Ship’s Log: Day Thirty Eight (Melbourne to Tilbury)

Thirty-eighth and last day of the voyage; English channel to the Thames estuary. End of the voyage.

The English channel is like a ship highway – massive container ships, tankers, ferries, sailing boats, para-surfers, wind-surfers, swimmers and dog-paddlers. I feel a resistance to the crowds – of people and tasks – and a longing for the solitary stretches of the Pacific. Above all, I feel like a traveller from strange and distant lands, much more ancient than here, lands to which I long to return.

Achievements of the voyage:

We crossed two oceans and four seas.

Christina lost 15 cm from her waist through rigorous exercise.

Roland gained 15 cm on his chest and about 30cm on his shoulders from the weight machine.

Christina read 22 novels.

Christina read a 600 page commentary on the book of Acts by none other than the riveting Dick Pervo.

Roland learnt how to tie 18 different types of knots.

We ate 106 meals at the officers’ mess and four on land.

Our table tennis game has become very mean and sharp.

Christina elicited winks from the captain.

… was told by the third engineer it was just as well she hadn’t had children, since they would have ruined her beeeyuuuuutifullll body.

… was smoothly told upon disembarking by the first oiler that he would meet her in his dreams.

But how to write of the end of a voyage? How to be on land again in the midst of myriad people in a summer frenzy, desperately trying to get home, crowding into trains in a way that make the Chinese feel envious, feeling a strange disconnect with the world of the land and its ways.

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