Rene gripped the strap of his new sea-bag as he gazed up at the ship. It was bigger than any building he’d seen, a towering wall of riveted steel.
Uncle Juní came up behind and put his hand on his shoulder. “You excited?”
Rene shook his head.
His uncle laughed. “You’re a better man than I, then. My first voyage I was terrified.”
“What were you most scared of?”
“Everything. Seasickness, falling overboard, hurricanes. You name it.” He looked down at his nephew. “But none of it happened. Well, the seasickness, but that’s quite common. Even some old salts get woozy the first few days. Other than that, though, no problems.”
The ship’s whistle blew. Rene hoisted his seabag.
“One other thing,” his uncle said. “Keep your mouth shut. The other sailors will rib you. Let it roll off. Six weeks at sea is a long time.”