Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ship of Fools

The crew are gathered around the table in the dining room and we talk about what we think the surprise could be. There are strict orders; only the captain can go to the airport to retrieve Madame and Monsieur X. What could they be up to? A plot is brewing, I can smell it… Four crew members have not yet met the X’s – what sort of surprise are they in for?

“Ahoy mates!”, the front door flies open and in come our owners bedecked in full pirate regalia. Mrs. X in a corseted dress, long, stringy hair, dagger in hand and white contacts in her eyes and Mr. X, like Jack Sparrow himself with his velvet cape, gold earring and leather pirate boots. Everyone greets each other not with the polite handshakes, formal salutations and restrained smiles as with most yacht owners – but instead with warm hugs, kisses and laughs – reminding me more of long lost friends getting reacquainted, rather than employers and employees meeting for the first time.

Of course, we had our own surprise in store for them too!

The entire crew and the owners together at last, a moment I’ve been anticipating for nearly 10 months and it is already better than I could’ve imagined. I can’t begin to think how Mrs. & Mr. X must be feeling; they’ve been waiting for four years!

Over a champagne toast, the X’s bust out some pirate booty and present the crew with custom made, sporting red jackets with the yachts logo and “MAIDEN VOYAGE 2008/ WORLD TOUR 2009” embroidered on them.

I slip into my jacket, look around at the happy faces of my teammates, our awesome captain and his wife who painstakingly sought us all out, the X’s who’s amazing vision this is and who have brought us together. Until now, this whole yachting-around-the-world-thing has been an abstract vision in my mind, like a dream, with only the fiberglass mold of the yacht sitting in airplane hanger to remind me that it is for real. But now, with each day that passes, that mental picture becomes clearer, the vision becomes more tangible. The reality becomes more real.

I trace the logo on my jacket with my fingers and read the words below silently to myself, “world tour, world tour, world tour”. Someone pinch me. “We’re going, kids. Get ready.”, Mr. X says. “There’s no backing out now, boss”, Hobbit replies, “once we hit Mexico you can’t decide that you want to go back up!”. The captain and the X’s lay out the itinerary - we’ll be departing Washington late summer or early fall and working our way south, wintering in Mexico and Costa Rica, the Galapagos and then French Polynesia, then, South Africa, the Indian Ocean and onward. Mr. X raises his glass, “… and I hope in three years time you’ll all look back and say that you’ve had the time of your life.”

I’m beside myself. And for the first time, I sense that something much greater is at work here, something bigger and more extraordinary than what my puny little brain could’ve conjured up...

I can only think to myself, the day this yacht is launched, the ship yard should just throw away the mold that the hull was cast from – because let me tell you, there will never, ever be another yacht like this.

Can someone pinch me, please? On second thought, don't, I don’t want to wake up…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Cookie
What a treat to lie here in bed and read your story.I will admit that i am extermly envious of your ability to write with such humor, its wonderful. Chicken is with her lover, that would be her new TV show called Canterbury Law. Anyway thanks for writing I think for every one on the boat enjoys reading about themselves through your eyes.

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