Last night we arrived into the port of Antwerp in Belgium. This morning we clambered down the rickety steps on to solid ground, and it couldn’t have come quicker.
The Independent Venture was a much smaller vessel than our previous container ship and the North Atlantic seemingly more changeable. We boarded to horror stories from the port taxi driver, a container ship had supposedly been lost in a storm last year with all crew missing presumed dead, and reports from the crew about the storm they got caught in off the east coast just a few days before. They hadn’t lost any containers, but a vessel caught up further south lost 70.
Two days we were bed-ridden due to the waves coming from directly behind us resulting in extremely erratic movements. On the days we weren’t stuck in our cabins we were still mostly lying down and feeling slightly nauseous, supplied with biscuits and fruit from the messman. Most of the crew weren’t overly sympathetic, “this is nothing”, they repeated.
Despite the seasickness it was a great experience to sail up the English Channel, through the Netherlands and into Belgium. Watching Cornwall pass by on the electronic sea charts, hearing Falmouth Coastguard over the radio and sailing past the White Cliffs of Dover was a great way to come home. Well, nearly home, just a slight detour for beer in Belgium and then home on the weekend!