I'm excited to have connected with a boat seeking crew. It's been an odd quest this year. I connected with a boat way back in July and was set to join the boat on St Thomas Virgin Islands in late December. Then he switched the leg he wanted me to the first leg.. Georgia to St Thomas. He requested I come to Georgia in October? Hurricane season extends through the end of November but the main reason I did not want to go that soon was it was mid September when I got word of the switch and was feeling it was too soon. I reconsidered and emailed him back that I'd go but he had found other crew.
I was not hearing back from a couple other boats so began to think about my back up plan...a road trip in my van of the southern U.S...looking up a few old friends d not seen for quite a while. I'd first head east to D.C. for Dave and Amy's arrival of the www.paddletodc.org then continue south to North Carolina and visit Arlo, my high school bud I'd gotten into white water kayaking with.
Unexpectedly I heard back from that first captain asking if I was still available. Apparently his crew had jumped ship for an opportunity to join a boat in the South Pacific. I was excited at the second chance but had just lost a big filling on a tooth I had a root canal on. They had recommended a crown but I had put it off. Now I had to take care of the tooth and as a result the captain was able to find new crew so I missed out a second time.
As I again thought about a road trip I emailed a couple other boats seeking crew. One was only needing crew 2 months and was on the Pacific side of southern Mexico very near to Guatemala. He was planning to get the boat to Florida in 2 months so wanted 3 or 4 crew and the passage would involve mostly multi day passages. Going through the Panama Canal would be interesting but it sounded kind of grueling in general. I was informed I'd made his list of crew to consider. They would not be departing until February 1. One other boat was bigger than I usually seek as I want to experience boats near the size I plan to get. I heard back and he said he sort of had crew but nothing was finalized in his choice. He asked me to email about myself. A resume of sorts. In a couple days he emailed me the invite to be volunteer crew. It will be 3 of us, the captain Tristan 59, Candace 45 and myself 60. I've been told Candace isn't very experienced sailing but is a great cook. The boat is a classic 52' ketch built in Holland in 1968. We are taking the so called Thorny Path. I've read that refers to the fact your headng into the easterly tradewinds and currents also flowing east. Anyway it's a well know route option from the U.S. to the eastern Caribbean.
I'm pretty much packed. 4 months worth stuffed into luggage that qualifies for carry on. Tomorrow I head to the cities (Minnetonka) to visit my mom and have the crown applied. The day after thanksgiving I'll come back to Duluth and winterized my attic apartment and stay the night with a friend near the airport. My flight is 6:55 am November 29.