Knuckle heads and Munchkins
I woke again with the stress of yet another bad night of vivid dreams, maybe nightmares, I feel dank with the perspiration from an agitated night, yet again.
My mind was made up, I had weeks crying on the nearby beach at night after work with a lonely bottle of wine, my only companion to soften the pain, softly it always entered, but always the result was to leave me in tears of grief and mourning. What had I done
Life had been better (not always) but the move to Sydney on what was meant to be a prosperous career in media and marketing turned out to be a "fucking disaster" it can't be said any other way.
I walked into my bosses office on the Monday morning and handed him me resignation, gob smacked he looked at me dumb founded, Stephen this is rather unexpected, I thought you were progressing well, this is obviously serious so what are you going to do ? (fishing for information) well boss I really don't know but I know I can't stay doing this, so I may as well go sailing. The look on his face was hard to work out, he either had a bad case of diarrhea from a bad curry night or I had topped his list of past excuses for exiting the company.
My childhood had been a good part of my life, up until 13 years of age I had been fine, sure the normal ups and down of family life and education, we as a family had been a happy and adventurous unity. We had moved home 13 times by my same age, seen some amazing things in the world, my father as an engineer and mother as a multi skilled strength within the family had taken us to all places.
The time of change was in the wings, and the wind, religion which had been shoved down our throats like cod liver oil and had run out of lubricants, my parents marriage was at breaking point, the night that I walked into my parents bedroom with yet another extreme argument that was lifting the roof off the house, I stood there as a 14 year old and pointed my slug gun rifle at my father and said, if you dont stop that with mum I am going to shoot you (thank god Australia stopped guns for general use)
Teenage years were tough for many reasons, but hey, life wasn't meant to be that easy ! the male music teacher of my friend tried to sexually molest a group of three of us on a camping weekend with our families blessing. I worked weekends in bars picking up glasses but it all seemed like fun and the way that life was meant to progress. Gay men found me attractive but I would have to say that no matter what, I was a woman's man and I knew it even at this age.
Knuckle heads and Munchkins
This story is not about the oceans of the world, but life...........out there with a dash of salt thrown in.
Waking in the early pitch black of the morning after a short night, my head had suddenly been slammed against the bulkhead of my bed because the boat had stopped, hang on this doesn't make sense, we were at anchor and tied to trees with three lines, its 5 am in Tierra del Fuego in South America and there is muddles of sounds suddenly within the boat. I react as fast as my blood cells allow and am on deck in my underwear. Sure enough there is a rock wall in front of us and the boat is now slowly rocking away at kissing it. But how on earth did this happen, we were 120 meters back from here last night when we tied up ? by now there are others on deck and together we tug at the stern line that was tied to the shore, it pulls, but strangely and slowly, 15 minutes later we get to the bitter end and find a tree, yes a F........cking tree, the one we were tied to.
I turned and looked at my crew who had been in the zodiac and who had selected and tied us up for the night. what the hell do you call that ! I said pointing at the shrub attached to our heavy and strong shore lines that could take some of the fiercest conditions, that's not a bloody tree, it's a joke you bloody knucklehead.
When you plan and provision for a 50 day voyage at sea none stop you have to think carefully about what supplies you bring in. Seven days out my first mate and I had to have words, listen, if you don't also speak to the guys about what they are eating we are going to have to make a port call which just isn't on the route we are going from Ushuaia Argentina to Europe. These guys are eating like they have never been fed by their families, I know they are young but Christ, they have already eaten their body weight, broken a few things on board and are still dumb, sick and stupid at sea, so much for "experienced sailors" they optimism Munchkins ! eat a lot and create a lot of problems.
I have raced and sailed most of the major oceans, and it doesn't matter where you go, the ocean is the ocean, unlike people, if its calm, its easy, if it blowing hard then guess what you better know what your doing otherwise you are in for a new nightmare. Taking none experienced people and armature sailors into the deep oceans seems to be what I have specialized in over the last 16 years, I may be masochistic in some elements of my life but I have always considered and taken calculated risks.
The nice thing about taking none experienced people is that what you tell them is what the understand and know, that's it, they do anything that you tell them as long as they see that you are fit and capable for the job of being Captain. If they have done their research they already know I have been doing this for some time and the chances of them having a good trip are high, so they listen and the obey. Now where we come into problems is when someone walks on board, they are wearing the latest Musto sailing gear, its never been washed or at sea and they proudly introduce themselves as "Harold" and I have been sailing a bit, I am a yachtmaster, now I am worried, so you can count on me if you need any help............. well welcome what can I say, but I know that this one is the one that I need to watch and beware of most of all.