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Dusty, Noisy and Hectic Heralds Homecoming for Some

06:35 5th September 2007 by Oceangybe
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Words by Ryan

Latitude: 17 degrees, 35.5 minutes S

Longitude: 149 degrees, 37 min W

Distance Traveled: 3950 nautical miles

VROOOOM, BEEEEEEP, VROOOOM, BAAAAARRRRPPP, SCREEECH, VROOOOOM, CRIIIIEEEEEYYYYYT, BEEEEP, BAAARRRRRRP…

Wow, traffic is noisy. After two months completely isolated from city life, gently re-emersing yourself in it is a shock to the system, no matter how tangentially you approach the emersion at…

We are out of water (even after trying to catch every drop of rain), out of diesel, our tender is running on fumes, so it was time to head to the bustling city of Papette. It is with mixed emotions that we leave the idyllic and unhurried existence of the more remote islands, and re-enter this “civilized” life of a busy first world city. For Brys and I, arriving at Papette heralds the beginning of our trip back to Canada, and happy reunions with friends, family, fiancé’s and girlfriends, as well as the opportunity to witness the marriage of our younger sister, Alexi! For Hugh, it is the beginning of three weeks alone on the boat, a time I suspect he is actually looking forward to. I know he has some hikes planned and will definitely be able to meet some people and take them on a cruise of the islands. We have found some amazing places within a day’s sail from here, places where three weeks would pass by in a blink of contented consciousness.

One stark impression from returning to 1st world consumption is that we use garbage, plastic and disposable items without even thinking about it. What ever happened to taking your dedicated grocery bag to the store with you, instead of relying on the plastic there? Why do we need two bags around the cans we just purchased, one will be fine, thanks. Oh yeah, and why are these cookies individually wrapped, then wrapped in threes, then covered with cardboard, then inserted into this tin!? I don’t mean to sounds preachy here, as we have changed based on these observations too! All I ask is that you pay attention, and try and notice these things. We firmly believe that we could halve the amount of waste in our lives, without even noticing it, or adjusting our lifestyle. When you start looking for it, there is a huge amount of excess. Being on a sailboat forces you live with the product of your own existence. That bag of garbage you compiled a month ago, is still in the aft external locker (lazarette) and is an odiferous reminder of your own consumption. After a month of sitting in the sun, it is now able to move under it’s own locomotion too! Talk about a motivation of minimize your garbage, clean out your cans first, and make smarter choices at the source – at the grocery store. We find ourselves looking for products with as little packaging as possible – for us it is not only a choice, but a necessity. I hear there has been a services strike in Vancouver, BC, so this is a timely entry: If the strike lasts a month, you will have an appreciation of the odours emanating from our Lazarrette! Another point is that as we get smarter, and more conscientious with our waste, the smells have got better, and the volume, smaller.

So anyway, just some observations I wanted to point out having the perspective of coming from places whose inhabitants have to deal with their waste, personally.

Days of our lives part 2: Cooking at sea is coming soon. Also, I need to clear a few things up! After the first installment, we have received lots of comments about “your leaky boat”! ALL sailboats that have been in heavy seas are leaky boats, and from the stories we have heard, we got off very lightly! For her age, Khulula is actually a very dry boat, and after a couple of modifications, she will be completely (well, almost), watertight! We also have had lots of comments on our moustaches from the crossing. Yes, you do change a little after three weeks without sight of land and YES, busting out new, ridiculous facial hair expression is a great way to shave off a beard AND keep the humor alive on the boat. I could not even look at Hugh and Brys without laughing! Oh, and moustaches are coming back into style, didn’t you hear?

There are some new pictures posted, and a revamp/update of the website planned for Sept. Stay tuned!