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Alive?

Posted by Tall Ships America on October 6, 2010

05-10-2010 10:00

0220 – 28.38.7′N x 42.27.1′W.

By Matthew Maples

“It is like an animal, alive!” exclaimed Eduardo Rubio Herrera to me and Juliana “Jules” Neumann. He was right, the ship, surging near effortlessly over wind-crested waves was akin to the gait of a galloping animal over endless, open plains. With effort we dug in our heels on a now-sloped fore-deck to keep ourselves from sliding into the leeward rail as we watched the foam fly by. The crackling jibs pulled at their stubborn stays and the masts creakingly groaned under the strain. Tossed and rolled, the bow bucking with water and wind streaming past, it felt as if we were going far faster than seven knots. With this much movement, it is easy to see why the sailing ship can become something more than just a static, rhythmic machine.

After a long pause, Jules quoted a friend, saying that, “A ship is the only man-made thing to have a soul.” I took a moment to muse on her statement before I gave an answer. After all, it is true that when someone refers to a sailing ship, they talk about it in context as if it was a person with a distinct personality. “Maybe,” I said, “it is because a sailing ship has to be in balance with the world around it, like us.”

Click here to continue reading Matt’s adventures on Europa

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