Day 81: The Forbidden Isle

22.03.09: After helming the nightwatch, I got a few hours kip before Johnny called me up on deck - he'd been chatting on the CB with a passing yacht that had just left Maria del Gorda. A yacht called The Mariposa... The very Mariposa that rescued me from Antigua!! Kerri and Andrew! Woo!!! They were on their way to Cancun in Mexico. I told Kerri that I'd try to meet up with them after we hop into Cuba. Johnny and I swung into the sleepy little bay of Maria del Gorda just before noon. It was a gloriously sunny morning, but now the storm clouds were approaching. There was no port to speak of, just some mooring buoys off the shore. Just two other boats beside ours. Johnny put up the US flag and the yellow Quarantine flag and we spoke to the port attendant on…

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Day 87: First We Take Manhattan

28.03.09: When I changed buses yesterday in Atlanta, I made a fatal error - I didn't push to the front of the queue. And so I and about fifteen other misfortunates were shunted onto another bus, a bus that didn't leave until an hour after our scheduled time. This was the start of our nightmare journey. We were supposed to change buses ONCE in Washington DC. No chance - we changed buses an unbelievable seven times throughout last night and today. I was woken at 1am, 3am, 4am, 6am and 8am to stand like a lemon in a Greyhound bus terminal (terminal being an appropriate term) while the horrible Greyhound staff sneered at us and didn't even have the decency to tell us what was happening and why. Any lesser mortal would have been utterly shattered thanks to Greyhound's badly-managed hoople-ha they call a bus service.…

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Day 101: The Shipping Booze

11.04.09: Today was a half day for the Filipino crew - it's a public holiday in the Philippines, so they got to let their hair down and skull a few beers. By the time I joined in, the party was already in full swing with Nickelback (of all people) blearing on the stereo. So I ended up sitting off drink a few beers with Crazy George and Chivas Regal the Cook, while Andrey and Emerson danced like maniacs to some really naff adult-orientated rock. After some rather boisterous shenanigans and tomfoolery, I opted for the quiet life and ended up sitting upstairs with the Icelandics - Albert the Supercargo and Joey the Crane Operator - enjoying a few beers and tales of life on the ocean. All in all, a very enjoyable night, but I wasn't looking forward to the hangover the next day.

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Day 102: Heading East for Easter

12.04.09: The least Easterly Easter of my life - no chocolate eggs, in fact no chocolate at all! To be honest with you, I spent most of the day in my cabin nursing my hangover and wishing that I had seasickness pills that actually WORKED!! That night, I went up on the bridge for a couple of hours and had a good chat with the captain about football (he's a Tottenham fan, believe it or not), the economic collapse and how the USA seems to be conspiring to make the whole world look incredibly dull.

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Day 103: Another Monday Comes

13.04.09: Oh my word, I feel ROTTEN! Spent a good part of today in bed, did a little editing, but it's hard to concentrate when you feel two seconds away from barfing all the time. This evening I sat with the Icelandics again (Albert's cabin being conveniently situated next to mine) and we chatted about the collapse of Icesave, catching puffins and where best to get a thermal bath. However, I'm more concerned that apart from brief respites in Reykjavik and the Faroe Islands, I'm going to be at sea for another WHOLE WEEK. Hopefully I'll find some kick-ass seasickness pills in Iceland and be able to whether it. A jolly sailor I is not.

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Day 106: The Icelandic Connection

16.04.09: It's a funny old world - the First Mate off the Reykjafoss used to be part of the original crew on board the Linge Trader when it was launched a few years back. He had photos on his laptop of the bloody thing being built!! So we got into Reykjavik in the wee small hours - I was on the bridge as the city lights came into view...but we were a few hours too late to make my connection with the Bruarfoss which would be getting into Hull on Sunday. It was time for plan B - the Dettifoss, bound for Rotterdam, arriving Monday. With the right connections, I could be in Liverpool by 8.55pm. Oh yeah. Anyway, after a restless night worrying about the fact that I'm probably going to have to delete all of the YouTube vids, and the six that I edited…

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Day 107: The Ghost Ship

17.04.09: Where is everyone? While the Reykjafoss was almost guaranteed to have the Captain, Andrey, Albert or Chivas knocking about, the Dettifoss is deserted at night. The TV room is empty and the mess is perfectly quiet, apart from the radio, which always seems to be on, and playing fuzzy music to nobody's ears. Hmm... So we arrived in Reydarfjordur in the morning. A beautiful natural bay surrounded by volcanic snow-capped peaks. I tried to find somebody on board to ask how long we would be staying, but finding nobody, took it on myself to have a wander. I didn't go very far - I wanted to keep the ship in sight, but bloody hell, Iceland is beautiful. I'll be coming back here. The food on board the Dettifoss is AWESOME. It's the best food I've had since I left home four months ago, in fact,…

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Day 108: Well, It’s a Fair Row…

18.09.10: I managed to find the Captain this morning, after we had arrived in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. He was disembarking to see a friend of his while the ship unloaded and he took me out of the dock complex and set me loose on the town. And what a town. Hidden gem ahoy! The buildings of Torshavn are lovely and - best of all - they have GRASS growing on the roofs! Seriously! Awesome winter insulation if you think about it, and it makes everything look so organic. Mmm... organic architecture. I was in seventh heaven, being of the firm opinion that I don't want my planet looking like the Starlight Zone from Sonic The Hedgehog, if you know what I mean. It seems that great and the good agree with me - Remember me telling you that St Thomas in the US Virgin…

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Day 109: 20,000 Steeds Under The Sea

19.04.09: After another night of tossing, turning, giving up and reading until light. Today I kicked around one the bridge with the Captain for a little while before getting a tour of the engine room with Siggi, the Chief Engineer - blimey! - I thought that the engine on the Reykjafoss was big! This put it in the shade: built - bizarrely - by Kawasaki (seems they only make very small or very large engines and nothing in between) the thing was spread over two floors. Twenty Thousand Horse Power! Scary stuff! Wasn't much else to do today so I contented myself watching DVDs on my own in the TV room. Still would like to know where everyone else on the ship is hiding.

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Day 110: Homeward Bound

20.04.09: I didn't sleep last night either. Beginning to see Tyler Durdun. But then I did watch Ocean's Thirteen yesterday. The lack of sleep has not helped my general disposition. I do have to take my YouTube vids down, I've got no choice in the matter. Sorry. The option is a one way ticket to Palookaville, and I've already been stuck there for six weeks AND I DIDN'T LIKE IT. I'll throw up some footage of Stan and I being manic and hilarious around Europe last year instead. At least I own that mini masterpiece. So not a good start to the day. Compounded by the fact that I rose at 6am ready to get off the ship (we docked in Rotterdam at 5:45am) and found myself pacing up and down on deck until the shipping agent finally rocked up about 8.30am. Missing my 8.50am train…

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