Saturday, July 2, 2011

Paramour III

Last year on the east coast of Canada, I was introduced to the prospect of boat hitchhiking.  Since I've been travelling, I've wanted to try it out, & 2 months I have been carrying with me a Sailing Dictionary, a fabulous picture of a racing sailboat from above, & a reluctance to continue my 900pg novel, for when I commit to setting sail.

Paramour III
46ft long, 12.6ft wide, 55ft high mast.
Home port of Toronto.

Captain: James Haley (Canada)
Crew:
Jimmy Keen (UK)
Chris Forbes (UK)
Hanne Vanderkammen (Belgium)
Jocelyn McLean (Canada)

Captain James took on 4 couchsurfers knowing we had no sailing experience.  He demanded seasickness medication for everyone, & fully anticipated us losing interest after a week & backing out.  We are not the same as the backpackers who have scratched the hardwood, lost things, stole, & broke expensive equipment.  This is our home.  We admire her.  I am humbled by her strength & appreciate every knot she fights for us.  Anything lost or broken, is a constant pinprick of discomfort magnified by the isolation of the water.

My setbacks include losing my credit card, threatening to close my bank account because of unique access problems, my online Western Union account never working, & even when it's fixed, restricting me from a boatload of money because my name's not really Jocelyn McLean McLean.  I may have trown a tantrum.

There is a devil in indecision.  Plan A always has a catchy ring to it, when it is called Plan B.  Whatever I had wanted to do, is rescheduled for another lifetime, & even throughout the mess of making it happen, the crew fought for me.  "If this is what you want, we will pull through.  Surrender is the coward's way out."  'There will be a next time', but finding a cool capable captain, with a fun crew, on a beautiful fully outfitted boat, is a tricky combination.

And why would I give up a crew who aren't just willing to take on another inexperienced sailor, but eager to have me on board?

Provisioning.
What might we need for the next 3-5 months?  3 of everything.
What will we need for the Pacific crossing, when we won't see land for ~30 days?  Lots of books, movies, music, earplugs, patience/tolerance & a deck of cards, or 8.  (Earplugs especially since there are 2 couples on board, if you know what I mean.)
What will we need when we arrive at the islands?  Snorkelling gear, diving gear, sunscreen, & more of everything we might need, because we don't have the money to settle for islation prices.
What will we need when we arrive to New Zealand/Australia?  Champagne.

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