Day 79: Blockade Runnin’

20.03.09:

The entire day at sea, we continued on our painfully slow march towards Cuba. I kept watch for US coastguard boats appearing out of nowhere and asking us what we were up to, but nobody came. Let’s RUN this blockade, baby!! The wind was so weak we were truckin’ along at a rather underwhelming three miles per hour, so Captain Johnny got out a ‘spinnaker’ sail, which is like the ones you see on proper racing yachts. It worked a bit like a kite and it looked really cool blowing out at the front of the boat. It managed to get us up to a more respectable eight miles per hour, but by now it was obvious I wouldn’t be getting to Cuba until Sunday at the earliest.

Captain Johnny is the same age as me. He’s on his way to Fiji, so this is just the beginning of a much longer trip for him. Although, if it all works out, I might be seeing him in The Pacific stage of The Odyssey. The yacht itself (wish I could tell you its name) is just brilliant – a proper piratey affair, lashed together with bits and bobs purloined and plundered from less worthy vessels. Inside is more like a student flat than a celebrity lifestyle choice – plenty of beer and biscuits strewn about the place, but Johnny knows where everything is. I’d call it homely, only because I’m such a messy sod myself.

All was going swimmingly until around 2am when Captain Johnny decided to take down the Spinnaker in the dark, which resulted in comedy gold as the sail made its way under the boat and it was up to us two hapless buccaneers to try and rescue the damn thing from the vile clutches of the Gulf Stream while the good ol’ [yacht name removed on legal advice] swayed to and fro like a drunkard on a revolving bouncy castle.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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