Two years ago I flew home from Key West for Christmas and New Years, just before the official start of the Blue Planet Odyssey. One year ago Jesse and I flew home from Singapore, and I had an extended break over the holidays. This year Hallie has joined me in Brazil.
The past year has of course been amazing for me. It began with my having no crew lined up for the legs between Mauritius and Brazil. Liam contacted me after reading in my blog that I needed crew, and we are both happy about where that led. Later Nora said she would like to join, and she persisted in spite of both her Dad and me suggesting that the passage from Reunion to Durban might be too rough for someone with a history of sea sickness. Yes, it turned out to be challenging (and the departure from Durban even more so), but her determination and spirit carried the day, and she continues to be up for more adventure at sea in 2017.
I returned to No Regrets in Malaysia…met new crew Chris…experienced the philosophical fireworks between Chris (expand/deepen your personal awareness) and Tim (stop wasting time meditating and do something about the oppressive ills of capitalism/corporatism)…by the end of the month Chris had jumped ship, and we were advertising for crew on short notice.
Malaysia to Thailand…then across the Malacca Strait to Sabang. A month of cruising Sumatra and its offshore islands…picking up TC along the way for the Indian Ocean crossing. Departing Padang to the lovely Cocos Keeling, then crashing our way to Rodrigues. Then Mauritius, where No Regrets sat alone while I spent the northern summer in Maine.
Back to Mauritius, with Nora and Liam. A short hop (shakedown…initiation) to La Reunion, greeted once again by our favorite Rally Rep, Luc. I’d like to return to Reunion with a backpack (and preferably some ability to speak French).
1400 miles to Durban; no serious challenge from the infamous Agulhas Current. Fabulous explorations of South Africa. The most challenging conditions leaving Durban. Rounding the Capes, and a fun stay in Cape Town. Then the dunes of Namibia…the hills of St Helena…the fun in Fernando de Noronha…and now New Year’s on the Brazil mainland. The year will begin with preparing for the last long passage, to Barbados, with Tim and his son Josh. But first there is a long night ahead at the beach with loud music and fireworks and a huge crowd of fellow revelers.
Some favorite photos from 2016 below.
Feliz ano novo! Happy 2017 to all!