G’day Damo, howzit going mate?
I'm writing to you en route to Tobago on my new boat. I was planning to head north from Martinique, but the winds of fate had other plans, it would seem.
For the few weeks I was in La Marin, I got to learn a bit more about the sailing world, which has been insightful. I sort of wanted to head north to chase the big boats, but I've come to realise the big boat industry is not for me, which is a shame, 'cause the ships are so amazing. You should see the things Damo, 200-plus feet of engineering wonder. Imagine pulling up a sail that is over a square kilometer in surface area, watching it fill with wind and feeling the feedback through the helm... *froths* ... I would really love to sail on one of those big bastards, it's just a shame that luxury yachting is such a wank.
I was watching the big boats come through the harbour and set out to learn more about them, but all I learnt was that big boats are just a big toss. It's not even about sailing, it's just about flaunting the size of ya bank account. Half of them don't even pull the sails out when they tour the islands 'cause the owners/clients don't like when the boat is heeling over... WTF?!?! Why would ya spend a fortune to own/charter a sail boat if you don't like to sail?? Rich people ay
Although I love the boats, working for a billionaire doesn't sound like my sorta gig. You can sell your soul out here for a weighty chunk of gold, all you gotta do is forfeit your life and become the personal slave of some rich mofo, and with the amount of money they pay you, they really do own you. The golden handcuffs, I've heard it called. One of my mates works as a captain on a nice charter boat, he was telling me how he was getting tired of the nomadic life and wanted a change, but when he told the boat owners that he was going to quit, they just laughed at him and doubled his pay. "Too much money to walk away from" he reckons... so he stays on his luxury prison cell floating around the seven seas all alone, depressed like a mother fucker, serving his masters.
"Brother, you've sold out to the devil..." I didn't say the words, I only thought them. He already knew and didn't need me to remind him. Big money does strange things to the mind, that's about the point I gave up on the big boats.
I looked around the sailing community and gauged the general happiness of the different groups. Many of the big boat yachties were unhappy, only sailing to make money so they could live a different life. Then I found the gypsy sailor crew, grinning from ear to ear as they made music around the fire in their beach camps, smoking bush weed they grew in the mangroves and sailing around the islands in their little boats held together with recycled parts and a love for freedom; following the winds and loving life... Yep, that's a bit more like it: that's the way I want to sail the Caribbean.
So when this gypsy bloke offered me a place on his crew south to Tobago and Trinidad, leaving the next day, I was like "fuck it, let’s go!" I did my provisioning from the dumpsters behind the local supermarket and moved on to the 10 meter sloop with my new captain, who I've nicknamed 'Three fifty seven', cause he's a fucking weapon, and Malo, another young hitchhiker from France.
Now we're sailing day and night like mad cunts to Tobago, passing the windward sides of St Lucia and Granada and the leeward side of Barbados. I don't know much about Trinidad and Tobago, except that they're two independent islands under one government, and the southern most islands of the Caribbean. Apparently it’s pretty rough down there with plenty of crime, smuggling and hustling, the fucking real life shit, and the waters around Trinidad and Venezuela are pirate as fuck, and not friendly pussy pirates like me, actual dead man walking, board ya boat, cut ya throat and plunder the booty type motherfuckers. Sooo exciting :D (but don't worry, they don't waste their ammo on gypsy boats)
So as usual, I have no idea what's in store for me over the horizon, but it's sure to be awesome. We will arrive in Tobago early tomorrow morning and I'll get a glimpse of my new adventure... I'll let ya know how that goes...
By the way Damo, I really gotta thank you mate, because you instigated this crazy adventure around the world. I remember when I was 20 years old you told me about your life as a swaggy. I remember the way you talked about Brisbane city like you owned it, how you would drink wine at the top of the cliffs at Kangaroo Point and look out over your kingdom. You taught me that I don't need to live in a box with a lockable door to feel secure, nor did I need money to be wealthy and all I had to do to live a great life is to get out there and live it. You actually gave me the keys to the world that day. I was like "what the fuck am I doing working 6 days a week like a sucker?" And as soon as I could, moved out of my house and onto the streets of Melbourne to begin my life of freedom.
Thanks for encouraging my sense of adventure bro, I want to pay it back: when I get home we're definitely taking your hobbie cat out for a sail. Let's find the biggest wave on the east coast and nearly kill ourselves on it! Yeewwwww
Love you brother.
See ya then :)
"It's okay to have money, just don't let money have you."
— Karol, on the pit falls of chasing the dollar