"My Way To The Seven Seas"
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By Joaquim Maria Botelho, Brazilian journalist and writer
Since the time of the Phoenicians dating back to 1200Bc to 900BC masters of navigation have explored the seas. Amongst them the Vikings, the Greeks, and later the Portuguese, launched their vessels into waters inhabited by monsters. They challenged the belief that the world was flat and ended in a huge waterfall where all ships that dared to sail would fall and disappear to face the gods. In our contemporary world, my leading character of maritime adventure is Amyr Klink. I had the honor to interview him in my time as a reporter for the Brazilian news-magazine Manchete. This was on his arrival in Salvador, Bahia, after his famous crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, a journey of one hundred days rowing from Dakar, Senegal. Amyr had survived the challenges of the sea. Martinês Rocha de Souza has not done this, but like Amyr, and in consideration of the many challenges presented by perceived limitations, Martinês and Amyr are quite the same.
I cannot say that Martinês is a hero, in the classic sense of the word. He has not fought in, nor lead armies to war, he has not brought about a political regime. However, he has in his way lived his own life with intensity. What makes him a man of courage, is his ability to simply resist the desire to give up in moments of oppression, prejudice and contempt, and when the disbelief of others comes near him. He is a man who has overcome adversity, and with the Christian ethic of forgiveness and turning the other cheek, he has not resorted to vengeance which has been an option, as it is for us all.
You are about to read the story of a common guy, with good qualities, but with faults and vices. At the same time though, he is a person equipped with an invincible determination to be happy. He found paths because he found the right people and found the right people while he was finding his path. Where there seemed to be no roads, he sought them out and asked others where they were. Where he found no roads, he learnt how to build them.
This is the story of a strong man. Perhaps we could all learn something from his adventures.