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Friday, 03 February 2012

Containers in the Atlantic: Being a Passenger on a Container Ship

Written by Rebecca Ann Hall
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    “You’re going WHERE?” inquired friends.  It wasn’t so much my destination(s) that fascinated them: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Colombia and Costa Rica – rather the fact I had chosen to get there by ship, and not a cruise ship.  I was going to be a passenger on board a Del Monte ‘banana boat.’  In short, I was going to experience life on the high seas on a container carrier.

    “But why?” asked my father.

    “The journey’s all part of the fun…besides, you should understand, being an ex man of the sea” I replied.  Having been nurtured since birth on stories of the great high seas and countries afar, my wanderlust for all things original had certainly been, in part, from his gene pool.

Ship%20 %20le%20havre    I boarded the Hornlinie German ship in Le Havre, France.  Registered in Liberia, she was an impressive sight – the bridge (where we all slept, ate and wiled away the time) aft with the containers forward of that and as I was lead up the gangplank by Stewerd Slava, I felt a growing excitement tinged with slight fear bubble up inside:  5 weeks round trip – 11 days at sea until our first port of call, Guadeloupe.  What would be in store for me, amongst all these sailors?  Would I be the only female?  Is it SAFE??  I have an overactive imagination and all sorts of scenarios had popped into my head – mostly involving hot sailors.

My%20cabin%20passenger%20no.%205    My private cabin rivaled that of any cruise ship – champagne and flowers greeted me.  Unpacking, I opened my cabin door at a sharp ‘rat a tat tat’ and found a German couple standing there: Bernd and Christina.  They helpfully advised that there were 5 other passengers, the rest would be crew.  Bliss - only 8 of us!

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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