Day 37: Catch-22

06.02.09: I scrambled like a fighter pilot down to the harbour. I have to leave today. I have to leave today. I stopped at the Waterfront Hostel on the way, attempting to contact the ‘Monparess' boat, but no reply on the radio. Damn. Had to go back to immigration with my tail between my legs after yesterday's little spat. The lady in immigration gave me the kind of dressing down I hadn't experienced since primary school. The good news - they had my wallet. I had left it there when I stormed out. The bad news - they still weren't going to take me off the crewlist until I showed up with captain Grant (who is still a few thousand miles north of us at this moment in time). Outside I bumped into Andrew, the incredibly helpful guy from SuperYacht Publications who almost got me on…

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Day 36: Ships That Pass In The Night

05.02.09: Once again, I stayed at Christal's dad's house, but not before I attended a ballroom dancing lesson down the road. Seriously! Christal's dad, Owen, cooked me an amazing dinner (seafood pasta) which was such a breath of fresh air after three weeks of fried chicken and rice (it's all they eat on these islands. You know...Trinidad has more KFCs per capita than any other country on Earth!) and to sleep in that bed again... ahh... bliss... But I couldn't sleep... My hair was beginning to fall out about ever finding a way off this island. Maybe if I went to see Stan's Barely-Used Ship Emporium and got the swordmaster, the talking tattoo guy and the guy I sprang from jail (using the highly acidic grog passed from cup to cup whilst running from the Scumm Bar) to be my crew. I forgot to say, yesterday…

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Day 35: The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Caribbean

04.02.09: Cristal and I hit the streets looking for a way off the island. We even had a half-hour segment on the local radio station. We then spent the rest of the day trying to find a cargo ship - we thought we had found one leaving for Puerto Rico tomorrow. Perfect. But... There's always a ‘but', isn't there! US immigration (Puerto Rico is a US dependency) have changed their visa rules and now anyone arriving in a private vessel must have a US Visa (you're alright on scheduled transport). So it was a big no, no. I headed back to the Marina on the other side of the island - surely somebody there could help? No. I asked and I pleaded and some people said they would do all they could to help; others just couldn't care less. Unlike the other islands, there are loads…

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Day 34: The Cristal Maze

03.02.09: Arrived early in Antigua, but by the time passport formalities, etc. were all done, it was about 10am. I headed to the city centre and met with Brian Ho, a young journalist who did an interview with me for the local paper, the Antiguan Sun. Then I started hitting the cargo companies to see if anything was heading towards the Dominican Republic. There was something, but it left yesterday. I felt sick. There was nothing else for over a week. So I headed back to the Marina and started asking around - nothing. Unlike St. Kitts, there are HUNDREDS of yachts here on Antigua, but none would take me west. You've got to understand how demoralising it is to walk around for hours asking everyone you meet if they can help you and the answer always being no. A bit of good fortune though -…

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