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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Life of a Dead Kitten

On our second day as illegal Indonesian immigrants (Sunday), we found a kitten.A kitten so small it's eyes hadn't opened yet- meuwing helplessly under a tree - squirming at the pain caused by the puncture wounds in it's neck and the ants biting their way into it's flesh. Next to it lay its dead brother.

We just stood and starred. And eventually James bent down, picked it up and stroked the ants off it's trembling body. The silence was deafening, there were big decisions to make here: We could put it back down and walk away like nothing had happened. We could try find someone else to take it in. We could help it find rest faster. Or we could get completely involved and do what we could to nurse it into catfulness.

The silence shattered as our footsteps wondered off in search of milk. "Can we call her Ninja?" I asked "because Ninjas never die." And that's how "Ninja Taracat" came into our lives.


She had a 50/50 chance of survival.

I sat on the roof of the yacht that evening pondering life (and stitching curtains). Nobody has a clue how long they have on the planet - it could be 20 years - it could be 120 - either way, life is flipping short.

Mine flashed before my eyes as I listened to the shrieks from below as James washed the maggots from the wounds.  I contemplated the things I'd done with my life: childhood tree climbings, flying lessons, those awkward high school years, uni, the spectrum of bizarre jobs I'd acquired over the years, people I'd met, places I'd traveled.


The crash helmet indicates that I may have been accident prone from an early age!
I don't know why I thought this picture appropriate.
 I remembered small accomplishments:



And bigger ones:
17000 km in a little car that never should have made the drive to Mongolia
I started jotting down a list of random life memories.... then I tried to squat a mosquito and threw my pen over board and went to get a new one.

Down below, Ninja TC had stopped crying and started taking in milk.At last!



Coated in deet infused mosquito repelant and with a brand new pen, I continued my list and thought long and hard about what I'd be doing with my life if I'd taken a career seriously or if I'd never caught the travel bug or if I'd settled down and bought a goat or... I suddenly remembered what we all know but seldom remember: It doesn't matter who we are, what we do, where we do it, it doesn't matter what our past has held - it's up to us to be make sure we make the most of every second of the now for however long we have to live it.

Solomon, allegedly the wisest man to ever have lived, once said [probably in Greek or Hebrew, but I don't speak either so you get English]:

"Young man, it's wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do. Take it all in. But remember you must give an account to God for everything that you do."
Ecclesiasties 11:9

And whether you're religious or not I think it's an important thing to grab onto. The only person you can blame for a life filled with regrets is you.

James stayed up all night nursing Ninja. In the early hours of the morning she died. At least we knew that everything that could be done for her was. She may not have lived very long and I was too scared to get to know her well, I didn't want to have to say goodbye, but she made an impact on my life all the same.

You only die once. Make sure your life ends doing something you love. Make sure you die happy. But please don't die any time soon!





Monday, September 17, 2012

About a Boat

I've pretended to be a lot of things this year:

A camel (slash backpacker):
 This is how I arrived in Indonesia after a whole year in Aus land
A nautical engineer (the boat sank)

A hardcore biker ganger (but we never really created any gang related havoc or got arrested)

 A cross continental cyclist (with  a crappy Chinese bike)-  

A hitch hike extraordinaire

And now I pretend to be a vegetarian sailor

Today marks one month of sailing for me and, if anyone knows me well, that's quite a long term commitment! So much so that I feel the need  to involve you in my life of nauticasity...

Firstly there's the crew: 

Four of us at present, with a fifth joining the ranks in Indonesia.

Captain Kirk, apart from being our skipper, is also our in-boat chef extraordinaire - without him a diet of peanut butter and chilli coated starches would prevail

James is our Engineer, plumber, electrician and resident DJ - he likes to subject us to the wholesome lyrics of murderous gangster rock. And fortunately he also fixes our toilets and fans when they brake.

Teddy is the mandatory slob that lazily lounges about watching other people work - because there always has to be one.

I'm not sure what my actual job description would be now that I no longer provide sea sick amusements by hanging over the port side but "resident licker" slash "rapid consumer of expiring first aid supplies" (I tend to injure myself all too frequently) will suffice for now.  

We'll start with the deck, shall we? It's all good and well having an autopilot on board, but the amount of fishing nets and tankers and freak wooden planks and killer whales (I say this in hope that we may actually see some whales soon) about means that there always needs to be someone on the watch - day and night

It's tough being at the helm (actually, sometimes it really is)
In calm waters it's brilliant and you can see for miles and relax, but in bad weather and strong waves the horizon bends to 45 degrees... I for one had no idea that boats could tilt so much without flipping!

Inside we have the saloon (dinning table) where teddy currently resides (man am i glad I don't have to carry him anymore)

 We have a remarkably open plan kitchen (galley) for a boat - if only I knew how to cook!

My 'stateroom' (bunk) used to be, and I quote "a glorious wardrobe closet" and when the boats not rolling about too crazily, it's the comfiest bed I've probably ever had!


To use the toilet ('head') you need to pump water in and then pump everything out after use - This alone should ensure that some day I will actually own arm muscles.

Everything onboard has bizarre names and bizarrer purposes and whilst I still confuse my mains with my gibbs and often untie the wrong sheets and tangle up the black loopy thing, I've made massive progress and can generally steer without crashing - I also know now that you should always puke leeward.

We've done some mammoth supply shopping sprees
This picture holds 47 blocks of cheese and a very happy amrican

And some mamother fuel missions (lugging almost 3000 litres of fuel in 20 litre jerry cans is no easy feat!) 

I've just feasted on a delicious popcorn and chilli sandwich and we're finally sailing out of Malaysia - next stop, Indonesia.





Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Travel the World, Lick Things, Be Super-human

Licking a friend

Licking a camper van
Licking the ruflasia, Malaysia

What have you licked lately?

I ask this because statistically (probably... I think, maybe) us humans don't lick enough. We see things and hear things and smell things and touch things all the time, even in our sleep - but licking we tend to save for meal times and the occasional hottie/ life partner or face-plant.

People are always going on about the acquisition of sixth senses, but do you even use all five??

Now I suppose you're nodding to yourself, saying yes yes (or "jaaaa" if you're Dutch, German or Afrikaans), getting bored and about to close this and give up reading blogs forever, but think about this carefully - you've seen the Eiffel tower have you? Your bosses new suit? The great wall of China? Chairman Mao? The neighbour's cat? Sydney Opera House? Nelson Mandela? A beached killer whale? The Northern Lights? A lion? I'm sure you can remember what they looked like, but what did they taste like??

Wouldn't life be great if we enjoyed it with ALL our senses?

Licking a strawberry

Licking a hollow tree - Fraser Island

Licking a stolen lifeguard speedo, Moomoolama

Licking a Maccers sign, Aus

Licking a Wallabee, Brisbane

Licking sulpher, Ijen, Indonesia

Licking a memorial tree, somewhere

Licking a giant beer bottle, Ethiopia

Licking a white thing, Bangkok, thailand

Licking Teddy into existance, Hawks Nest, Australia

Licking my rice snow man

Licking my Kiwi

Licking a war memorial, Australia


Licking a statue, Auttaya, Thailand



Licking an unsuspecting Korean

Licking my old camper van, Karla goodbye

Licking  a Kiwi

Licking a random pole on the top of a mountain

Licking a diseased goat

licking a chicken

Licking a dog

Licking a Japanese person

Licking a horse

Licking the sacred survivor statuet on Tiga island

Licking a cat

Licking a hand statuet, Wanaka - NZ

Licking a tractor

Licking the Sydney Opera house

Licking an Ice cream, Chengdu, China

Licking the Petronas Towers, KL, Malaysia

Licking the rain, Sydney, Austrlia
 And don't just take my word for it, other people lick too:

Licking an African statuet

Licking a beer boep

Licking my brother's calf muscle - it's slightly hairier than mine

Licking a police car
Licking the Jollybee, Philipines
Licking a durex narwal

I give you here a mere 'taste' of the lickable world that is out there... and one simple challenge: Lick more!

Ever wondered what the person sitting next to you tastes like? Right now's the time to find out!

There's a whole world out there for the licking! - It's up to you to taste it!