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Wednesday, August 10, 2011


When I was asked to sail the Indian Ocean, I made it clear to the skipper that I wasn't going to warm his bed.

He wasn't overly bright, so I accepted that I would need to say that more than once.

What I did not expect, was to be woken every day with the (tired) line, "I suppose a fuck is out of the question?" I got bored more than annoyed. But I loved the sailing.

Night watches in the Indian Ocean where the sea is total phosphorensce.

Trading cans of coke for lobster in Thailand.

Hanging with the Sultan of Oman's crew in the Seychelles.

Walking a friend home in Mombasa because she was scared, then realizing we were in the worst ghetto around, and refusing to give my buddy my knife, because I might need it.

Watching a young black friend race MTX in Seth Effrica.

The village in the Maldives, which I had to talk my way out of . . .

BUT, back to the yacht. I flew into Thailand expecting to be taught to sail. The Skipper didn't think I needed to learn that particular skill, because HE knew it already. And it was a boat that could be sailed single-handed, therefore I didn't need to know. (I spent many hours with other sailors in Thai beachside cafes planning how to lose The Skipper at sea, and learning what I needed to know to 'single-hand' the boat)

Fast-forward a few weeks, to Nai Harn and a yachting regatta. The Skipper, trying to impress, came into our mooring under sail (note to non-sailors, NOT a wise idea if you have the option of a motor). We had a free boom, and the line caught on another boat's cleat. There we were, swinging around on a collision course, and The Skipper yells at me to get the fenders.

I, having been a roadie in a previous life, look around for electric guitars. Not seeing any, I wonder if these big squishy things might be useful.

I jumped ship in Sri Lanka, and signed on with someone who let me sail.


  1. Dear Steve (yes, you Mr. P) and Dr. Ian - love you also

  2. Tracie, After spending a year in Diego Garcia (small island (I mean really small) in the Indian Ocean), this article brought back many memories. I'm on my way to Haiti now. Maybe our paths will cross again one day in our travels.
    Jeanine (friend who loaned you an apartment in South Korea)

  3. Jeanine, it's wonderful to hear from you, and I know exactly where Diego Garcia is. The initial plan was to winter over on one of those islands, but that was with The Skipper whom didn't want me to sail.
    I've been back in Seoul for two weeks now and will be heading to the Thrift Store soon for a busy Saturday, I expect. I'll let Gerrie and the other ladies know I heard from you. It will not surprise me to have our paths cross again, let me know where the waves take you. - Traci