South!

So we flew to Charlotte last Thursday, a little over a week ago.  The whole flight down, interview, and flight back seem to have been for the purposes of checking us out visually, seeing if we could make it to an appointment on time, and, perhaps, scaring us off.  She spent most of our time there telling us how hard the job is, but it doesn’t sound like anything we won’t handle easily. She also looked into our first choices – the Canadian locations – but the Canadian district manager confirmed during the interview that there were no openings in coastal Canada…period.  So we talked about openings in the eastern district, hoping for something north.  She checked her files and told us that the two openings in the northeast were Troy, NY, and Groton, CT. Troy’s not on the water. We said we’d like Groton. Of course, the word itself is horrible.  Grotty old thing.  We’ve decided to take the boat to New London and call that home port for now.  So much better.  We can’t live in a place called Groton.  Remember – that’s the forgotten place! We flew back to Portland, bemused by the experience but still willing.  She – the recruiter – said that the next step was a Skype interview with the regional manager.  She called the next morning and asked if we could do the interview later that day (Friday).  Though we were sailing back to the Eastern Promenade anchorage from South Portland’s Knightville Landing, we agreed and set the interview for 5pm.  We were settled and fed by that time, and naked from the waist down in anticipation of our Skype interview. The regional manager had a bunch of technical issues with his computers and couldn’t make the Skype thing happen.  There we were,[…]

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Funding Travels and Threeks in the Road

The Campaign At the start of the month, we were both working at Mainers United for Marriage and doing the math for living on the cheap.  Even spending only a hundred dollars a month on food and everything, anchoring to avoid moorage fees (and because it kicks ass and is how we love to live), riding our bikes, and not heeding the siren call of Hollywood’s execrable selection of late-summer movies…even with all that, we wouldn’t be able to make enough money to head to Scotland on these wages, in this boat. We had this grand idea.  We’d ask our friends to pay for it!  And ask our friends to ask their friends to pay for it!  Our friends have great friends, right?  We also have some tenuous connections with rich people.  Let us really stress tenuous.  Meaning we can’t quite find the thread now that we’re looking for it.  Rich people are fickle and that’s how they got (or how they stay) rich. But we forgive them for that.  And we ask that anyone reading this consider giving to our RocketHub campaign, notwithstanding our badmouthing. We respect our friends.  We know that they’re sensitive to things like great ideas and to the environmental pressures that we bring up in the campaign. The people who stay in our lives are the people we share values with.  Meaning poor.  Meaning at the end of the week, they’re looking at 75 cents in their hand, proud that they paid everything, but struggling.  Or knowing they didn’t pay everything and hoping things will turn around.  At the most well-off, our friends are working class and happily surviving, dependent on that paycheck. Yep – we are the 99%. The Rig When we started this adventure in 1999, the rig that was on our original[…]

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I just couldn’t do it…

… I just couldn’t fool myself into believing that the system works. I laid my head on the pillow and I listened to the wind howl through the rig, the water rushing over the hull with the ebb. I couldn’t sleep, I was thinking of poison. Poison is a substance that can potentially kill an organism if introduced in high enough doses. If you introduce minute amounts of poison to a healthy organism you can build from that poison a stronger organism but the delicate balance of minute introduction is hard to achieve and can only be accomplished with a shit-load of personal interest. … Hi, I’m sorry I have to say this but… I quit. I’ve decided to go back into my field of circumnavigating the planet Earth discovering change. “Oh, Ok…” Thank you for the opportunity to do this work but I’m afraid my lack of trust in the entire system ,that this incredibly dedicated group of wonderful people are working within, is poison. I don’t want to damage this movement by introducing you to anymore of the poison of contempt and doubt. Thank you, I’ll see you at the victory party for nation’s first popularly voted Marriage Equality law.

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Cocktail Cove on Jewell Island

Labor Day weekend was long – 4 days long – and we took advantage of our time off.  Got some work done around the boat, which is an important and satisfying thing. …And I (James) didn’t get a single photo. And then we went sailing. Okay.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration. Gentle rain fell and the puffs of wind couldn’t overpower the weight of wet sails.  We motorsailed behind House Island, south of Peaks Island and then over the Hussey.   Don’t worry, she’s too deep to be dangerous to us. As we reached the gap between Cliff and Jewell, the rain slowed and stopped.  We dropped the still-wet main and motored around the dangerous red at the entrance.  Two boats left as we approached, and we identified a likely hole in the line of boats. Jewell Island has a hook off the leeward, protected side.  At high tide, it’s an island and a set of exposed rocks.  At low tide, the little island is tied to the big island with a slippery spit of granite and shale.  And between the two lies the famed, unnamed anchoring hole informally referred to as Cocktail Cove. Secure in 10 feet of water, we immediately got drunk and took a nap. I guess we needed that.  We’ve been working hard, physically and mentally, and it was so, so nice to let it all go for a while. When we woke, refreshed, we blinked at the gorgeous day that bloomed while we slept.  A couple boats had arrived and a party was in full progress aboard one.  The tide had dropped dramatically in that time and we were aghast at how much rock was exposed all around us.  After the first moment, though, we realized that we were too solidly hooked to be in any danger.[…]

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