Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The last day on the boat...Photobooth shoot...awesome way to waste time.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Well, I'm at the airport in Lajes, on Terceira. A recap of the last week:
Wednesday, July 8
We left Flores at 10am and had great wind all day. It was definitely a bit more relaxed, especially since it was only goin to be a 24 hour sail. It was pretty low key, but we did see some sweet dolphins jumping a few feet out of the water...I think a few of them were mooning us...because that's how dolphins roll.
Thursday, July 9
We arrived in Horta at 7:30am, so a solid 21 hour trip. Horta is cool, definitely not as beautiful as Flores, but there are people! And cars! And tons of sailors! And hot showers! Sweet mercy of Jesus, a hot shower. And free internet...which ruined me...I was on it for 4 hours the first day...geez. We (the crew from Flores that went to Horta, which was everyone!) went to Peter's Cafe Sport, this legendary sailor bar that has been around for decades. It has whale bones on the walls, and flags from pretty much every country in the world...but the food sucked...but that's cool, it was still a cool hang out, for real...but the food sucked...but whatever...who cares. We pretty much hung out there all night...btw, the food sucked...and then we all parted and went back to our ocean vessels for a kip.
(PS. If anybody is still keeping up with sailor creds,
you don't have to any more...I've racked up way too many since Bermuda to count or keep track of...and my brain just can't handle it right now...because I'm kind of awesome...let's be honest)
(Seriously...be honest...deep down you know its true)
(And if you don't think so, just agree...it's my blog...I'll say what I want)
(But seriously, if you're completely honest, you're going to agree...so no worries matey)
Friday, July 10 – Monday, July 13
All these days run together a bit, but to sum them up:
I moved onto another boat, Yamma, because the capitan, Steve from London, is going to give me a ride to Terceira, where I fly back home in 7 days. His boat is a Halberg Rassy, 36 feet...aka...real nice. I feel like I'm in a hotel room. Steve is a legend, classic brit...with a dry sense of humor, plus, a mouth like a sailor, equals, a classic fella.
So, the first 10 minutes on the boat, I go to the bathroom, and break the freaking toilet. I thought they were all the same...But, in theory, I forgot to open the seacock...idiot. So, now Steve's cussing up a storm, I'm a bit nervous and worried that he won't give me a ride anymore, but semi chuckling (or “man giggling”) which makes him even more annoyed...crap...Long story short, we got the toilet working, and Steve loved me again.
Oh, in Horta, it's bad luck to leave port without painting the name of your boat on the sea wall. (Steve didn't care, so we didn't do it) (I'm convinced that is why the toilet broke...it knew...it was a future knowing toilet.) Anyways, so that makes for thousands and thousands of paintings that have been there for ages, and more keep coming....real cool. So, I walked around for an afternoon, checking out all the paintings...so cool.
Sunday, all the folks from Flores decided to go to the supermarket. We left the supermarket with two rabbits, wine, and this banging chocolate/cookie dough roll/cake awesome times dessert. (Seriously, thats what it was called) So that night, we went out to the Swedish couples' catamaran (which are freaking sweet) to have a “Rabbit Stew Party”. It was amazing...Legit amazing. Rabbit is awesome. We ate and drank to our hearts content, and then we all went back to our boats...fat and happy sailors.
Me and Carolyn at the Rabbit Feast.
Monday was my last in Horta, so I decided to walk around by myself. I was craving some oranges, so I bought some...Sailing has increased my appetite ten fold...I'm in trouble for real. Then, I went to the old whaling station and watched this movie about whaling...People...these guys are crazy raw. Whaling is the craziest fishing/hunting activity you could ever do. Those whales are freaking huge.
The Whaling Museum is on the opposite bank...the beach in Horta.
After all that, I went back to the boat to surf the web and sleep!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Well, it got rough...really rough...45 knot winds and 20 ft. waves rough. And, during all of that, our self steering broke...which pretty much means fix it or self steer for a week and a half. We decided to try and fix it. It was nuts, heaving up and down 20 ft. swells, hanging over the stern with a wrench in each hand (and occasionally teeth) trying to fix one of the most important pieces of equipment on the boat. But, we fixed it...but we had to heave to in the process so we made NO PROGRESS...disheartening for sure.
So, that was yesterday, today the wind is mid-20's and seas are <10>
But I seriously wanted Turd to come pick me up on his helicopter yesterday.
This is boring...
This is still boring...all I do is think. I wasn't built to think. I was built to do stuff. I don't even want to write. So much freaking ocean to go. It seems like it will never end. I wish my head would explode...or I had some power where I could actually sleep all day, for days on end.
Leaving Bermuda...beyond that gap is about 1800 miles of ocean.
We left a bit late Yesterday, around 1pm, but we are making ok time. The wind is out of the north east, right where we want to go...so we are doing a long northern tack, followed by a long eastern tack...Fun stuff.
On the starboard tack. + 10 Sailor Creds for putting up with this for days.
So apparently, everyone get seasick, and everyone told me that I was going to get seasick...Obviously, they don't know me very well...Because, obviously, it was vice versa...Ben Johnson didn't get Seasick, but Seasick got some Ben Johnson. Bring it Poseidon.
Anyways, my first experience on watch last night was great. It's really beautiful. It's a totally different world when it's dark: Bio luminescent plankton (crazy), Holy Crap Stars (tons of them, and satellites, and shooting stars), and just nothing for miles. The moon is insanely bright. Sunsets and sunrises are rediculous. During the day, there's tons of flying fish, Portuguese Man O Wars, Shearwater Gulls, and lots and lots of Water.
On a more disgusting note, the two boys threw up...I took shrapnel. I wasn't paying attention...the youngest threw up into the wind...and I took some to the face. Yep, I know...but of course, I just took it like a man, licked up what was close to my mouth, and wiped the rest off with my sleeve (which, incidentally, I slept on later). Ah...a Sailor's Life. It's supposed to get rough in a day or so...Buckle Up.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Day 5, June 14th, and My 23rd Birthday.
I didn't remember until 11 am that it was my birthday! 23 years old and still kickin. Man. When I was in the graveyard of that old church yesterday, I saw so many headstones that we for dudes 20/21 and whatever...Bummer. I'm probably way cooler than they were anyways.
So, this morning we fixed the outboard harness, for lifting the motors, we fixed the dodgers (rain cover) for the midship hatch...Dude, I sound like a sailor...wierd. So, our other outboard was giving us some trouble, so this dudes Patrick, from Maine, came over to help us. This guy is awesome. He left Maine when he was 24 sailed all around for 5 years! Crazy. He even lived in Senegal, Africa for a year rebuilding houses. And he did all of it in this sick boat, it's totally wooden, modeled after the old whalers from Nantucket. Anyways, cool guy.
Fixing the outboard. (Patrick, left, Shirish, right)
Another Patrick, from the boat next door (from Portsmouth, UK)came over this morning. I've been watching him the past few days, trying to catch fish. Well today, he finally caught one! As he looked over at me and gave me a victory fist pump, I returned it with a thumbs up and an ear to ear grin. Well, afterwards, he dinghied over to Juno and gave me a bag full of bait! Let the fishing begin!
Besides that, it has been a rough day. I flooded the dinghy engine and cast off before I had started it, so I had to row back to Juno against a 15 knot wind...and Shirish was in the dinghy with me. -2 Sailor Creds (just because I had to row). I dumped out the ratchet set, -1 Sailor Cred, and just really felt clumsy all day, I hope it wears off. I ate a big dinner, so maybe that will help.
New total would be : 7 Sailor Creds...but it's my birthday. Haha. Still got 10 Creds baby.
I've been a little homesick today. It's actually 6:30 pm right now, and I'm going to call home in 30 minutes. So hopefully they'll pick up. I think that will help. Ive just been missing everyone I love today. And above others...Asher and Lucy. I've been thinking of them saying “Ben Johnson!”, or “What's up Ben?”, or “Ben I love you.” Gah, anyways. (Sloan, or Les, give them both a big old hug from me.
Well, I'm done. Time for a birthday “Dark and Stormy”, a book, and bed. Adios.
Day 4, June 13th
A happy Sailor Man.
This morning started like every other morning so far, weather report...coffee...oatmeal.
Chore time: The outboard on the dinghy broke yesterday, and it was my job to fix it. A little intimidated, I began taking apart the carburetor, I cleaned it and stuck it back in, then fixed the broken pull cord, re-assembled and placed back on the dinghy. First pull people...Gimme some of that!
So since then, I have come up with a sort of “Sailor's Cred” gauge. I was at 0 when I started, but after all the chores and lingo, and no major screw ups, I was at 5 Sailor Creds. Now, after the outboard repair, I'm giving myself 5 more points.
That means 10 Sailor Creds!!! Whoa!
Anyways, Sailor Creds will continue to be added up daily. Stay posted.
I am starting to realize the different personalities on this boat. Shirish is not confrontational, he's a thinker, very calm, and very mature...totally my opposite, haha. (That's why I have to do things, such as mooning passing cruise ships, when he's not around) When we try and do repairs together, he likes to step back and look at things for awhile, then act...where I am like “Let's just get the freaking thing off/taken apart/unscrewed/etc.!”
So, after the outboard repair, we went into St George to pick up our new crew member, Caroline!
Caroline is an absolutely wonderful British woman. Because of her “Britishness”, she was quickly in my good graces...not that it really matters. After lunch on Juno, me and Caroline went into St George together, because neither of us had been around town much. We had some great conversation, saw all the gardens and parks, checked out this old school church, basically touristy stuff, and then had a drink at the White Horse. She has sailed quite a bit, like 3 years in the Mediterrenean.
Next, I went back to Juno, Caroline went home (she's meeting us Tuesday). I played some Risk with the boys...and got absolutely destroyed. Crap.
Now I'm just sitting in the cockpit, reading, writing, and I started making a video (Turd threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't). It's difficult getting back into using a camera, but good. It's a great sunset tonight, check it out.
PS. The reason there aren't as many pictures is because internet access here is $6 for a ½ hour, and it takes forever to load a picture!
Bermuda Day 3, June 12th
“...Waves inside the reef, 1 foot, waves outside the reef, 2-4 feet...” I hear the familiar accent, a mix of Scottish, British, and Carribean that make up the Bermudian accent, and open my eyes. These words have become my new alarm clock. And trust me, it's a lot better than “BLALJSLH, BLAHSGHI, BLAHIUAGDKSN!!!”
I slept so good last night, until the massive rain storm at 12:30am...Let's just say that I now know what “Batten down the hatches!” means.
This morning consisted of coffee, oatmeal, and preparing for mornings chores/repairs. I find myself volunteering for dishes a lot, only because it's the only thing I know for sure how to do. It kinda sucks, but I think it's appreciated, and I like that.
After, Shirish and I set about the boat making repairs such as: Fixing the wind vane mount, rerouting some plumbing, replacing the bimini, cleaning the bilge, and pumping up the dinghy. Even little repairs like this help me get to know the boat that much better. And it feels really great to finally get my hands dirty!
After chores/repairs, we loaded up the dinghy and headed to Tobacco Bay. It's this sweet bay, almost all the way enclosed by rocks. I snorkeled a bit, saw some sweet a fish (Parrot Fish, Grouper, some others), I got to water solo rock climb a bit, immediately followed by some cliff jumping/back flipping.
Tobacco Bay (and the family)
Afterwards, we all went into St George's and I decided to play my “alone time card” (kind of like the race card, but for alone time). I parted ways with the family, found some cheap internet ($6 for ½ hour), and surfed the web for a bit.
It was nice having some alone time, much needed. Went back to the boat afterwards and got to shower in the rain!!! I felt like a kid again, and my hair got a much needed cleaning.
After a great meal and a “Dark and Stormy”, I prepared for bed, donned my Ipod, applied some Gold Bond, and am now relaxing in a very windy cockpit...
I really like it here.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Bermuda Day 2 – June 11th.
Before I start, You need to know that there is a parrot sitting right beside me, squawking like crazy. Freaking Bermuda.
Check this out:
Well, I found the sun...it's in Bermuda. Luckily for me, I followed my mom's advice and wore lots of sun screen, or “sun cream” as it is known here. But no lie, that water I talked about seeing on the flight in...I swam in that crap today. So beautiful. The beaches here are incredible...Coral, Fish, Sun, awesome times. I'll get a picture of Tobacco Bay on here next time.
And now, after all day on buses, ferries, and feet, I am sitting in the cockpit of the boat, enjoying the cloudiness and the sea breeze. It's so peaceful. This feels like a vacation, which I am assured will turn into hard work as we get nearer to the trip.
Happy man in the cockpit
But it's dinner time (turkey/cheese quesadillas with a dark and stormy, the official drink of Bermuda).
I love this place.
AND... Here's Tobacco Bay:
And the Unfinished Church of St. George:
(taken straight from the daily journal of me)
The flight in was unreal. The water here is so blue, it blew my mind!
So, I arrived in Bermuda, got through customs alright, hopped on a bus, and went into St. George to meet the Captain of Juno, Shirish Date, at the White Horse, this legendary Bar/restaurant that's been here for ages. After a $6 beverage, which I immediately regretted...but it was cold...I found Shirish, and we hopped in the dinghy to go to Juno, my home for the next month or so.
That's the dinghy...
And that's the deck of Juno from the bow. (Mom, the yellow lines running down the deck are the lines I will be harnessed into when we are underway.)
Do I sound like a sailor or what?
So, the boat:
It's unbelievable for a few reason. 1) How awesome it looks 2) How much stuff is on it 3) How small the space I now live in is. See...
I know now, more than ever, that this trip will stretch (or compact) me as much as I could've expected. Learning the processes of the boat take time, patience (especially since the 11 and 9 year olds know EVERYTHING about this boat...stupid kids), and a try or two to make sure you get it down. I mean, everything is so different. Food, lingo, the fact that it takes me 5 minutes to flush (flushing has been dubbed “pumping poop”), manners (literally, when it comes to bodily functions, there is NO shame). It's great.
Shirish – Capitan, writer, sailor, big word user, legend.
MB – Capitana, wife of captain, soo nice. She made me feel right at home.
Orion – This kid is going to cure cancer or something. He's a genius at 11.
Rigel – Just fun. Rambles about who knows what all the time, just to entertain himself. A bit moody, but cool kid.
I think I will like these people.
Anyways, when we got back to the boat, Shirish showed me some of the more common functions (flushing, making fresh water, starting the engine etc.), and we got ready to get some pizza in St. George.
St. George from Juno.
People...I ate a BLT...maybe a $3 sandwich in the U.S. In Bermuda it's $10!!! Yea, I agree, F that.
But seriously Bermuda is very expensive.
So, after eating, we came back to the boat to chill, I unpacked, and we got ready for bed.
Sleeping was hard. I was sweaty, it was muggy, I was burning up, I had to pee (but didn't because it seriously takes effort to flush), but finally I fell asleep...then woke up...then fell asleep...and so on about 6 times. I woke up at 6am...overjoyed. I never thought I'd be that excited to wake up at 6am. The best thing about sleeping the first night was my sheets...
But anyways, with some coffee and oatmeal, I was good to go for the tour of the island!
1) Gold Bond is a life-saver. Seriously.
2) There is a “Tall Boat” race. By “Tall Boat” I mean like, awesome old pirate ship boats. Like this:
All over the place...So cool. This is actually a US Coast Guard training vessel called the Eagle.
Anyways, until next time.
(This post taken straight from my hand written journal...so enjoy it)
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I'm all packed up, I have my passport, my itinerary, and I'm getting ready to go to bed. I wake up at about 3 am, to get on a plane in Greensboro at 6:30, to fly to Cincinatti, to fly to NYC, to fly to Bermuda, where I will meet Shirish (el capitan) and go to the boat, Juno. Juno is a 44 foot Alden, quite a nice boat, and home for the next month, at least. Oh look, a picture!
This isn't Juno, but it looks similar. I'll have pictures of it tomorrow though!
Well, I'm tired, and I've unpacked and packed my bag about 5 times now, just to make sure I had everything, I think I'm good. I've got my books, Ipod, camera, and jump-rope for entertainment on the boat. (Oh yes, you CAN jump rope on a sailboat)
Side note: When I return, I am going to make my living writing children's stories, the first being "Oh Yes, You CAN Jump Rope on a Sail Boat!" The protagonists will be Asher and Noah, and the antagonist will be......the new Yellow Wiggle, cuz he's a dookie boots.
Alright, off I go! Next post: from Bermuda! (If internet cafe's aren't too expensive)