Wednesday, July 26, 2006

On the Horizon

It’s been over three months since I’ve set foot on a boat, and what an adventure land life is… I missed New York’s ethnic markets so much before I’d left on my Caribbean voyage; but to tromp through China Town in the dog days of summer, or to get in a taxi cab even, is a full-frontal olfactory assault. My eyes sear from the smells walking down the street and my sinuses have crawled into the back of my head seeking refuge. I’m afraid my adenoids have gone on sabbatical, never to return. I’m not attuned to this city life anymore and I’m feeling slightly out of step…

Friends have offered me catering work, job referrals, even the opportunity to buy out my former employers’ gourmet food business. But I feel like a ghost in the material world – the light beckons me, and that light is the sun reflecting off of the clear, cool waters of the Caribbean. I can’t possibly imagine doing anything else… Land is nice, sea is better…

Through the wonders of internet (Skype and email), I’ve been keeping in touch with my yachty friends from the Caribbean who are now scattered about the globe; the Mediterranean, Adriatic, South Pacific and New England. They’ve been asking when I’ll be able to return to the boat world and keeping me abreast of their adventures…

I’d met a gal in St. Martin she was one of my roommates at the crew house and had come from South Africa to join a yacht as a stewardess. She had every proof of employment from the yacht, but had to go to Barbados to get her B1-B2 visa before she started her position. Upon arriving in Barbados, she was denied her work visa because the consulate said that she didn’t have enough ties to South Africa and was afraid she wouldn’t return. An unfortunate predicament for many South Africans yachties that I’d met along the way… To add insult to injury, upon returning to St. Martin, her passport was taken by authorities at the airport because they said she only had a single entry visa. They gave her two weeks to remain in the country and informed her that she could not have her passport back until she was leaving…

The crew house and yachty circuit was abuzz with her dilemma. We were brainstorming on what we could do to get her passport back, get her a work visa, etc. It’s St. Martin, there had to be an official that we could bribe… The boat she was to be employed on couldn’t pull any strings and couldn’t employ her. I left for Antigua and my friend’s day of departure back to South Africa was close at hand… So, I was thrilled to get an email from her recently that she had gotten a job as a decky aboard another yacht. The captain was able to get her passport back and secure her a B1-B2 visa for the trip to Florida, as well as a Shengen visa for the Mediterranean. She’d just taken some time off and been traveling around England and Italy and sounded like she was having a great time!

Some friends that I had made in Grenada and sailed back up to St. Martin with are based on a boat in Annapolis and they came up and spent a week with me here in New York. A few weeks later they sailed into Sag Harbor and dropped off a charter. I met up with them and as we cruised out to the yacht on the dinghy, the wind in my face, I felt at home again…


Over the course of the past month my knee has gotten much, much better and after an MRI, the doctor has said that I don’t need surgery! I’ve been doing physical therapy two days a week as well as a litany of exercises every day at home. Don’t be fooled, p.t. does not stand for physical therapy, it stands for PAIN and TORTURE! I go back to the doctor tomorrow and am hoping that he will tell me that I can go back to work soon…

I won’t be rejoining the boat in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately they couldn’t hold my position open indefinitely and so I’ve been replaced (not that I can be replaced, but apparently, I can)… Ahhh, but life goes on. I’ve already had inquiries as to my availability from other boats that I worked on in the Caribbean that are now on the East Coast of the United States. And from what I’ve heard through other yachties, there is just as much work available here as there was down in the Caribbean. So, as soon as I get the green light from the doctor I’m going to head down to Florida and meet with some crew agencies, walk the docs and frequent the local yachty haunts to inquire about work…

Mmmm, I can almost smell the salty air (and taste the cold beer)…

Suffice to say, my sea legs are gone. It's going to take some time to re-adjusting, but hopefully my next adventure won't be quite as harrowing as this previous season... No 30 foot seas, please. Been there, done that...

Well anyway, I know I’m a slacker of a blogger… But stay tuned, the next adventure of The Wayward Chef is just over the horizon!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

good to sea that you'll be back on the waters again; I enjoy reading about your adventures!
Cheers,
cjr
Vancouver, BC

The Wayward Chef said...

Hey thanks for reading! Can't wait to have some more fun stuff to post about...

Anonymous said...

You're Welcome. as a bit of a 'foodie' and a sailor and a frequent vistor to St. Bart's/ SXM/ Antigua/ Etc it's been fun; all most like being there...
Cheers,
Chuck
Vancouver, BC

Anonymous said...

Cristina,

good to hear that you are getting better and remained a "sea lover" regardless; after all, that water accepts only strong people.

i just got back from croatia - adriatic sea is soooooo amazing, right on competition for carribean, my guess is all the oceans are the best places to be.
keep on pumping!

best,
kira

Anonymous said...

Hi, I actually live in Miami Beach. I don't know where you plan on going but I live on the water, Sunset Harbour Yacht Club. If you are down here I would suggest taking a walk at the marina. There are a lot of yachts!! I have spent some time in the BVI's, have you been? If you want to get in touch with me my email is, ellynpaige@mac.com.

Cheers,

Ellyn

 
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