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Monday, May 30, 2016

Cage Eggs


So you're a good egg right?? 
Or at least your mother told you that once upon a time... [mine did]

I've never been a huge fan of chooks - they smell, they eat their own young and, if injured, they peck each other to death... 
After working on an organic chicken farm in Australia, I felt I had every right to claim that chickens belonged in cages.

Schooner Sjostrom
But apparently you can taste the difference between cage and organic eggs (or so it was agreed on a starry windless night as 12 of us endlessly drifted on Schooner Sjostrom towards Fiji). 
Apparently you can taste when a chicken has had a good life.

Photo credit: Conor Carftwright.
And life really was good.
Eight nationalities of all different creeds and cultures lit up the 100 foot gaff rig.
I'd been expecting a rough passage from New Zealand - but instead of crashing waves and sea sickness, the sea was glass and we had daily swims without even needing to hold on for dear life.

This just doesn't happen in the middle of the ocean. Ever!
The beautifully hand-crafted wooden boat boasted 5 toilets and fridges and freezers and a coffee plunger - all things I'd skipped in previous Pacific escapades.
We feasted on wholesome meals and fresh fish (When sharks didn't steal it off the line)
For 14 days we bobbed up and down in an ocean blue and glassy.

The crew:
1 Swede. 1 Fin. 1 Frenchie. 1 Dutchie. 1 German.
2 Scotts. 2 Kiwis. 2 Poms.
1 Gypsy. 1 manky teddy bear.
After trying to reel this guy in for hours, we lost most of him to a shark.
We stopped at the North Minerva reef  for a night and dived and snorkeled and kayaked  and enjoyed a safe anchorage as a storm blew in.




The sunrises and sunsets never ceased to amaze!
And even though we were hand steering without an auto pilot [again], having many hands on board meant you could find time to put your feet up.



Life at sea always makes you think.
Of people. Of places.
Of where you should be. And what you should be doing.

Do I not look enlightened???
And so it was that I realized I wasn't quite where I should be.
I was surrounded by more luxury than a gypsy of my caliber could handle.
I missed simplicity.
I missed roughing it.
Instead of blood, adventure pumped through my veins.

I felt caged by this beautiful vessel.
Trapped by comforts.
And so, after arriving in the beautiful land of Fiji, I've decided to jump ship, and steer my "vessel" in another direction (although I have no idea what the direction is quite yet)



It's a scary move leaving behind the beautiful smiles and faces and personas of this floating community, but it needs to be done.
Dwelling in place, job, boat, speedo or relationship (etc) you know you don't belong in is never a good idea!
For any reason!

As Sjostrom sets sail for Nadi, I'll be hopping off in Savusuvu with a bear and a tent and a backpack.
Even without any plans, I'm not too worried.
Life has a funny way of navigating you when you listen to your soul and follow that little inner voice
[that may actually just be your split personalities]

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
What legacy would you live if you were really living life to your full potential?

What's caging you? What's stopping you from having a happy life?? 
What would it take to make you a truly good [uncaged] egg??


And appologies if this was next level too deep...
I just completed an ocean passage :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Descisions


They say that 10 years of doing something makes you an expert... 
But after 31 years of practice I'm so bad at making descisions that I can't even spell the word. 

I descided that my thirties would be a progressive decade where I leaped forward and lived a lot; grabbing life by the testicles and valiantly tackling all of life's problems as they were thrown at me. 

I successfully cycled over 5000 kilometers across Australia for the amazing charity that is Bikes 4 Life.

The last leg of the trip (and the first leg in lycra) down the Great Ocean Road (Feb, 2016)
I conquered both the Southern tip of Australia and Mount Kosciuszko with an over-sized teddy bear and a torn achilles.

Mount Kosci (Feb 2016)
Wilson's Prom (Southern tip - Feb, 2016)
I survived the first family reunion in 6 years (and Sydney).

NSW, Feb 2016
I braved the flight to New Zealand and valiantly hopped around by the power of onesy (and thumb).

South Island New Zealand, March 2016
I out-paddled a storm as we kayaked the Abel Tasman.

Day 1 of 5 paddling the Abel Tasman, March 2016
I tackled my first grade 4 white water rapids (only because I was too slow to hop out and carry my pack raft).

Hiking out to the Pelorus river (March 2016)
I licked the tip of the South and the top of the North.

Absolute South (Mar 2016)
Top of North, May 2016

And then I descided it was time to complete my circumnavigation by other-peoples sailing boats.

Whangerei, May 2016
I've spent the last few weeks hunched over with terrible back ache and chronic knots in the shoulder and what feels like cows roaming and grazing on the inner lining of my stomach. My heads been on a spin cycle for 25 days and I still struggle to get a clean thought out of it. I've been unable to function on any normal level; and as you might imagine, that's not quite fitting for my gypsy regime. Why you ask? I've had a terrible case of indecisiveness!

There were too many boats owned by far too many nice people heading in far too many exotic tropical directions and I just didn't know how to chose. Fiji or Tonga or Vanuatu or New Caledonia?? Sail with a family or a couple or a single hander? Do a delivery or go cruising? A mono-hull or a cat? Step aboard as crew or take plunge and go captain?... The descisions were endless!!! And every time I was about to comit (another word I can't spell) a new option would appear.

Yesterday I finally descided to cut the crap and I did it - I took the plunge and made a big life descision! I've just hopped aboard my new home and in the morning we set the sails and wish new Zealand goodbye and well... [watch this space] ... 

Apparently descisions are going to haunt us for the rest of our lives. And you know what? It's probably a good thing!  For most descisions it doesn't matter so much what you choose: The chicken or the beef... going commando or granny panties... it doesn't matter where you go and what you do ... but you only have one life so make sure you make epic ones!