“What the hell are we going to do?” I ask Josje as I sit down in the V Berth next to her. She looks at me with the same confused look she has given me the other 50 times I asked her that. “I don’t know, babe. We seriously have no money left. We don’t have enough to fly anywhere for work and the work here pays $5 a day” With a frustrated sigh I fall face first onto the cushion. We cuddle for comfort and stare at our hand drawn life-options-diagram on the bulkhead. An A-3 piece of paper with lines drawn all over the place like some lost treasure map, arrows and scribbles pointing to dreams, realities, pros and cons. I need to use the head so I step out of the cabin and glance at Brian tapping away on his laptop. Karin is behind him in the galley, scooping ingredients into the bread maker…
BEEEEP, BEEEEEP, BEEEEEP, BEEEEP….. I slowly open my eyes, stretch a bit and reach for the light on the bulkhead. That’s strange, the light isn’t there. I reach over to feel for Josje. She’s not there either. As the present moment and reality flood in I realize I was dreaming about a time 5 months earlier. I’m unfortunately not on Delos and not in the Philippines. I was actually just woken up for work…
I have these dreams pretty often. It’s strange to be away from Delos. She has been my home for the past 5 years and Josje for the past 3. We miss her a lot. The way she creaked while sailing or those random noises you can never find onboard while at a rolly anchorage, all of it we miss. Usually when it’s time to work Delos sort of stops for a season so our accounts can be filled, then we are all back out there adventurizing, together… Not this time! Brian and Karin are lucky enough to keep living the life while Josje and I head back to work. Well, I call it work but It’s not all that bad! It’s not like we are rolling burritos and flippin’ burgers anymore. I just woke up on a beautiful 100ft Swan (type of yacht) in Fiji!
(on coral watch. Only at the second spreader but still over 60ft up! Slowly overcoming my fears..)
Just to fill the family and friends in, here is a bit of what we have been up to the past 5 months…
As you may have read in our last blog in January (You’ll see it when you believe it) we found a solution to our lack of ‘fun tokens’ and were offered a sweet delivery job sailing a 115ft Ketch from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 5,000 miles to Auckland, New Zealand. Couldn’t have been any more perfect!
(The yacht and some footage from crossing the Tasman Sea)
After the sail, we decided to hang in Auckland for awhile and really take advantage of the perks of living on land! Our good friend Hurricane Nina lives near the city and had a spare room for us to “crash” in. Before we knew it we were paying rent and buying pillows! We took looooooong showers, went for walks out the door and into an actual neighborhood, slept in a big comfy bed, ate a lot of take out, met up with friends at bars, sat on couches with dogs, went to rugby games, and of course didn’t worry about our house dragging into a reef, ya know, “normal” people things…
We soon realized we did things a bit backwards. We had a place to live, rent to pay and a good habit of going out for dinner and drinks but we didn’t have a job to sustain it. So, through some friends and a night out drinking I got a temporary job on a massive 500 ton, 190 Ft ketch for about 6 weeks. Yea, I know a sail boat that big is hard to visualize. She has winches the size of barrels. The tender is the size of some cruising boats and the cost of sails rounding to about 8 Deloses. Unfortunately, with that big of a rig and the wear and tear put it on it from sailing, motoring is usually the way. After getting to know the crew Josje also got a job onboard for 3 of those weeks! It was a lot of fun partying and working with the 14 crew!
Getting thirsty and missing our homemade brew we put our heads together for a solution. A few emails, a power point presentation, Brian’s Moonshining masterpiece, and some business meetings later we got Delos a new Sponsor!! Thanks to the team at www.stillspirits.com for providing some new fun toys.
(25 liter boiler that produces 4 liters of 94% top shelf vodka)
And just when Auckland started getting cold, our temporary jobs were coming to an end and we had a week left in our place before we were literally homeless…..This beautiful Swan I am typing from now offered Josje and I a team position!!
It almost felt like it was a little too good to be true, but we knew the power of positive thinking was ultimately behind it. We gladly accepted the job and with a last minute visit to Josje’s family in the South Island we were off sailing north to Fiji!
(Josje, her mom also Josje, and their beautiful house in Christchurch)
Its amazing to be back in Fiji. Three years ago Brian, Paul, Dazza and I sailed here from Auckland, boozed up on rum and kava not knowing where we were going or what to expect. Its hard to believe Josje and I met here, actually 3 years to the day! We never thought we would be back exploring these same amazing islands. Of course it is different this time around. We are loving it in different ways and disliking it in others but all in all its hard to believe we are actually getting paid to sail Fiji again! Especially on a yacht this nice. We have power and A/C constantly, have an amazing chef, dive gear, kayaks, and paddleboards to use at our leisure. We often have moments of pure and utter astonishment, feeling so blessed and lucky that this lifestyle is our source of income. As good as it is, we still don’t have the same freedom we did on Delos. It’s not like we can do what we want when we want. We can’t just stay at an anchorage because we think its cool, invite locals on board for kava sessions, walk around naked or all the other amazing things you do when you have freedom on your own boat. But it all balances out,especially when we get to go shark diving!
(Anniversary in Blue Lagoon, Fiji)
So what’s next for us? Well this gig will take us through Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Sydney, then back to Auckland in November. After that, a trip to visit my family in the states is well overdue! Then, who knows?! Hopefully Brian and Karin haven’t gotten too used to being alone!! Haha