MEET OUR DECKHAND ALINA
Position on board: DECKHAND
Former occupation on land (aka how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?
Before joining the world of tall ship sailing, I was employed as a social worker providing psycho-social support, care, and protection for children. I also used to work as an outdoor pedagogue and got myself quite involved in a farm project based on animal-assisted therapy. Mountains can keep you busy as well!
Which book, film, song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?
When I was a kid, I used to live in Italy with my family on the island Elba, where my aunt was running a sailing school. This place was kind of a Kindergarten for me. I guess that it was the very first spark! I also went sailing with my father when I was younger. But mostly it has always been a…feeling. I don’t know why, but I felt like longing to connect myself to the sea and the wind, to leave the Alps and my mountain life behind. A song I was listening to a lot in the past while dreaming of a life at sea was ‘Le vent nous portera’ by Noir Desir, covered by Sophie Hunger. Now, after all this time and especially after the crossing of the Atlantic, the meaning of it [being carried by the wind] has deeply changed.
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
Boots, awareness, music (instrument and headphones), sense of humour, a proper piece of old dutch gouda or parmesan, gratitude, chocolate for the crew (and especially for my officers, so that they can forget more easily when I do something stupid), a generous portion of Zen, quickdrawl, waterproof bag, self-mockery, patience, a really (really) waterproof gear (jacket and trousers), a knife, harness and joy.
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
Doubts. And everything connected to it. It’s challenging to leave them ashore, they are sneaky and can find their way into your luggage easily. They are also pretty resistant, but absolutely useless out there. So double-check your bag before embarking and replace them with the things mentioned in the question above.
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard (aka where do you hide when you need to be alone?)
Definitely the bowsprit! I already felt that during the refit and it got even more proofed at sea. Especially below the bowsprit, possibly in a hammock. Somehow I also really like the cargo hold. Not always, but still. Occasionally it was and is one of my favourite places. Also, I enjoy being at the royal yard. During the crossing, when the ship was rolling through this big blue, the movement was even more intense up there. That’s very unique, very exhausting, very beautiful. Nobody else around, quite a special feeling…
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
Night watches, starry skies, Ed’s [the Ship Cook] extra effort to take care of my special diet needs, falling asleep when we are rolling, Arthur’s wake up calls (even when waking up itself is difficult), glowing plankton, Guven’s [Second Mate] lessons, having the opportunity to learn so much, a big bunch of wonderful humans and characters I am very happy to have and/or have had onboard, anchor-chain-action with Camille (the Bosun), leaving shore with the sound of the wind in the sails, putting my feet on a new piece of Earth for the first time and thinking that I got there thanks to the wind.
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Depending on my mood I would say either “Try, Trust, Love” (I know: it sounds pathetic, it is pathetic!) or “Tar is Tarmendous”, which can work pretty well too…
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one she would be? I see a dragon. Not a dangerous one, maybe a combination of a Chinese dragon and a friendly kids-books-dragon with a big belly. One which is slow while walking, but when it gets up in the sky becomes elegant and flexible.
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
Fear: To be the most useless deckhand the world has ever seen or will see.
Satisfaction: to experience the patience and warmth of mates and the whole crew. And to see a moonbow (a rainbow at night) during the crossing.
Why Tres Hombres?
Serendipity: the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something truly wonderful especially when looking for something entirely unrelated.
This could be a good answer, to begin with: the opportunity to be the deckhand for this season came to me quite unexpectedly, even if I was dreaming of sailing and getting more involved in the sailing cargo movement. What happened though was far beyond what I could imagine…
The part of me which is still a pedagogue was eager to commit to a project, able to inspire the new generations, to bring them more awareness regarding the environmental issues and the lifestyle challenges we face.
I truly believe in what Fairtransport does and achieves, it is a project which is authentic and true. Now that I experienced it first hand both in the shipyard and on board, I can definitely See and Feel the positive and educational impact, its potential for the future and the possibility to deliver a greater change.