Ship cruise to Safi Port in Morocco
The cruise to Morocco was the second independent journey by a freight ship. A year before I heard of the possibility of buying a cabin ticket within “return cruises” by e.g. coal carrier ship. It was then when I sailed on my first voyage. It was a couple day trip to Denmark.
I was working almost all summer holidays to get the money for the trip. My parents gave me a small contribution. It was not an expensive undertaking as I had to pay only for food and for the cabin.
I sailed with MV “Górnik” crew to Safi Port and back, just as trade ships do.
I experienced a heavy storm in the Bay of Biscay. It was in 1979, the sailing races around England were just going on. Many sailing yachts went down, I was sitting in radio officer cabin and watching the rescue action with red cheeks.
This journey gave me much emotions. I spent much time on the bridge. I was watching the cliffs and the ships we were passing by. I remember the dolphins springing before the bow and a whale which we spotted. I also found out that the bottle mail was working! I threw a couple of bottled letters into the water and I received replies to them!
After about a fortnight we reached Safi. The encounter with another culture arouses huge emotions in a 14 year old boy. Everything is new: Ramadan, Kabza, the food and the music.
The return journey passed more quickly. I read about the history of Morocco in the ship library. There was a TV set onboard which received different channels. The series “I, Claudius” was on when we were passing by Spain. This series was broadcast in Poland at that time, but, strangely enough, it was broadcast in Spain later than in Poland so it was not possible to see how the plot went on. There was also a swimming pool with sea water onboard. However, I spent most of my time on getting familiar with the rhythm of life onboard, the seamen’s language and their problems, preparing meals.