CHAPTER 1 – FAMILY
I was born in York, England in 1632. My father was German and my mother was English. I had two older brothers and a younger sister. The oldest brother joined the army and he was killed in battle. The middle one disappeared and we never heard what happened to him. I was well-educated and my father wanted me to study law, but I wanted to go to sea. Nothing would make me stay at home and become a lawyer.
I was 18 years old when my father called me to his room. He was old and he suffered from an illness which kept him in bed. My father asked me why I wanted to go to sea when I could stay at home, study and prosper in my own country. He told me that travelling by sea was dangerous. He warned me that I would lose safety and comfort of my home if I went to sea. My father also told me that if I went abroad, I could die like my oldest brother. When he was saying this, he started to cry and he couldn’t continue.
My father’s advice and warnings made me think and I started to forget my desire to travel by sea. But my decision to stay home didn’t last long.
One week passed and I decided to talk to my mother and tell her I wanted to travel. I told her how curious I was. I told her how I wanted to see the world.
Then I asked her to speak to my father. I asked her to tell him to let me go on one sea journey. I promised that if I didn’t like it, I would go back home and start working very hard. My mother didn’t agree. She also didn’t want me to go abroad.
I stayed home one more year. The whole time I was thinking whether to follow my parents’ wish or my own desire.
One day in September I was in the town of Hull. A friend of mine was going with his father’s ship to London and he invited me to go with him for free.
I wasn’t prepared and my parents didn’t know, but I boarded that ship on that September day.
The moment the ship left the river and went into the sea my troubles started. There was strong wind and the sea was rough. A storm was approaching. I was very scared and I felt seasick. I began to regret my decision to leave home. I thought every wave was going to sink the ship. I promised myself I would go home and apologize to my parents as soon as I stepped on dry land again.
The storm was over by the morning. I was still seasick during the day and I was thinking about the terrible storm. However, the evening was beautiful and the sea was very peaceful.
One of the sailors came to me and we started talking. He made some funny jokes. He asked me what I thought about the light wind. I told him I was very scared of the storm. The sailor offered me a drink. I got drunk and that night I slept very well.
The next day, I forgot how scared I was. I also forgot my decision to go back home. Instead I was dreaming more about travelling by sea.
The next few days the wind was blowing against us and we couldn’t move much. Three days later the wind increased and we could go faster.
WORDS FROM CHAPTER 1