Almost getting almost ready
10.11.2013 - 17.11.2013 25 °C
This is the first country I've been to where asking around doesn't really get you anywhere. People just seem to repeat the last couple of words you said, but give no indication of having understood what it is you were saying. They bob their heads sideways, with no clear indication of yes or no (although a generally affirmative gesture, I've come to interpret it as an ok or "hmpf") Then, when and if they understood what you were saying, their first answer is generally no. Even if you are just asking for directions on how to get to the store next door. No. I may exaggerate a bit, but although there's many people with a great understanding of english, the above has already happened separately to all of our crew, more than once. It may be our own fault of course, assuming that in a former British Colony people would speak english...
It's a chaotic place, for sure. But I come from Mexico, so it doesn't really scare or astound me. Indian chaos is above the mexican, and over turkish chaos too, but not by that much. At least not in the south. Go to the north, they say, go all the way to Kathmandu if you want chaos. It's airy, slow and quiet here in comparison.
Yet India, in this part of the trip, has been more a setting than a player. I've spent most of my time in the ship, carrying this and sanding that; learning slowly how to fix a thing or another... It's still gorgeous place. At sunset, you see some shadows moving in the dimming light. They fly towards the sun, towards the orange pink horizon. They are not birds. Atop the mast, you can see their little snouts and big eyes. The flying foxes come quite close to the boat. Never too much. They keep their safe distance. Not like the magpies. They don't realize your presence until they're about to perch, and leave crowing displeased. Or will angrily crow at you while you climb that big, white stick, before flying away.
The actual players for this trip are:
The Liberty Sailboat.
A 30 ton sloop, ferrocement, big and sturdy. It's slow to wake, but will race away once momentum has gained hold. Her aesthetic is that of a truck. With big pipes, a new gray tarp, huge anchor and roaring engine. Born in New Zealand, registered in Vanuatu, it is a first class ocean crosser, almost ready to get back out there.
Has been sailing for longer than I've been living. He has lots of stories to tell and techniques to share. This is his house we are living in, and his journey we are sharing . He is a security freak, and handhold fanatic. His accident record while at sea is an impressive cero, and we intend to keep it that way.
He's the oldest of the bunch, yet full of life and energy. An Iranian adventurer, he has done a couple of ocean crossings, and teaches dinghy sailing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He sings persian songs while working, and talks in a deep voice when teaching something. Strangely enough, he also likes humming La Cucaracha or Cielito lindo, not songs I thought I'd hear in India, from an Iranian! Por all you farsi readers, his thoughts are published here, on The Boum Project.
A young filmmaker, he met Ali a few weeks prior to this trip and wished he could join the adventure. His wish was granted and he is now the volunteer cook while we are in harbour. As a rule, Gerd does not take on any crewmember that does not speak English, French or German, but has made an exception for Majed. So he is now learning and improving daily. Smart and couragious, he has filmed in Afganistan during the fighting, and has been featured in film festivals. He intends to capture this journey and the life at sea. We haven't even left and he already has hours of video!
An Iceland based Bulgarian linguist, he loves to travel and bike the world. He has already been to New Zealand, and may very well go all the way there again. He is already learning farsi from the persian gang, and helps me explain some Spanish concepts to Ali, or English to Majed. He joined this trip not only for the adventure, but because we're going through some of the most language diverse places in the world, and he is eager to learn some more.
The youngest of the crew (for now!) he's the nephew of one of Gerd's best friends. A proud Alaskan, tall and strong, he was the last to join, but fell straight into working. Twenty-nine hours of travel? What jet lag? He brought with him nice and shiny fishing equipment, lures and even arrowheads. It seems like it will be fun having him around! Too bad he's only here for six months though.
Then there's me! The only non-smoker on the boat, who will take any chance to ask for donations for the trip|!
Three more are supposed to join us in Singapore, yet they feel as part of the crew already. Milie, Kiki and Filippo, we can't wait to meet you!
For now, the full moon is here, yet we are not ready to sail. I'm getting restless but, slowly but surely, we're getting there.