RWIII: The First Day

by Shea Mke

January 26, 2012

Shea Mke is a Greenpeace volunteer and current deckhand on the new Rainbow Warrior. She boarded when the ship began its trans-Atlantic journey to begin its maiden US voyage. Shea originally posted this on her blog.

0:33 I’ve arrived on the ship. This is a dream.

I’m laying in my bunk I’ve got the bosun’s cabin and it’s unclear if it’s mine for the long-haul  or just for the night. A shower and sink in the room, table and bench and bunks made up in white fluffy blankets and pillows. I feel the familiar swaying of being on the water, of my life falling into the rhythm with that of the sea again.

Rock me to sleep Rainbow Warrior love, and let’s see if my sleeping dreams can compare to this dream come true.

20:53 We are at sea!

Quite a memorable first day aboard the Rainbow Warrior III! We spent the day readying the ship in hopes we’d set off in the evening which in fact, we have! We left Las Palmas Grand Canaria a little after 17:00. I worked on the foredeck with Penny and Lila hauling in and storing the docklines and securing the two anchors. It was a good test of my sea legs as the bow rolled and swayed over waves, yet all went well. What a huge privilege to be aboard the ship and for the Atlantic crossing no less!

Gazing out at the hills and islands of Grand Canaria slip into the distance with Penny, the bosun, she explained that it’d take about two weeks to cross the Atlantic (our deadline to get to NY is Jan 29th), spend a few weeks in the US and then head on to Brazil. It was encouraging to hear the timeline and confirm I’ll head to Brazil with the ship!

And now I’m in my bunk, freshly haven taken a hot shower in my own cabin and about to head to bedthe prospect of 9 hours of sleep sounds amazing. I’ve felt a bit lightheaded all day and wondered if it’s exhaustion or seasickness but I’m feeling pretty confident it’s just exhaustion and probably a bit of dehydration from all the traveling. On a similar note, I realized my lunch today was the first proper meal I’ve eaten since last Wednesday night in Madison.

I’m still in amazement that I’m here. Penny pinched me earlier to confirm it was real.

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