There is a small difference between a sailor and a writer. Both have romantic, adventurous jobs that require a special kind of people. Smart, hard-working, and dedicated spirits who are not afraid to plunge into unknown boundaries of this world. Vigilant, smart people of wit and intellect, always ready to indulge in travels and voyages. Yes, such people make sailors and writers.
Except in the case of Croatian ship called Gared and its crew, composed of two couples in a relationship crisis, and a single writer who desperately misses his living room sofa. As waves pass by, vigorously shaking the vessel, whose planking looks like a bad round of tetris, the atmosphere is getting increasingly tense.
Note: it is advisable to listen to dramatic music in the background while reading the following paragraph.
Only the sights of the beautiful city of Pula, the gorgeous island of Krk, the unforgettable mud beach of Melina and the impressive cave of Biserujka have lowered the emotional damage caused thus far by the crew, as witnessed by the writer’s log in the previous entry. But, what perils await the crew of Gared? Read on, as we conclude this Adriatic Saga!
Note: you may turn off the dramatic music now.
I am happy to report that I am just moderately seasick, and that the washbowl next to my bed was completely unnecessary. It seems that my body has gotten used to the waves, and the ship’s stability (the term should be taken in the broadest sense possible).
Between fights with Lena, Bojan drinks coffee from a beer mug, as the last cup was broken yesterday. He also smokes like a chimney factory. I do my share as well, but the tobacco is so bad that he should thank me for smoking his cigarettes.
I asked him why he named the ship Gared. He smiled, saying that a man of my profession should know better. Gared was a goblin king played by David Bowie in “The Labyrinth,” a cult movie from the eighties.
When I said that the goblin king was spelled Gareth, Bojan raised his eyebrows in surprise. We were silent for almost a minute, after which he said that we should buy some cups on Cres.
The island of Cres is known for its griffon vultures, huge birds which always have a face like someone stepped on their leg two seconds ago. Hoping to find the company of somebody as depressed as I was, I gladly went to the Caput Insulae center, which takes good care of these feathery grumpies who are unfortunately in danger of extinction.
While watching the birds in their natural habitat, I picked my favorite among them. The large male isolated himself from the rest of the birds, as I have isolated myself from the crew of Gare(th)d and their perpetual arguments. It looked proud, as I was proud. It looked beautiful and unconquerable, as I imagined myself, and as I tried to behave in front of everybody else.
It looked absolutely shocked as it moved away, revealing an egg under its body. As it turned out, it was a female all along. The sex change and the realization of what the animal was actually doing didn’t take anything away from the bird’s dignity. It was me who was ashamed, identifying with a nesting bird on top of an egg. But soon I found out why the bird had moved. A nestling hatched from the egg. It was, by far, one of the most fascinating sights I have ever witnessed in my life.
The crowd of the center began to celebrate the moment, but I was completely numb to their happiness. Not including the mother and the shell of the egg, I was the first thing the little birdie has seen in life. In a second, I was so filled with joy that I immediately knew what I had to do.
I needed to get back to Gared, if it hadn’t already sunk in Cres’ harbor, and do my best to reconcile the couples there. They love each other. They are just afraid to say that aloud. I have been witness to their bragging and arguing for almost a week now. I can read what’s beneath that. They indeed loved each other. They just needed a push from the outside.
Lucky for me, Gared was next to the dock and not beneath it. I jumped over the wooden bridge on the deck and yelled to my fellow crewman about their affection for each other and the true natures of their relationships. It took me some time before I realized they were all kissing when I had stumbled on the ship.
As it turns out, Alan and Simona started to kiss in the middle of an argument. Soon, every wrong word said over the last week seemed right, because it led them to that precise kiss. Lena, shocked that the other couple on board suddenly has a better relationship then she and Bojan, started to kiss her husband in turn. Everything was as fine as it could be, and nobody showed any interest in the fact that I had witnessed the birth of a large bird of Cres.
As a matter of fact, the couples decided to leave for the shore the following day, ending our cruise. Gared was a fine adventure, but she really needs repairs and some investments in her comfort, technology, equipment, interior, exterior, helm, paint, repair from rust, repair from age, repair from usage and repair from pretty much anything else that can damage a vessel in the Adriatic.
Bojan came to me with a smile, telling me that he already began repairing the ship. He used a paint can to correct the spelling of Gareth’s sign on the helm.
It looked like an act of vandalism. But it couldn’t have been better. The ship had already grown under my skin (rust included).
And somewhere far away, a baby griffon vulture was looking around at the world in awe and happiness.
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