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Sailust | 2009 | May

Archive for May, 2009:


Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Cook's BayOur second day in Papeete, while I was lounging in the cockpit, a fellow was waving his hand at the gate to our dock trying to get my attention. He was waving and pointing to what I later learned was a six pack of Hinano. Feeling lazy and figuring he wasn’t looking at me or was mistaken, I ignored him and kept reading my book. Eventually, the guy from the boat across from me got up to let the stranger in and I figured that he knew the guy. A moment later they were all on the boat next door having a beer.

Not too long afterwards a tall, head-shaven Scandinavian-looking guy came up our boat and said, “So I hear you guys are looking for crew? That’s great because I’m looking for a boat to crew on.” I agreed with him that the situation was beneficial for both of us and we were both surprised at how easy it was to find crew and/or a boat on which to crew in Papeete. Almost every boat crossing the Pacific stops here and it’s not so isolated by air as it is by water. These properties give people the freedom to switch boats or quit on sailing altogether, like Brad did. I referred Jan (that was his name) to the captain because I didn’t want to assume any responsibility that wasn’t mine.

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Friday, May 22nd, 2009

I’m still alive and doing quite well, although it is very difficult to get to the computer and write a little bit about my trip. I’m right now at an Internet cafe in Tahiti and paying about $10 an “huere” to use it. I just finished 3 pitchers of beer with Brad, each costing $26. Suffice to say, I’m no longer in 3rd world South America but the Imperial playground of a European heavyweight. Tahiti is probably the biggest city I’ll see until Cairns, Australia.

Brad and I always joked about making a newspaper for Marlin. Had we followed through, the biggest headline of the Marlin Wake, (that was the name I gave the fictional paper) would be: “HURSH TO JUMP SHIP!” Two days ago, the crew of Marlin was enjoying the good weather and wind when abruptly Brad said, hey guys—. I was startled by his assertiveness and waiting to hear something profound like, I think we should have beans tonight for dinner, instead of pasta. Then he came out with: I’m going to get off the boat in Tahiti. This was the last thing on either Tom’s or my mind and we both took our time to process the curious statement. At first I thought he was just making funny, a sarcastic comment that we usually make to each other to make the days go by. Then he elaborated, as if he could tell we would need more of an explanation for such change in the universe of Marlin and to prove he wasn’t pulling our legs. He said, I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I wanted to make sure. Ever since we left the Marquesas. I know it’s a decision that I’ll regret but I’ll regret more not going. But I know that once I’ve made up my mind, and that I’ve begun to think about the other possibilities, that I now have to go.

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Land Ho!

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

29 days and 14 hours since leaving Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, we dropped anchor for the night in a little cove on Ua Huka Island of the Marquesa Archipelago in French Polynesia. After making this epic ocean crossing people usually comment about how vast the great Pacific is, which I now know. It’s so vast that I can’t even comprehend the distance. If it weren’t for the stars and the sun we could have been going in circles or sailing on some giant treadmill. We counted down time and distance remaining everyday but in vain. It wouldn’t get us there faster and each day we made an almost respectively negligible amount of progress, averaging maybe 120 nautical miles a day. After a week I had to adjust my conception of time and way of life. I told myself that I was starting a new life whose universe consisted of the boat, everything on it and everything around us within eyesight and it would remain that way until we reached the Marquesas, whenever that would be.

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