In the Alchemist, Paolo Coelho reflects on following the signs and take your own decisions. The other day I had to wait for a boat passing through. A memorial sign caught my attention: to those sailors that did not return (1939-1945). In the long list of names, my own name and initials were filtered out fast by my subconscious awareness! I am leaving the island of Terschelling today with uncertainty if I ‘ll be coming back or that we ll have to abandon the huge project that kept me travelling there for over 2 years! As I have some spare travel ours today I glimpsed at the harbour with traditional sailing boats. “Maybe I can spend some hours on a boat, that s added value in comparison to the train station or airport”. And then the rebuilt traditional wooden sailing boat from Willem Barentsz lies in front of me. On the sign, they say it is preparing for the travels and access on own risk! There my opportunity. After a while, a captain looking person with a long grey beard appears out of nowhere. We talk about the upcoming first sails and the city Harlingen from 1234. The friendly sailor explains that with today’s news on lockdown, access is not allowed in the small places from today on. We conclude I took the right decision to jump on the boat, can enjoy the sun a bit and hang the chain in front of the access, as to avoid others to join and form a group.
The sign and information were there, and I interpreted and took the decision on my behalf. And that was fine, the sign said access on own risk, the sailor was not going to hit me and I enjoy my private boat in 16th-century style. What about the memorial reference on the W.de Vries that didn’t return to the island? I decide not to worry because I am convinced that it was not me!