Moonwalking Back Into The Maritime Adventures Of My Youth

As I sat on board the airplane, heading back down to the beautiful and memorable Caribbean islands this morning, no sleep the night before, flight a bit delayed. So in order to contain my snoring, I thumb through old pictures in my tablet previously not shared, then soon realized it was as if I was moonwalking back in time into the maritime adventures of my youth.

My days as a mariner upon several of the ships among which I’d sailed upon the high seas. Sis teen 16 different ones  in total, I believe, one or two more or less, give or take, and each with a different story, different adventures… different captains, officers, transatlantic route, languages, and crew; upon which I tried to study and learn to navigate a different field in a young life. It was cool, seriously unique, challenging, and often too exciting.

Although this wasn’t all fun and games. This was very serious work, sometimes involved a lot of risks, hence though a young quartermaster upon the wheel to navigate, I had several thousand lives literary and figuratively in my hands while on duty.

Was I simply leaving my home, my youth, my cultural identity, and childhood dreams for pure adventurous tales to later share with friends? Heck no… this was rather pure economic viability, as my poverty-stricken corrupt country chipped away the dreams from the poor and continued to deny us a chance in life to aspire toward the opportunity at a decent education.

The first clue noted was when they demolished our high school, to later removed it from town’s access and later reopened it as a private entity far away… literally out of reach.

My own personal reasons as a mariner that’ll help to contribute to the upbringing and the education and support of my 4 younger siblings; while I contributed toward propelling  our family out of abject poverty, hence I educated myself at sea. In the meantime, I also came to the realization about the shameless, thus selfishly damnation of my ignorant, hard-hearted place of birth.

A place that had chosen to collectively hove more military leaders as oppressors and washed-up, retired child soldiers to form violent gangs than high school young people with college and university dreams of success; who could aspire toward someday becoming doctors, teachers, professors, nurses, engineers, etc. or perhaps aspire toward trades as mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, masons, builders or agricultural growers… fewer college students, hence far more military bases than public universities.

As sailors, working and earning good money outside at sea… we the Honduran mariners were responsible for a big chunk of the Honduran economy, via the money we sent back home to our families, the money we saved in the banks, and our huge spendings as we returned home on leave. Although not a penny of such was nor is dedicated toward an aging mariner population nor the education of their children.

Thus instead, I decided to wise up early. While I focused on climbing the ladder, although more importantly, assist in extracting my family out before it was too late. Hence the ignorance remains on the rise.

From deckhand to messman, to cook, to chef, to AB sailor to Quartermaster to navigation school, then to deck officer.

As prior noted that from mess-man to 3rd cook to second cook to chef, to ship steward to study onboard ship hotel industry. The canvas was opened wide, big, and blank, and my brush was broad, with many unlimited amounts of paint to go the distance. Faith and trust in God were always at my side. I got a lot of people throughout the universe to give thanks for helping shape me into the man I am today.

I look at these pictures today, and all I could say, is:

Gosh, I was young!

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