Day 80: Hooked!

21.03.09: What WOULD Philias Fogg have said? If all had been going to plan I'd be in AFRICA by now, having already stepped foot in every country in The Americas and Europe. And yet, I'm spending an entire day on a boat trying to get reach one little country. I'm caked in sea-salt, my hair is dry and matted and my beard is threatening to take over my face again. Not only that, but as I was at the helm, Captain Johnny was trying to fix the main sail into a better position when a hook twanged off and SMACKED me in the head - blood gushed, I thought I was done for - fifty miles from shore and here's my head dripping more blood than a vampire drinks in a week. Bit scary. It wasn't too bad in the end - no stitches required -…

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Day 79: Blockade Runnin’

20.03.09: The entire day at sea, we continued on our painfully slow march towards Cuba. I kept watch for US coastguard boats appearing out of nowhere and asking us what we were up to, but nobody came. Let's RUN this blockade, baby!! The wind was so weak we were truckin' along at a rather underwhelming three miles per hour, so Captain Johnny got out a ‘spinnaker' sail, which is like the ones you see on proper racing yachts. It worked a bit like a kite and it looked really cool blowing out at the front of the boat. It managed to get us up to a more respectable eight miles per hour, but by now it was obvious I wouldn't be getting to Cuba until Sunday at the earliest. Captain Johnny is the same age as me. He's on his way to Fiji, so this is…

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Day 56: Starry Starry Night

25.02.09: Last night, I spent a few hours up on the bridge with Alexander, one of the officers on board. He's from the Ukraine and loves to use the word ‘bullshit' in a thick Ukrainian accent. This I like. It was the night watch, so we went nuts on the coffee. The bridge is six stories above the deck (The Linge Trader is a big ship!) and there's a walkway around the bridge, which you can step out onto and give yourself vertigo. There was no moon, no clouds and the sky was littered with stars. Once again, I found myself wincing that Mandy, my girlfriend, wasn't here to see it. It's funny that every time I see something cool, I feel an overwhelming urge to grab someone else and say - look at this! Isn't it cool?! That's probably why I love Mandy - she…

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Day 55: Halcyon Days

24.02.09: I'm going to be 30 this Saturday. 30? Me? Where did all the time go? I'm still pleasantly surprised each morning that I don't have to put my school uniform on and listen to Brett and Jarvis and Thom and Damon on my Walkman WITH A TAPE IN IT outside the Old Swan pub waiting for the 68 or the 92 (whichever came first) with yellow, "Free Terry Fields" (who the hell was Terry Fields?) banners high on the nasty, nasty municipal flats that gloomily curved around the corner begging to be utterly destroyed and replaced with a great big, scouse Tesco! I still think it would be a good idea to head down to the swings in Springfield Park with Dino and a bottle of vodka and put the world to rights (and try to suss out the mystery of girls). I still think…

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