Photos from India

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Departing Hawaii for a new adventure in Australia

Well, my term on "Sugarcane", a 55' Gulfstar sailing vessel was short lived. After arriving in Hawaii and being welcomed onto a beautiful yet extremely clutered boat, I felt very good about everything. Those feelings would shortly change! Now, the first day I arrived, my bunk room looked like an enormous storage closet. I didn't think much of it until taking everything out and realizing that there was absoloutely no storage on the boat. The captain had however aquired a ridiculous amount of stuff that we did not have space for and he refused to part with any of it. Among the items I tried to convince him that we did not need were an ab wheel, not that he had exercised in years, a broken scale, 300 pair of vinyl gloves (I don't want to know what thoser were for), and multiple old phone books. Strangely enough, I didn't find a single spare sail on board or anything that resembled a piece of the rigging on the boat. Between all of the clutter and realizing that the bunks had no way of securing you into your bed while we were under way, I quickly realized that whenever we set sail, the inside of the boat was going to be a very dangerous place to be.
After a few days of working on the boat and getting it ready and cleaned up, it now looked even more cluttered than before. We kept getting stuff out and he would not let us organize or put anything back. Our progress in getting the boat ready for sail was going backwards. Forgetting the clutter for a minute, but one morning the captain says to me to plot a course on the gps over to the big island for our first sail. I asked him if he wanted to walk me through it since I hadn't used his gps before. He said he didn't know how to use it and that I just needed to figure it out. This was the first major alarm when I realized that the captain didn't know how to navigate his own boat. As the next couple of days went on, I also realized that the captain had no clue how to sail his own boat either. Combine that with the fact that rather than sailing to Australia, he now wanted to head to the west coats of Mexico. I informed him that it was hurricane season off the coast of Mexico and was not a good place to be sailing in the next couple of months. He dismissed me as if I did not know what I was doing and said he would worry about that.
The rest of the crew was having the same feelings as me. Our mechanic began looking for another boat as did I. Our cook arrived and booked a flight home the next morning. Appareantly he had told her that she would have her own cabin and private bathroom. Not the case. She was sleeping on the bunk below me and sharing a bath with the mechanic and I. Things were falling apart and when I realized that he had to have someone else on the island bring his boat from another port that is only 30 miles away to where it was now docked, I decided that I wanted off immediately so I could find another boat. The captain and I had a discussion about his plans and about where we were going, we exchanged a few words and I who had already packed my bags earlier in the day, got up and got off the boat. That was three days ago.
In the meantime, I have been very bored and a bit down, not having a plan. Combine that with the fact that my grandmother passed away and as of this morning, I was considering coming home for a few days for the funeral and to sort out where I was going. That all changed today when I heard from a guy in Australia. I asked some questions via email, he called and we discussed a few things and now I am headed to Australia. We will spend a few weeks sailing there and then on to the Solomon islands and Papau New Guinea for a few months. Exactly where I wanted to be! If you want to check out the boats website, it is Well worth the visit for an amazing boat and a captain who has been on an amazing adventure! Not sure what this boat and the places I am going will mean for me being able to contact everyone, but I am pretty sure that the emails and journal entries will be few and far between. I will try and keep up with them from the boat and then post a few at a time when I get to the internet, and probably the same with emails. Wish me luck with this one, but I am starting to think that this mishap has been a blessing in disguise. Without coming to Hawaii, I would not have had the chance to stop by home and spend a week with my grandmother and would have never seen her again. Combine that with I have a very good feeling about the boat I am joining so I think it all has worked out quite well all said and done!

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