The Caribbean – we have finally arrived

Arriving – what does that mean? What does it mean to arrive in a new world after spending three weeks at sea? To see land again after three weeks at sea? What does arriving mean for us – as sailors?

When arriving means having gone away. When arriving means to be on our way. On our adventure. When it means to set off again soon with nothing but the wind as our power. Our hearts are beating for sailing, for travelling and exploring, for going away and arriving. It’s all about our desire to be elsewhere.

It’s Thursday, the 15th of December. The year 2022 is getting closer to its end. And today was one of the best days in my life! After three weeks and three days at sea with nothing but the endless Atlantic Ocean around us, we’ve finally arrived in the Caribbean. Yesterday we sat on the deckhouse to watch the sunset. That was the last time when all we could see was blue, blue and blue. I wasn’t able to believe that we were going to see land again so soon. To see plants, trees, palm trees, beaches, houses, bars, and stores. It all seemed so far away. Later that evening I was so excited that it was hard for me to fall asleep. But in the soft swinging of my hammock, I finally closed my eyes and the next thing that happened was one of the most magical moments I have ever experienced in my life.

When I woke up at 05:30 a.m., the sky started to get lighter. It was a mixture between blue and orange, because the sun had started to rise, and the clouds seemed to be painted in 100 colours. And then I really saw it. Land – small islands all around us! They are called small Antilles and the golden light of the sun was bathing them in very intense colours. I was fascinated and not able to speak for a moment. I was not able to realize that we were really here! That we had finally arrived in America, which is almost on the other side of the world, and which I had never been to before, same as many of us KUSis. After holding my breath and almost forgetting to breathe again, I ran to the quarter deck, where many KUSis were standing arm in arm, almost crying out of happiness and fascination and there was some kind of a beautiful melancholy. I will never forget this intense mood. Our ship came closer and closer to Palm Island and everybody was realizing what was happening in that moment. As we were standing there together, we suddenly started to laugh. And it was a laughter full of luck and happiness. We started to cheer and to hug each other. In this moment I felt so many emotions at the same time, I can’t describe it. I felt how strong our community had gotten and how much we had grown together into one family. I thought about how much we already had experienced and how much more was waiting for us.

This was just the beginning of the Caribbean. Now we have arrived in the new world. In a new universe, a new continent, a new country. Now we are here and it’s unbelievable. Everybody is healthy, everybody is happy. Is there anything in this wide world you could want more? I think there is not. Only a short period of time later, the last step was done. The anchor had fallen and the Thor Heyerdahl was lying in front of the paradise itself – with us living on it. All I could see was the turquoise blue water, the white beaches and the palm trees and when I closed my eyes, I enjoyed the smell of flowers, coconuts and fruit. I think we can be very proud of ourselves.

‚We‘ means everybody on this ship. Because sailing on the Thor Heyerdahl means working in a team and helping each other. I can still remember our tryout week where the motto of our group said: Teamwork makes the dream work. And it’s so true. Because together we made our dream work. I would have never expected this sentence to become so important and so real. And suddenly we are here. And suddenly we have arrived – arrived in the new world. The long-desired dream. The long-desired wish. The Caribbean.