I am on a journey of discovery. Encountering new experiences is the substance of life, but this journey is a seven week trip that includes looking back in time to the lands of my ancestors as part of the first leg of a long awaited art project Re:LOCATION.
On Thursday 14th May 2015, after eight days at sea with a mostly non-English speaking companions, and stops only on the African and European continents, we landed for a day at the Port of Dover in the Kent Region of England. This was my first encounter with the ancestral lands I had dreamed of visiting since a child.
My father was a seaman, and his people before him, and his grandfather left this region of England in the 1800’s to cross the seas to Australia. As for many of my ancestors from England, Scotland and Ireland the sea passage before them would have been harrowing. These were stoic people, heading into the unknown with very little in infrastructure waiting their arrival.
I felt at home in Dover. We walked towards the town center stopping to place my very first ART POD in a hedge behind a small stone wall in a local park. The geocache GPS co-ordinates for this art pod can be found on the dedicated Re:LOCATION page.
Close by we located the historic Cowgate Cemetery at the bottom of a steep walk to the old forts that had protected the inhabitants for centuries. What a find. I was wandering amongst the headstones thinking I could have been related to some of these long departed souls. They had only very short lives compared to our modern standards.
We didn’t stay long in Dover after visiting the town and the unforgettable Dover Castle. I had achieved my goal and we aimed to be back in Kent in three to four weeks during the rest of our trip. There was something about getting drenched in the rain with the sea winds in your face and a temperature of 10C that made the ship suddenly very inviting. Images of our Dover experience are below.