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Retrospective

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

It’s now been a month since I’ve been back home and I’m finally getting settled. I still haven’t found a full time job but I have a contact gig I’m doing from an old coworker which is enough to keep me busy and fed. I’ve been taking it easy otherwise, trying to save money so I can pay off some debts (or keep from going further in debt). I spend more than I probably should have on my trip, but there’s a saying, “never take a trip you can afford.” Living broke can be as much an adventure as living lavishly.

There have been some changes since I left. The most significant being the economy. People thought I was crazy for quitting a job to go travel at a time when jobs were hard to come by. It probably was crazy, but even now, even with an uncertain prospects, I still don’t regret what I did or seek sympathy for my current disposition. I still think that tough times is a good time to travel; a good time to spend, that is, if you have the money to spend. Working these days gets you less and spending gets you more. I’ve noticed that people have cut back going out. Drink fewer drinks when they do go out and order the cheaper plates. People share more–I actually gave a couple I found on Craigslist rideshare a lift to and from San Francisco in my mom’s van when I was dropping off stuff. It was cheaper for them than taking the train, I got some gas money, company on the ride and some help carrying boxes upstairs.

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Back Home

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The flight back home was not as miserable as I had anticipated. I ended up buying a new ticket, all Virgin, instead of using my Hawaiian Airlines credit. With the ticket to the Philippines and the $200 fee to simply use my credit, the new ticket ended up being slightly more expensive than the Hawaiian Airlines ticket, after I jumped through all of their hoops. The flight from Melbourne to LA was $575 and I bought a separate Virgin flight from LA to SF for $70 (which was actually $100 after I found out I had to pay for my two checked bags).

But enough of that airline bullshit; the fact of the matter is I got back home. I got through customs quick enough in LA to hop on an earlier flight to SF. I had just barely made the earlier flight that I didn’t have time to call my brother and let him know. (My phone is still deactivated, that’s a whole’nother story.) I figured that I would just BART to Civic Center and my brother could pick me up from there. And he did. I called him from SFO and told him I’d rather ride BART (for nostalgia’s sake) than wait at the airport for him to pick me up.

Pat picked me up in front of the Civic Center Burger King and took me back to his place, which is soon to be my place. He’s leaving on his own trip and I’m moving into his apartment. He’s slowly been moving his stuff into our storage unit (mom’s garage) and bringing my stuff back. He told me that Kelly was going to be coming over later to grab a few beers. I thought about calling some more people, but my phone was still deactivated and figured I’d just wait until Kelly got here to do some recruiting. Kelly arrived and we all went downstairs. I was looking for Kelly’s car and he was walking up to the passenger side of a bus that was idling in front of the building. “Let’s check this out,” he said. “What on earth are you doing?” I was thinking. “Come on,” he encouraged. As I followed him I started to realize the surprise. Inside the bus were a lot of people that I’ve been longing to see and missing for the past 10 months. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I went around saying all my hellos. I guess the plan was to pick me up in the airport in that bus and that I had ruined it by coming home early. I contended that I didn’t ruin anything; I was just as surprised and at least I got to take a shower and put on clothes that weren’t 8 months worn.

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Arrived in Suva

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Marlin arrived in Suva yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon 3pm local time. We are anchored at the Royal Suva Yacht Club; there is no more space in the marina. We left Niuatoputapu on Saturday morning but got a late start as everyone was hungover from the party the previous evening. The party was OK. There was awkward dancing. As Tom put it, the dance floor was in want of less light and better music while the guests were in need of more alcohol. There is a fine science to setting up a good dance floor, but it was what’s to be expected on an island in the middle of nowhere.

We started out beating upwind on port tack, wind from the southwest. By the time we arrived in Suva we were rockin’ and rollin’ with wind from behind, having to gyb the sails at the whimsical shifts of the wind. It was a fast leg and we averaged close to six knots the whole time. We crossed the 180 line of longitude, which is the theoretical International Date Line, half way across the world from Greenwich, England. Now our longitudes will be “E” for East and counting down.

For the geographically challenged, you can check out the route to see where I am.

Updated Photos and Route

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

I’m in Samoa right now and will write about the journey here later. In the meantime, I’ve updated the route and added photos from French Polynesia and Suwarrow.