Those waves seemed to have names. They rocked the ship almost rhythmically, salty spray spraying across the deck, hitting the bulkheads.

From the height of the bridge they could be seen coming orderly like undulating and immense walls. Most of the crew were dizzy. In bed, some. Others defeated. And a few had remembered to pray after a long time. The sea could us, but we had to resist. Otherwise, we would end our path right there.

We were leaving Canada for Europe in a huge ship full of corn grains.

A misfortune on board, the death of a crew member, changed our route. At this point the captain spoke with us and decided to head for the nearest land, Halifax, Nova Scotia. The weather information warned of strong gusty winds and waves of between 15 and 20 meters.

From Halifax I only vaguely remember the funeral of our partner, a cold to which we were not used and how curious it was that bars did not serve more than one glass of alcohol.

We left Halifax and, having overcome the bad weather of the North Atlantic, we headed placidly towards Spain.

The fear is behind me, but the fact that I spent hour after hour clinging to the fuel control to control the revs, depending on whether the propeller was in or completely out of the water, that fear has not gone away.

The next trip was a little quieter but he had already decided: this was not a life to earn a lot of money, or to have fun, or to start a family. I landed in Barcelona, ​​that was many years ago.

The next two months I found out on the news that that ship I had been on sank in the North Atlantic in another damn storm. Only 6 crew members were saved. I knew them all very well but I didn't want to find out their names.

That ship was called Monte Palomares, from the Aznar shipping company, and it marked the rest of my life because I can tell you about it.

Since then I have worked on land. I have had a family. I have children and grandchildren and I have been, from time to time, happy.

But I will never forget those waves, that ship and those companions without names for me.

More information about the chronicle of the tragic end of Monte Palomares at:

1966: Sinking of Spanish freighter Monte Palomares | Maritime Radio

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