I took a nap and woke up to port sides Rondman in full sailors’ clothes, explaining that we had arrived in La Linea and that the rain was pouring outside. People came to the daily eight o’clock formation in rainboots and raincoats, but I confidently came dressed in a t-shirt and slacks. The Rondman stood outside of the door with a water sprinkler and shot water at us. I knew it was a prank - not only because I saw the beautiful and cloud-free sunrise an hour earlier, but because it was my brother’s birthday. He’s born on the first of April, and he’s always been the funny one in the family. Some people would be fooled by a prank like this, but my brother will always be the biggest fool to me.
Thereafter, me and my friends were facing the recurring questions of getting into a new harbor – what we are going to do, and who are going to be included in our activities. Yet we managed to solve them quickly. We started by walking to the border between La Linea and Gibraltar – Spain and Great Britain. I was met by a few of the most common stereotypes of Great Britain when I came out of the passport control – red buses, a red telephone booth and toddler eating a red bag of Lays crisps. We stuck to the British theme by having fish and chips for lunch. I despise to say that I believe the fish and ships in Sweden (especially on Marstrand) tastes better. I might be a bit biased since I’m born and raised on the West Coast of Sweden, but I expected that a British kitchen with Mediterranean fish would serve me something tastier.
I noticed today that we’ve become better at being tourists thanks to all our travels with Gunilla. I think the key to being a good tourist is to be spontaneous and always up for trying new things. Me and my friends, for example, saw a funny-looking store with crystals, dragons, tarot cards and more and we were too curious not to go inside. We talked with the owner of the shop about New Age, which is a religion related to our religion assignment. She talked passionately about her beliefs and even gave us special stones to give us luck on the sailing trip. We never would’ve experienced a conversation like this if we weren’t doing this kind of traveling.
Afterwards, we took a long walk to a lighthouse with a gorgeous, never-ending view. Then we took a bus back to a square close to the boat. A young American sat behind us on the bus asked us what language we were speaking. We said we were swedes and he gave an understanding nod. He declared that he was on vacation and that he had seen too many young, blonde girls in Gibraltar. I don’t think we stand out that much, perhaps I have to change that opinion.
We ate Italian food for dinner in the sunset. Me and my friend took dough balls and Nutella to-go while we went back to the boat. We also stopped at McDonalds so that the others could get ice cream. They had free wi-fi, I therefore took the opportunity to call my little brother and wish him a happy 14th birthday. I hadn’t talked with him since I said goodbye to him in Sweden, so I wanted to hear what was up, but he answered me with no more than three words and took nothing seriously. The most I got out the conversation was that the weather was bad in Sweden. His behavior was typical for a teenager, and he didn’t seem to miss me, but I know he does.
Lastly we came back to the boat and did the mandatory picture sharing of the day. Then I went to sleep.
Agnes Alveros, Starboard watch