To Captain Michael and crew,
I wish you and all of the crew a safe and very pleasant journey. No matter whether you have been on board from Germany or joined in La Rochelle, no matter if you have joined as experienced seamen and women or as complete laymen or women, at the end of this journey I am sure you will not only know how to sail a ship, you will also come to love and respect the sea more than anyone else and you will become friends for life and become part of the ever growing AVONTUUR family!
Let me bid you farewell with some slightly adjusted verses of Henry Longfellow:
Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.
Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!
In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,
I behold that stately schooner,
Hear those happy melodies;
Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.