Home. At least seven months and 10,000 miles of land and ocean stand between me and home.
I’ve been thinking about that more and more this last week. God knows I’ve had the time to think about it. 4 hour-long night watches on a small yacht in a big ocean ensure that. What will I do when I get home? A real job?
I’ve also been thinking a lot about Japan. I become more and more convniced that Japan is where I would like to be living. Dunno why…
But for now, the immediate challenge that stands in my way between here and home is about five days more of sailing, before the challenge of 6,000 miles of skateboarding begins. I am crew aboard the delivery of Irish Jester II, a 38 foot French-made Kinnex sailing catamaran, from the US Virgin Islands to Alabama, USA. I will be getting off the boat in Key West at the southern-most tip of the state of Florida, USA. I will skate north through the Florida Keys, dodging aligators all the way up to Tampa, my first point of call in the US. In Tampa, I look forward to meeting up with Rick Smith, a good friend from my days as an Outdoor Educator in Switzerland. I also look forward to new cramic skateboarding bearings that have been kindly supplied by Bones Bearings.
The original plan was to try to get on a yacht from the British Virgin Islands to Nassau, in the Bahamas, so that I could go to the US Embassy there and apply for an extended US tourist visa. On a standard visa waiver, I can only be in the US for a maximum of 90 days. It will take more than that to skate across the US.
However, right now is not the season for yachts going north from the Virgin Islands to the US. So basically I had to take whatever came up. So the deal at the moment is that I have a 3 month stamp in my passport for the US. At some stage in my journey across the US, I will need to leave the US, and re-enter at some stage. This will most probably be somewhere like El Paso, in Texas. Pop over to Mexico for a couple of days and then re-enter for another stamp to finish the US leg off. At least I think that this is how it will all work. I’ll worry about the logistics of all that when the time comes.
Right now I am typing this on Captain Debbie’s laptop, aboard the Irish Jester II, in Ocean World Marina near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. Yes, the marina where I lost my visa card about a month ago. I imagine that my next update will be from Florida. Until then, along with Captain Debbie and crew Connie, we will be fighting the strong northern Atlantic swell all the way to Key West. Send some flat-water-vibes my way!
Click for a short video update