Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
Sometimes I think about what it must have been like for the early explorers who fitted out what would look to us like tiny little ships, and set sail for vast oceans that led to nothing they knew or understood.
I think about suffering through unimaginable storms in those little boats. And no Coast Guard to come to the rescue.
The lack of fresh food that led to scurvy and, I’m sure, other illnesses. The lack of fresh water. Lack of sanitation. And the harsh discipline that often existed, because the captain was the king.
I think about landing in the Doldrums, where ships were trapped endlessly in no wind, no movement, in the sweltering humid tropics. No engines to help them out of that awful predicament.
But oh, my, the wonders they saw! A whole new world, different from anything they had imagined. Unpopulated paradise islands; others that were populated with both friendly and unfriendly people. Stepping off those boats onto a land that held who-knew-what. It’s no wonder they believed there were fountains of youth, caches of gold, untold riches for the taking. Can you imagine the first European eyes taking in the vaunted Halls of Montezuma?
It wasn’t all glory, as we know. Greed, jealousy and deceit are a part of human nature, both for the explorer and the explored. Believe me, before the Aztecs and Incas were enslaved by European explorers, they were busily enslaving and cutting the hearts out of each other in the name of sacrifice to their gods.
Sometimes we romanticize what those voyages must have been like. I believe it involved a lot more that wasn’t particularly romantic, but was just hard, discouraging, frightening, and ended in disaster.