Telling Our Stories:
Story telling is the Shuswap
way of passing our history
to the next generations
Meeting Columbus - A ceremony where Columbus landed
After one day on the high seas, I started feeling the effects of motion sickness and it was awful. This would last pretty well most of the trip. The only time I was able to tolerate that horrible feeling was when I was up on top of the ship in the bridge where I could keep my eyes on the open waters or when I was down in my bunk in a horizontal position. When it was time to sleep, I had to take the shortest route to my bunk because I would start feeling nauseous immediately. I had to take the same procedure when I got up. It was days before I was able to eat anything and hold it down. I wouldn't have eaten at all except I knew I had to, to stay alive. On thing I found out was that we needed to bring our own water as the water on the ship although potable, was not pleasing to the taste.
I was able to buy a supply of water during a stop we made at one island. We stocked up on chocolates, chips, and canned meat. I say this because we also found that the cooks on the ship were vegans. That means they did not eat or prepare meals with meat, eggs, or anything that came from animals. So we had a lot of beans and salads.
First Nation Peoples in Canada, from the very beginning, were and are pretty well hunters. That means we ate meat. So, vegan was never part of our dialogue. As a matter of fact, someone told me jokingly that the word ‘vegan’ translated as ‘poor hunter’. Having a boat-load of First Nation people and having vegan cooks was not a good idea. So, on our very first island stop, you guessed it, we bought out most of the canned meat and any eggs we could find in the little stores there.
On one of these little island stops, we had to refill our gas cans for the Zodiacs and power boats. Anyone who wanted to go to shore fit into one zodiac. So we spent a morning on shore enjoying the hotel there and swimming in the amazingly clear blue water. In the afternoon, someone hired a bus and we all went to the exact site where Columbus first touched shore in North America. We held a ceremony there which was not exactly to respectfully celebrate this historic event. Someday someone may relate the exact details of the ceremony.
On our way back to the Sea Shepard, the motor on the Zodiac stalled and we could not restart it. It was determined by our mechanic that we had been sold some bad gas. Whether it was intentional or not we do not know. Who knows what kind of gas you get on some of these isolated islands. Another Zodiac was sent out and we had to be towed back to the boat. After a few more days at sea we finally arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico where the three Columbus ships were supposed to land.