Apr 30 2008
The Great Potato Voyage
The ship was so old that she had wooden deck, great to
walk barefoot on when it’s hot; try that on an iron deck
and you get blisters. I was peeling potatoes across
Bay of Biscay, down the coast of Portugal and into
the Mediterranean Sea. The Suez Canal I saw in its early
morning glory while holding on to the peeler, the red sea
and the Persian Gulf I took in sitting down, just had to
take care that the tubers had no eyes, the cook lost his
temper then and shouted all the way across the Indian
Ocean till we docked in Nagasaki, Japan.
Sometimes the ship stopped in the middle of this vastness,
for a rest, and everything went a bit spooky, we whispered
as not to upset unseen forces, like being in a church, no one
swore and our hands were ready to be folded into the act
of preying should a bishop come along. The roaring forties,
only it was a calm day, the captain came told me not to
whistle, laugh aloud or sing, and keep my fingers crossed.
“Will we ever reach the shore”, I said. “You will young man,
but remember this: when you’re old what you will miss
the most is the sea”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.