Friday, July 20, 2007

Me and Captain Cook - One of Us is Full of Crap

You learn a lot about yourself when you travel. Turns out I am completely full of crap…so I’ve got that going for me.

I often spout off about how I would never go on a commercial sailing adventure – they’re much too contrived, controlled, and inauthentic.

Turns out I did, and it was fun.

The kids and I took a three day “Captain Cook’s Sailing Safari” to the Yasawa Islands to the north of Viti Levu in Fiji. Now granted, this probably wasn’t the typical experience.

We sailed on a 108 foot schooner that could hold 30 or so people (plus crew) and we had only nine other travelers – all of whom were delightful. We had a couple of newlyweds from Finland and a couple from Norway who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. (With whom I found I shared a common accent – “Oh yah fur shure”)

There was also a single woman from England who was pensively trying to make a life choice – continue her own “round the world” journey, or return to a love and life she had found back in Mexico. The stuff novels are written about.

There were also two couples from Massachusetts, well traveled, best friends – one just starting their own family.

We sailed during the day – though only one day was windy enough to really sail – and spent every night at Bare Foot Resort on Drawaqa Island. This was truly roughing it – one step up from camping in open air, thatched bures. No electricity, outdoor/shared toilet and shower facilities. But remember – With only 9 other people on the island that can hold 40 or so, it was positively charming.

The food was very good – locally grown fruits, freshly caught fish etc. Plus I didn’t have to cook, wash or plan meals. Lovely.

There were activities every day – snorkeling, hiking, traditional village visit, fishing, etc. Anna and Charlie were eager to participate in everything (even the basket weaving) while Jack and I opted for some less structured time and went on a hike by ourselves. (Stay tuned for “Jack and Jules Went Up the Hill, Got Lost, Ran From a Wild Pig, Broke All The Rules of Survival, Jack Fell Down and Jules Came Tumbling After”)

Maybe it was the stunning snorkeling right off the beach where we saw coral in all the colors of the rainbow, dozens of electric blue starfish, and great schools of exotic fish.
Or maybe it was the nightly kava ceremony where young native men in grass skirts served us kava and danced bare-chested around the bure (yum).

Maybe it was the charming staff of Fijians who sang to us through every meal, showed us how to tie sailor’s knots and took special interest in caring for my kids. Or maybe it was the stunning sunrises and sunsets for which I was actually AWAKE every day.

But probably it was sitting on the prow of that ship as we sailed, listening to great tunes on my ipod and watching the sun-dappled, azure water glide by - ten feet below my suntanned, free hanging, bare toes. That was when I realized I am completely full of crap.


Blogger Ann said...

Hey Jules,
It is so good to read your blog. What an amazing adventure you are on! Next time can it be "take the friends with"? It will be so fun to see you and swap travel stories. Enjoy!

July 23, 2007 at 9:41 PM  
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