A feeling of both excitement and nervousness washed over us as we climbed aboard the Independant Voyager, a German built containor ship that would take us from Wilmignton, NC to Antwerp, Belgium. As a new experiance for both of us, we truly had no idea what we were getting into. What we did know was that the ship was unstabalized, manned with what we thought was going to be a German crew (turned out to be primarily Polish, Romanian and Russian) and was a true working ship. Because of this we didn't anticipate much in the way of comforts, and not much is what we got.
Aboard the vessel was an 18 man crew and a total of 5 passengers. The passengers consisted of Kayla and myself, a couple from Canada and a lone traveler from England. All of whom were friendly, well travelled and consistently brought interesting and entertaining conversations to the table. This was good because we spent a fair amount of our time around the table. With a regular feeding schedule, consisting of some variation of fried meat and potatoes, we spent a fair amount of our time sitting and talking. Lets be honest though, there wasn't much else to do. On nice days though, we would walk around the ship and spend our afternoons soaking in the warm sun on the bow. On one of these days we were lucky enough to watch flying fish and dolphins playing in the wake of the ship. Dolphins I have seen before, but the flying fish were new to me. Blue and purple in color, they would leep from the ocean, spread there wings and glide until they abruptly crashed back into the sea.
Speaking of weather, it consisted of everything from warm sunny days to what one would expect from the North Atlantic...cold, windy and big waves. One day in fact, we got to experiance 16' swells that left me crippled for a day with seasickness, that was pretty awesome. Luckily though, I only spent two of the eleven days sick in bed. The rest of the time I did fine. Not great, but manageable. I learned a valuable lesson, I will most certainly not be taking a job as a sailor.
As far as entertainment went, Margaret and Peter brought a scrabble board with them so we passed the time convincing each other that our more questionable words were exceptable. Kayla and I brought a cribbage board so that Kayla could continue to beat me on a regular basis. On Easter Sunday, the captain threw a party that even included the ever popular form of torture...karaoke. The philipino sector of the crew delighted us with there renditions of bad 80's love songs. Andy, the lone traveler from England, entertained us by singing what? The Beatles of course.
Lets see, what else is there to report? The ship arrived at the port at 1am tuesday morning. We, unfortunately, did not make it off the ship until 11am. There were some logistics involoved withgetting through immigration, but it went rather smoothly. As of right now, we are scrambling to get insurance lined up that is acceptable in Europe, ours was not, and our motorcycles are currently sitting at the customs building. If everything goes as planned we should be on our motorcycles tomorrow afternoon and will start making our way south to Paris. I did make a video of the ship you can check out on YouTube. Here is the link- https://youtu.be/WXqe-TBeVY8