When an iguana drops by
Ah, sailing … to cast off the lines, be free from care, wander the world unshackled by earthly restraints, no more timetables or clocks. But the reality still means schedules. When is the best time to travel? Which day do you leave a port so you don’t get caught with no wind or too much wind?
And, there is always the pull of “home”, that place we all come from, where our special people are waiting for us. They may be wondering if we are sick, lonely, robbed by pirates, fallen overboard, rammed by whales.
Thank goodness for technology. Yes, we can travel the world by yacht and keep in touch with friends and family by satellite phone, email, internet, Skype or FaceTime. Technology is everywhere and places you would not dream of have internet cafes. We don’t speak the language but there are translation programs and even tiny islands can be “wired up”.
Take San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the Galapagos group. The internet cafes number about eight, of varying size and capabilities, open most of the day and late into evening. Even in the sacred siesta time they remain open.
The computer monitors blink invitingly. We are armed with memory sticks full of photos and email text, ready to let all of ours know where we are, and also to read up about the next stage of the journey. Where do we get the best provisions? Where are the safest anchorages? Where do we find the port captain and how much will he charge? Should we find an agent to help us live this fussfree lifestyle?
It’s important to hear from friends and family — news of who is getting married, a little grandson’s first steps, details of an unfortunate medical mishap. We sit at the keyboard in eager anticipation and pick up the mouse. Whoops! There is a huge glob of iguana dropping under it. We know what it is by the smell, which is unmistakeable. Now the mess is all over the mouse pad, our hands and the keyboard.
Travelling by yacht is all about inventiveness — finding ways to turn a toothbrush handle into a part for the shower door, for example. But the books never mentioned iguana droppings. Send your 400-word contribution with postal address to Follow the Reader: firstname.lastname@example.org. Columnists will receive a beautifully boxed set of a dozen 2ml vials of woody, floral and spicy scents from international fragrance house Amouage; $110. More: libertineparfumerie.com.au.