First, I should explain what it means to arrive in the New World. When we anchored with our ship on Sunday morning, we set the anchor in front of the Caribbean island “Palm Island” with white beaches and palm trees full of coconuts. But if you haven’t seen any land for 22 days and have only looked at the horizon (day and night), you really cannot realize and believe this completely new situation. We arrived with our bodies but not with our heads.
Nevertheless we packed all the sails in the morning, so that the ship was tidy for visitors. Of course we worked very fast because everybody wanted to escape the heat and jump into the clear, turquoise water. But first we had to do a “reef-training” so that we wouldn’t destroy anything with our flippers or get hurt by the corals. Afterwards we were allowed to discover the colourful underwater world. When we made the first step on the warm and sandy beach, I suddenly realized that we were in Central America. The first thing we did was to run along the beach. Why? – Because the space on board is very limited and we are used to have to turn around after a few meters.
Then we explored Palm Island by walking on the narrow paths. It’s a completely different landscape and we saw a lot of green and white iguanas and different kinds of birds. It looked like in a paradise travel guide. I had very high expectations concerning the island and the arrival in the New World, but everything exceeded them. Of course we collected coconuts, too and then tried to open them. Some wanted to open them only with a knife, the next ones took a saw and others tried to open them by banging them against a rock. The first time everybody failed but now we are all professionals.
In the afternoon we dropped anchor in front of Clifton Harbour, where we celebrated our arrival in the New World in Lambi’s Bar. The traditional food, made out of rice, garlic bread and different kinds of meat, was very tasty. We had self-made cake and fresh fruits for desert. All the KUSis were carried away by the traditional stealmusic, played by a local band. The atmosphere was great and everybody, including a few local kids, was dancing.
With the arrival in the New World, we finally gave back the responsibility to the captain and the rest of the crew and the reef holidays could begin. We really enjoyed the free time, which is very rare on board of the Thor Heyerdahl. That’s something very important, we learn on our sailing vessel: to manage our time, because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to realize all our plans. From Clifton Harbour we sailed to Petit Bateau. It took about two and a half hours. There we had the possibility to stay on our ship, to relax and snorkel at the beach or to take a dinghy and go snorkelling at the reef, which is a few hundred meters away from the island. There we were separated into two groups. Our group saw a nearly 1,5 meter long barracuda and two turtles, while the other group observed a shark and rays. Back on the island we walked along the beach and perceived four different kinds of rays.
I can’t say which part of the arrival in the New World is my favourite, but now I can say that I have arrived with my body and my head. Moreover my heart will stay here, too.