His name was Roland.
Quiet, a little mysterious, and on board as helmsman and navigator.
It was only after a couple of days that he warmed up over a couple of beers and cigarettes and he started talking about his life.
"To be happy in life", he said with his Dutch accent , "you just have to do whaterver you want." His eyes were telling us about an eventful life, that much was for sure. An enventful life that surprisingly had not left a lot of traces on his face.
No, this man didn't look like was about to turn 50 years old.
During the trip, we kept hearing all sorts of stories about him and what he had done in his life...he himself had told us that in the Royal Dutch Navy he had served as a diver and explosives expert and that after the Navy he went on to do a bit of offshore diving on oil rigs and for a number of other industrial enterprises.
Aboard the 'Aphrodite', he was the Navigator and after the Captain, he was Second-in Command.
He taught us everything we needed to know about sailing, knots, the ship and about seamanship.
One night Roland told us that he was on board the 'Aphrodite' so he can get the Dutch Sailing Master's Certificate so he can be Captain. It seems that international shipping regulations are somewhat weird when it comes to who can pilot which ship. Anyway, he has to do it for six months and the he's off to do something else...
Speaking about pilot...yes, he did that, too. Roland used to fly big passenger aircraft such as a Boeing 737. Why he doesn't do it anymore? "It's always the same. You have to push buttons, you don't really work."
So after flying, he opened up a little furniture design and carpentry shop.
Of course i't's much more fun when he talks about all this stuff himself, but I think you can understand why I was fascinated by him. He looked like a typical sailor to me, so I wanted to capture him in Black and White.
You can check out the entire set "The Sailor" on flickr here.