Several members of the Seafarer’s Association gathered at the National Gallery recently to entertain a crowd of visitors with stories about their experiences at sea.
The men, who are counted among the Cayman Islands’ treasures, were all part of an era in which the sea provided the backdrop to much of the progress the Islands underwent. The first 70 years of the 20th Century was a time when it was normal for fathers to leave their families for months at a time to make a life at sea.
During last Thursday’s session, Captain Paul Hurlston spoke about a time when they thought they were looking at a bright star only to realise that it was another vessel headed straight toward their craft.
“There was a huge wave that rocked our boat and turned her violently. It was something I will never forget,” said Captain Hurlston, who added that he was sailing with Neils Godfrey at the time.
The session brought to life the many perils that faced Caymanians at sea and the real likelihood of some men not making it back home. It also highlighted the sacrifices that were made, in terms of time away from family, that many men endured to help build Cayman into the pearl of the Caribbean.