Memories of Alice

12 May 2020

Now that we do not sail we can only report news about the maintenance. That’s why we thought it would be nice to look back at the past years with our guests and crew.

Today we kick off this series with Alice Teekman. Alice is a certificate holder at Reederij Oosterschelde and a regular guest. She made her first voyage in 2004, in the meantime she has already made 14 voyages with the OOSTERSCHELDE. Alice tells us about her best memories:

My best memory of the OOSTERSCHELDE?

Yes, I do have beautiful and special memories of the voyages with the OOSTERSCHELDE. Still, it is not so easy to write something about it, because where shall I start?

First of all, I think of beautiful cloudy skies and sunsets, of sailing under a clear moon or a beautiful starry sky.

I think of that night a long time ago, when I was at the helm on the Mediterranean Sea and the helmsman said: ‘You’ll be fine, the course is …’, after which he went into the deckhouse to update something. It felt fantastic to sail through the night alone. I didn’t know that he could read the instruments below deck and keep an eye on the course at the time.

I think of all those times I saw dolphins playing and jumping in the waves in front of me, one as beautiful as the other. About whales (far away), petrels and albatrosses.

I think of anchorages in beautiful bays and of beautiful walks we could take, for example on Santo Antão (Cape Verdië), in the Saguenay fjord (East Canada), or recently on the Lofoten Islands. Or about all the special places we sailed past, we saw sea eagles, glaciers and waterfalls up close, and even the private island of the super-rich Richard Branson.

I think of the cozy atmosphere on board, the delicious food, the contact with the other guest crewmembers, during the watch or in the ‘free’ hours. It is always a colorful, international company and especially during longer voyages friendships for life are born.

I think of the always super friendly crews, who are always patiently and enthusiastically explaining and giving everyone, experience or not, a great time.

I think of the excitement and the enormous relief, during the crossing to Martinique, when two crew members managed to save a solo sailor, in a pitch dark night, with a dinghy in the middle of the turbulent ocean.

I am thinking of the voyage from Santos to Cape Town in 2013, a stage of the second world voyage of the Oosterschelde. For the first time I experienced a heavy storm. Comfort food, that word suddenly took on meaning when the cook scooped us a plate of pasta in the galley.

The most special memory I have is of that same trip, when we suddenly saw Tristan da Cunha around 3.30 am during the dog-watch. Moments later the 2060 m. high island had disappeared into the fog again and it would take one more day before we arrived there. Unfortunately the next day, due to the high ocean swell, we couldn’t go ashore to visit the settlement on the narrow ridge of the volcano where about 300 people live, mostly descendants of castaways. We did sail all the way around the green island, a kind of circus tent with a cloud around the ridge, with perpendicular cliffs and special birds that only breed here. To have seen that will always stay with me.

There is so much more to tell about life aboard the Oosterschelde. Actually, you have to experience it by yourself. Hopefully it will be possible again soon and you and I will make great memories again!