By Clive Romney
Enoch Train Heads for Gothenburg
GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN -- Things Difficult To Do On A Tossing Ship:
- Get into a moving hammock
- Get out of a moving hammock
- Wash one foot in the tiny shower stall while standing on the other
- Use tweezers, jeweler's screwdrivers, or other small tools
- Play a musical instrument
- Eat breakfast
- Retain breakfast
In spite of the above we determine to try it again, and after another
stellar Norwegian breakfast and a security check we are pulled away from the
dock by the tug and sent on our way to Goteborg(Gothenburg), Sweden
(pronounce the g's as y's for proper Swedish pronunciation).
The morning is calm, the sailing smooth as I discover that a ten-year-old
boy named Christopher de Guzman has been studying classical guitar for
almost a year. We play duets for a while before he suggests a tune called,
"Dona, Dona, Dona" where he plays the melody and I play the chords. He's
very good! Daron (Bradford) adds recorder and we're ready to perform at
tonight's onboard program.
Next I learn that the Stack children have had some piano lessons but are
willing to try other instruments. Karen (10) is the first to try. The
accordion ends up being too large for her so she tries the mandolin. Her
strumming is very steady.
Next Jaime (14) tries the accordion-shortening the straps all the way makes
it almost the right size and shortly he's playing "Three Blind Mice" in the
key of G with Karen strumming along.
Now Suzanne (12) says she'd like to try something, so we get out a guitar,
she quickly learns the necessary G chord, and is soon strumming along. The
Stack Family Band is born, and another act prepared for tonight's program.
As the day goes on favorable winds pick up, the "trainees" (passengers)
climb the rigging and learn how to deploy the sails, and the sails are one
by one unfurled until the engine is shut off and we are fully under sail
power. The ship feels very different when sailing with the wind-it lists to
one side, sits at a different angle (front-to-rear) in the water, and is
less affected by the swells. Most of the passengers are up on deck now and
enjoying the amazing feeling of real tall-ship sailing!
But the winds increase, the seas get rougher, and the frequency of the
swells is out of rhythm with the ship's length. Seasickness becomes general
among the passengers and the euphoria disappears.
The attendance at the evening program is sparse but those present cheer
loudly for the Stack family (some herald the birth of Enoch Train 2nd
generation) and Christopher de Guzman. The future of music is in good hands.
Enoch Train plays only one number (without Janice and most of our ethnic
instruments we're severely handicapped). And then the highlight of the
evening is the ship's sergeant, Haaken Vatle, who tells us a brief history
of sea shanties, sings some (he sings the call, we sing the response and the
ship rocks with our energy), and ends with a hilarious Irish story song,
"Why Paddy's Not At Work Today".
We sing a hymn, have ship prayer, and discover one more thing difficult to
do on a tossing ship-hang up a hammock. Several people fall in the attempt
but no one is injured.
I'm feeling unsettled myself, so I wrap a blanket around my pajamas and go
up on deck for some fresh air. I talk with Lawrence "Lorry" Mulligan, a
Scottish crewmember of Irish ancestry who tells me how the mystique of the
tall ships caused him to leave his job six years ago to become a seaman. He
admits he still gets seasick at times, but loves this life on the tall ships.
Courtesy of Enoch Train
To learn more about Enoch Train and their participation on the historic SeaTrek 2001, go to http://www.enochtrain.com.