Archive for the ‘Transatlantic voyage’ Category

DAY 1.

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Independent Concept front

I spend a night in Liverpool and took a taxi to the container terminal. Taxi driver laughed when I told him the address, he thought that it should be more specific because the area is massive. I couldn’t help him, this is what I was told. I think it was pretty simple though. There are two terminals in the harbour: one for the cruise ships and one for cargo. Container terminal was exactly where I needed to be. A minibus took me from the gate to the ship. I couldn’t understand the numerous jokes from the driver. Liverpool accent is so difficult…

Independent Concept, the vessel who is determined to take me and quite amount of cargo in containers to America, is being loaded at the time. I’m impressed by the size of the ship, but the mini-bus driver says that it’s not even one of the biggest. I get to my cabin and also get to know where’s the mess. I discuss with the chef about vegetarian diet and it is a bit of a problem as I thought it would be. I film the loading and go for lunch. I find out that it is possible to send e-mail from the ship. Cool, no total radio silence for me then. Chief engineer is very helpful. We discuss for quite a while. He tells me how he clearly sees the climate change at the sea. You can feel it as storms.

I hope there are not too many storms on my travel and so thinks the captain when I meet him at the bridge. I read a little Kyllikki Villa’s latest (and last) book about her freighter travels. I wonder how much her text influences my travel diary. I think about loneliness. I was already thinking about it in Liverpool. I have travelled a lot alone and eventually felt lonely an frustrated about the fact that I don’t share the experiences with anyone. What is the point to see a nice house in Liverpool, take a picture of it and say to no one: look how beautiful house is that? Maybe this travel is an initiation in many ways. It is also a travel to America, United States, land of dreams where so many of my distant relatives went to search for better life.

There are not too many things happening on board considering me, the only passenger. The chief engineer is happy that I have my filming project to do, because he thinks the passengers sometimes get bored. I don’t think about what I should do. I have noticed that if boredom goes over some point, I can sit still for hours and just think about things. And I don’t believe I get bored anyways. I think I’m a home person in some way because I just like to have this cabin with spacious two rooms and I’m happy. Kyllikki Villa describes this feeling very well. Just like Kyllikki, I don’t like to see sights and museums (although I do that, too sometimes). Instead, I want to go to exciting new places and cultures to live my everyday just like I always do. Chief engineer exhibited proudly how they can watch TV trough out the whole travel via satellite. ”It’s just like home!”, he cheers. It feels funny, but I understand. When I switch on tv to watch the news after Saturday night’s sauna, everything feels familiar. Something that has always been.

I go to the bridge when we leave the harbour. The sun is setting. Other side of the harbour is full of iron trash. I think about consumerism and how some of the stuff we are taking in these containers across the ocean might end up to those same piles after some time. Liverpool shopping centre was a good reminder about this, too. I can’t understand shopping and how easily I get excited about it. Why we get satisfaction through shopping and getting stuff? And how short is that satisfaction. Every place is full of ads and there are so many shops everybody understand there’s no use for all that stuff.

The pilot makes a mistake in the lock of the harbour and we hit the wall. Sparkles in the night. It seems after checking that everything is ok and only a corner of one container is broken. The voyage continues.