Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hello Freeport

After a 4 day sail Athena and her crew arrived in Freeport, Bahamas. Every crewmember's face had a look of hesitation as we stared at the numerous smokestacks, massive cranes, and rusting barges. We wanted tropical, and got industrial. Instead of palm trees with hammocks cinched on we got blocks of concrete and rusting shipping containers.

You may wonder why. Why would we even be in a place like this.

Athena is a big girl. Very big. When she was launched in 2004 she was the largest privately owned sailing yacht in the world. She weighs 1100 gross tons, and is 295 feet long. So when Athena needs to be on the hard, she needs big facilities. Most yachts would normally use a marine travelift, but Athena is far too big. We have to be drydocked like the freighters and cruise ships. So over the next couple weeks we will be up on the hard painting our bottom and checking systems.

Of course, the weather is gorgeous, it is still the Bahamas. Sunny and beautiful. Yesterday it was 37 degrees celsius (98F, but I am trying to get on the metric system lately).

The crew and I have definitely made the best of Freeport. As soon as we arrived we caught a cab about 25 minutes out of Freeport and into Port Lucaya. We stuffed thirteen into a cab meant for nine, and had a hell of a night out on the town. Port Lucaya is full of bars, nightclubs, and of course good times. It's a cool little Bahamian town with live music in the town center where both the locals and the tourists congregate. The next day, mostly dazed from the night before, we hung out in Port Lucaya, sampling the resort pools and Bahamian cocktails. It was great to have a day off of work to just laze and hang out with the crew.

Back to work on Monday, but of course there is always time for play. I've been working on my wakeboarding skills after work. We cruise up and down the harbor with the rescue tender while the locals just watch and wonder what these crazy white boys are up to. The water tastes a bit funny (probably due to the chemical plant just 300 meters away), and the dockmaster keeps telling us about all the sharks in the harbor, but after a boiling day on deck we just can't resist. Check out some photos of the crew and I in Freeport and Port Lucaya by clicking here.

All is well on Athena. Look forward to me posting some pics of my dive trip next weekend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Goodbye Newport

As I sit and type I can feel the gentle rolling and pitching of the vessel as we are underway headed for Freeport, Bahamas. I've spent the last couple months in Newport, RI and am excited to be moving on to new places. It's beginning to get cold in the Northesast, and I can't wait to put on a pair of boardshorts and go swimming, kiteboarding, and diving.

Newport is a great little town in New England that has a lot to offer in the summertime. It is rich in maritime history, and has a hell of a bar scene. Of course it has more to offer than that, but I personally don't care much for anything else. I've had plenty of time to work on my billiards skills, but am happy to leave the town behind before going pro.

Follow my track down the Atlantic coast in real time by clicking here. That site will always tell anyone where I am, where I am going, and how soon I will be there. It's a great resource for tracking my voyage around the world.

By clicking here you can see some photos of me 200 feet up the mizzen mast of Athena.

An Introduction

Because it is going to be difficult to communicate with friends for a long period of time I thought I'd try to keep an updated blog so that I may stay in touch. I am notoriously terrible at updating anything, but we'll see how this goes.

For those of you that don't know I am a sailor, both by trade and in my heart. Life at sea, and traveling around the world is what I love. It seems that so many people are fascinated by the lifestyle that I lead, and I get heaps of questions whenever I meet a "landlubber." Hopefully through this new blog I will be able to answer those questions, and be able to show people why it's so easy to love what I do.

I am currently employed aboard sailing vessel Athena. She is a 295' three masted schooner. Every square inch of her is built to perfection, every detail paid close attention to. Books have been written about her and records have been set by her. She is truly in a class of her own. Athena sails with a skilled crew of 20, and one of those crewmembers is luckily me. She is capable of world cruising, and we plan on using her to her full potential.

Click on the thumbnails below for full sized photos of Athena