My Trip To The Ship: Memories Of A Childhood Voyage

trip to ship

Ship Trip

This article has been prepared after knowing the thoughts of an 8 years child (who is a teenager now) but his name and identity are kept anonymous considering the wishes of the person. The thoughts of the child as portrayed by the current teenager have been penned down by one of our team members. It is quite a simple article with no technical details but just portrays the way a child felt when he joined ship with his Captain father on board a bulk carrier travelling around the globe.

The Story

It has been years since I went on ship. Today I feel quite nostalgic about the trips that I had with my father. It is strange that I don’t remember the first toy my dad bought me but I do remember my first trip with my dad on ship. Perhaps it is the small things in life that give us the biggest memories. Still we run behind big things. This is perhaps the most fascinating truth of life. As we grow older we realise it much more. I will try to recollect all the small memories of my trip on ship.

My dad is no more with me. He was a captain in the ship. I always wanted to go on a voyage with him. My mom had been with him on a voyage before I was even born. She was never very interested. However, she finally decided to go after a lot of pleading. My summer vacations had just started. It was a long two months that I would have on the ship. I was no doubt excited. I had only seen ships from the shore. Never stepped into one this multiplied my excitement.

For an eight year old who is still exploring the world a ship cruise was so exciting that I cannot find words to describe it now. I remember it was a bright sunny morning. My father was dressed in his smart captain uniform. My mother was clad in a light blue saree. We stepped on to the ship. It was huge. I had never seen anything so big in my life. It was mesmerizing  I was taken to my room. It was a small one with a small round window. The bed was small but cozy. I was told that it is the biggest room in the ship. It was my dad’s room. I was surprised that this small room was the biggest in the whole ship.

There were many more crew members who were travelling with us. However, I was the only child in there. After sometime the ship left on its voyage. There was a loud siren and the ship’s anchor was removed. We were in the middle of the sea. The coast vanished away slowly. All that I could see around me was the wide ocean. Sometimes we could see another ship. There were little birds who gave us company. In the evening I spotted few dolphins. I still remember them.

We were served tea in the evening and dinner at night. The night on a ship is beautiful. All that you can see around you is stars. I have never found the night sky so clear. In the cities the pollution is so high that you cannot see all the stars. In the middle of the sea where there is absolutely no pollution the sky starts glowing with numerous stars. I wanted to sleep under the stars. My dad agreed. I still remember he showed me some constellations. We also spotted a shooting star.

Next morning when I got up I was in my bed. I was told that in the night there was a storm so my dad took me in. However, the day again was a bright sunny one. My dad told me that in the sea it was quite common to see frequent weather changes. I was surprised that how the weather could change so soon. My dad showed me a sextant. It was used to find directions when a ship was lost. My dad asked me if I was feeling uneasy. He explained that people often fall ill on ships. This was termed sea sickness. The symptoms included vomiting, headache, etc. My mother had been on the ship before and she did not have the problem. I too did not have any symptoms of sea sickness.

The day was more or less the same. I was taken around the ship. I saw some life boats. They were interesting. I also sat in one. I was told how these were used in times of emergency. I spotted some biscuits. The uncle who was taking me around the ship said that these biscuits don’t taste good but they are high energy food. You can have them when you are lost in the sea. These don’t even spoil after coming in contact with sea water. I tasted a bit and it was horrible. Perhaps when you need to survive even these may seem yummy.
I explored the whole ship. I saw my dad’s cabin. I was taken to the engine room. I was instructed not to touch anything and I obliged. I was told how fresh water is generated in a ship. I had no idea that the sea water was actually so salty and asked Dad if there are any effects of drinking sea water.

It was a great experience being on the ship. I was fascinated by the way a ship operates. My respect for my dad increased ten folds when I understood how critical his job was and how he managed the ship. I still remember that afternoon when all of a sudden the weather changed. I saw dark clouds around the ship. The visibility became really bad. I saw a huge wave coming towards the ship. I was taken inside. The crew members were praying. It was a bad storm that we were stuck in. My dad bravely controlled the ship. He was giving instructions to all the crew members. He kept a brave face but I knew he was scared. Perhaps the fear was more as mom and I were with him on the ship. I knew to swim but the fury of the nature was such that even the best swimmers would fail. It was for the first time in my eight years that I realised how dangerous Mother Nature could be. As the storm had appeared from nowhere in sometime it vanished too.

I was told that these storms are common in a ship. I was shocked that my father has to deal with these storms so often. I went and hugged my dad. I still remember that hug even now as I write this experience. After about ten days I got bored of seeing the sea. How much time can you spend on the ship? I realised why my mother disliked the idea. I too decided I will never get back on it for such a long voyage. I never told that to my dad. My dad was quite ok with it. He was busy with his work. He perhaps loved his job. You need some special abilities to be in Navy that I perhaps did not have. Maybe I was more like my mother.

We did halt at some destinations. I don’t remember the names now. I remember the fascination I felt when I saw that we were approaching land. I could finally see green trees and beaches. I was thrilled. It was good to visit a different country. I made few friends too. We halted for few days at a dry dock as the ship needed some maintenance. After that we left again. I was on board for about a month. After that Mom and I returned back and Dad continued his trip. This was my trip on ship. The memories are still so vivid.

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