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Hitchhiking on the sea
by Denae D’Arcy
Listening to more about him second- was a typical yachtie pub fueled with mill in Holland. I found a room on the
hand, I slowly got a picture of the type Becks beer and rum punch and full of boat, a job slinging drinks and hung
of man Richard is. Brave, adventurous, sailors spinning sail tales.” out for the high season. The Norwegian
willing to be a bit weathered and Richard had landed on St. Maarten contingent on the Telesia actually found
physically fit - precisely what many of us carrying only a backpack, a bike and me a berth on my first sailing trip as
dream to be. With a sense of adventure a dream. He lived on the beach for a the low season came on (which was a
of my own, I emailed Richard asking if week before scrounging for work as a transatlantic). I had never sailed before
he would spill his nautical secrets and bartender and waiter. In his down time, I got on the boat to arrive 21 days later in
allow us to spend a day in his ‘sea legs.’ he took to the water in a small craft and the Azores, twenty pounds lighter with a
He agreed. pulled water-skiers around La Samana slew of new nautical terms in Swedish.”
Now a businessman, well known resort. Island life could be mindless All of this sounds pretty daring
in the progressive new media industry, and full of lazy days. Richard wanted to me…and hearing about his
he also makes a living in the boat- more. He moved onto a boat that didn’t abandonment to passion is inspiring,
building world where he finds time to move from its anchored spot and got but I struggle with how I can translate
indulge his hobby. Richard’s publishing to know life on the water. At the end of this into my own day-to-day reality, so
projects,, the high season friends convinced him I ask Richard. His reply is, “I just say and www. to help them deliver a 43 foot Beneteau go for it!” are all Official Google to Turkey for the Mediterranean charter If you want to take to the water
News Sources in English, syndicated season. He had never sailed before but like he did:
to Lexis Nexis and Ebsco via www. his new friends weren’t too concerned “For those in early or mid-career In other words, this guy about that. They wondered if he could I suggest trying to pin a crewing position
is not only adventurous, he’s smart and survive the journey and not wash out on a delivery. There are plenty of crew
he knows what’s up in the media. early due to sea sickness. wanted, crew available resources on the
Richard’s love affair with sailing “It was a night like any other…we net now – and it’s possible to take a few
began when he was 17. He’ll never were playing our usual game of darts. weeks off and do a trip, moving a boat.”
forget how he fell off the dock Only this night there was a new team Crewing? What’s crewing?
climbing onto a boat for his first job. on board – the Norwegians. Little did “Working on boats. I use it in the
The crowd watching on land laughed I know, the jovial newcomers were to context of the pleasure boating industry
and seemed to still be laughing while instigate an odyssey of sail-venture that myself. It’s about being part of a team or
the yacht pulled away. It was on that would eventually lead me to diverse crew on a boat.”
same first trip, Richard realized his countries such as Vanuatu, Thailand, I can imagine that being on the
passion for the sea from a boat full of Greece, Fiji, Australia, Grenada, water for weeks at a time allows for
“Scandihooligans” and his inspirational Dominica and Cape Verde.” hard-learned lessons. What did Richard
story began. What possesses a man to abandon learn from the sea that life on land would
“Ten years ago, in a small, everything and take to the sea? From never teach?
sweltering Caribbean beach bar, I found the way Richard tells it, the decision “Patience. Oneness with our planet.
my first ride on an ocean-going sailing wasn’t that difficult. Coping with loneliness. Cooking while
yacht. Kim-Sha, nestled on the ivory “I just wanted to get out of the rain living life at a 45-degree angle, strapped
sands of Simpson Bay in St. Maarten, and my work shoveling tracks in a steel into the counter.
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