Wind in my hair, salt on my skin, the scent of tea constantly rising through the companionway to infiltrate my briny nostrils…
The sea gypsy is back.
…And just in time too;
The crew aboard the Pacific Pearl urgently needed some reasonable, intelligent, responsible, feminine intervention to get things done.
Boats, no matter how pristine they appear, always house a plethora of problems.
I missed my final connecting flight, but rather enjoyed the replacement blimp to Fiji, even if there was no space aboard for my luggage.
After over forty hours of travel I finally collapsed at the Royal Suva Yacht Club where I was relieved to learn that my crew had arrived before I had; even if they were nowhere to be found.
I was also very pleased to learn that this fine establishment served beer.
The captain found my luggage before he found me.
And what ensued was a series of laughter which has pretty much stained the silence for the past three weeks.
The crew may comprise two bizarre Englishmen, but they are rather amusing, accommodating, and persuasive about the incessant need of tea.
We spent a little over a week in Fiji preparing and fixing the vessel, waiting out a weather window, before we bid the array of friendly sailors and locals farewell and set the sails for Samoa.
The sun sank.
The vomit stirred.
The captain glanced wearily across at his measly selection of seasick sailors.
I glowed green.
James fed the fish.
With a new day, came even bigger swell, but eventually the winds and seas worked together to let us sit back and gaze upon the beauty of life at sea.
(not quite following seas, but at least we lost the head-wind)
Things broke. They got fixed.
The captain spent most of his time tinkering in the engine room while James and I took turns sustaining the tea supply.
Plenty of potatoes were harmed, and I regret to tell you that many more spud fatalities will ensue – they seem to be the staple diet of the strange English breed I call crew.
Samoa came into sight and so did our hopes of a good night’s sleep.
At this point the engine decided to commit mutiny,
And instead we spent the night tacking backwards and forwards across the bay trying to get the right angle into port. The wind failed to join our team.
By sunrise the captain had strung together a series of make-shift solutions he felt reasonably satisfied with and we chugged into Apia Marina to dock.
By 08:54 am (after a cup of tea, of course) the crew was sound asleep.
But that was alright, immigration doesn’t work on a Sunday, so we had nowhere else to be anyway.