Day 51: The Other Odyssey

20.02.09: Today passed in a daze. Out to sea, no mobile phone, no internet. I think I had been saving up my first day off work for today. I lay exhausted, in my cabin and read The Odyssey again. The old one, not this one. I'm not that much of an ego maniac. Although I've got to say that old Odysseus and I would have probably got on like a house on fire - faced with choosing between sparing the life of a priest or a poet, he spares the poet. Nice to see adventurer/priestly relations haven't improved much in three millennia.

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Day 50: The Choir Invisible

19.02.09 Fifty days in, who'd have thunked it? I'm still in the Dominican Republic. I've been here over a week! Bah! But I leave today (thanks again, Team Odyssey!) and all, for the moment, is good. Met a friend of Ken's called Esperanza. She's from Colombia and she photographs naked chicks (including herself) for a living, pretty good at it too (ahem - by all accounts). Ken does her website. Not often you meet a good-looking girl and the first thing they show you are naked photos of herself, but there you go, welcome to the DR. A light lunch with Ken and Esperanza and then off to the offices of DR1.com to say goodbye to everyone. Got down to the docks in good time, only to find out that the container boat, The Linge Trader, wouldn't be leaving until tomorrow. More delays! But...I was allowed…

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Day 49: Go, Team Odyssey!

18.02.09: Still no word from the Linge Trader. Hugh has gone to Germany now and Lorna and Dino are in work. I'm in the office at DR1 with Ken, TJ, Lu, Lee and Robert - it's becoming like a proper job. I'm going to get editing Week 5 and 6 videos now, so I don't think anything more exciting is going to happen today, but if it does, I'll be sure to let you know. Sorry it's taken me so long to update my blog - it's hard when all the time you are awake, you are trying to get your next means of passage secured. Once I'm back on Terra Firma and I'm sitting on buses for hours on end, they'll be up here every day. Promise! OH, HANG ON A MINUTE... WHAT'S THIS?! I've just this moment received an email from the dude in…

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Day 48: Home Cookin’

17.02.09 Are you still here? Got an email from Lonely Planet telling me not to feel too bad about being stuck in the Caribbean, because of all the great footage I'd be getting. I didn't have the heart to tell them I sat in an modern office all day working on a computer like a chump. So another day of phone calls, shipping timetables and website after website. Dino, Hugh and Lorna were on the case and eventually we were all left playing the waiting game. I did my sums and there's an outside chance that I could make the Eimskip boat from Canada to Iceland on 8th March... IF I can get on the ‘Linge Trader' to Jamaica; IF I can get the ‘Pamplona' to Costa Rica on Monday; IF I make every bus connection to Key West in Florida and get there from Costa…

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Day 47: The DR1 Will See You Now

16.02.09: I needed somewhere that I could sit and work, and Ken and TJ work in a place around the corner - the offices of DR1.com, which is a website for English Speakers in the Dominican Republic with news, features, bulletin board etc. They work in the office with an American guy called Lu, a Brit called Lee and another Brit called Robert - the owner of the company. Media stuff on everyone's screen, everyone working away but taking breaks every now and again to tell jokes, a dart board on the door... All it was missing was a sexy pole-dancer who worked upstairs and I could have been home. A wonderful guy called Román Cid who had seen my videos on YouTube (Week 1 - 220,000 hits and counting! Woo! THANK YOU YOUTUBE!) got in touch and really, really helped out - he managed to…

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Day 46: Domingo Dancing

15.02.09: I had to get up so early my legs where all shaky. Wurgh! I said my goodbyes to Mehrdad and wished him well on his endeavours. He tried to give me some Sushi to take with me, but I can barely bring myself to eat toast at that time in the morning, never mind raw fish! I hopped on the bus back down to Santo Domingo, a nice, big, air-conditioned affair that cost less than ten bucks. Drifted off to sleep and woke surprisingly early in the capital. A taxi driver kindly ripped me off by driving me round the block to Ken the couchsurfer's house. It wasn't until later that I discovered it was over the road from the bus station. So after meeting Ken and his flatmate TJ (both American), I headed over to the ports to take down the names of the…

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Day 45: The Golden Ticket

14.02.09: Valentine's Day. My girl, Mandy, is on the other side of the world and every day I waste on this island is another day that I'm not spending with her at the end of all this. Mehrdad is a living legend though, he came with me to Ocean World, a nearby port full of Richie riches, on the off-chance, but nothing. There were only a handful of boats in port and most of them were not going anywhere - if they were, it was up to Turks and Caicos, not on my schedule. With the global depression, the recent murder of an Australian skipper on Antigua and the general strike and riots in Guadeloupe (which may be spreading to Martinique) this is NOT a good time to be hitching around the Caribbean. Another problem is that Americans are not allowed to go to Cuba. Under…

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Day 44: Paradise Lost

13.02.09: First things first, I needed to check for boats leaving for Cuba or Jamaica from the port. Mehrdad and I headed over the harbour and a guy took us around all the ships (and then demanded money) only to tell us that none of them were going to Cuba or Jamaica. Okay, so forget that - time to step foot in Haiti. I got the bus over there, taking much longer than I expected. I arrived at around 1pm. It's market day - the day that the Lonely Planet warns you not to cross the border on. But it was just a bit like walking to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, so I took it in my stride. The UN peacekeepers on the bridge kept me safe and I got to touch Haitian soil. I returned to the Dominican Republic and took four different forms…

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Day 43: Alien 3

12.02.09: We arrived in La Romana, in the Dominican Republic at around 8am. I had to be up early for customs formalities - the only person disembarking. I said my goodbyes to Rosa (Roberta was busy) and headed to the capital, Santo Domingo. Bye bye Costa Fortuna. The coach had a blowout, so the broken old tyre was replaced (in record time mind you) by a spare that was balder than an extra from Alien3. Ah - back in Latin America! Spanish, crazy drivers, deafening music, and, yup, baseball. But this is still the Caribbean, so it's still waist-deep in fried chicken. From Santo Domingo, I got a coach straight up to Puerto Plata, the harbour in the north near Luperon, from where I was told the yachts depart from. There wasn't enough time to get to Haiti and back today, so I met up with…

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