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Showing posts from September, 2006

74. WEIGH ANCHOR AND SET SAILS (1)

From June 1997 I had sailed as crew on three different sail boats, making it back home to Noumea in New Caledonia in the middle of August. I had been away for 18 months. The next thing to do was to ‘settle down’, have a job and lead a decent life. The adventure was over.

Was it? Everyday with the pretence to look for second hand books at the marina, I’d go and hang around there for a while. One morning I overheard a conversation between an American and a couple of other sailors. The American was saying in broad accent: “I hear you are looking for crew to sail down to New Zealand”… I jumped into the conversation. Sailing from Noumea to Auckland is known among yachties as being for sailors with experience only. By then, I had plenty of it and could claim for the job. A man said: “go and see my father, he’s the captain, the boat isn’t far from here.”

The boat was moored with her stern to the dock, with a cat walk like board between the two. As I jumped on deck an old white head man greeted…