Day 80: Hooked!

21.03.09:

What WOULD Philias Fogg have said? If all had been going to plan I’d be in AFRICA by now, having already stepped foot in every country in The Americas and Europe. And yet, I’m spending an entire day on a boat trying to get reach one little country. I’m caked in sea-salt, my hair is dry and matted and my beard is threatening to take over my face again.

Not only that, but as I was at the helm, Captain Johnny was trying to fix the main sail into a better position when a hook twanged off and SMACKED me in the head – blood gushed, I thought I was done for – fifty miles from shore and here’s my head dripping more blood than a vampire drinks in a week.

Bit scary.

It wasn’t too bad in the end – no stitches required – could you imagine getting stitches in your head with no aesthetic off a yacht captain using a fishing hook while the boat you’re in bobs up and down like an escaped maniac on top of your car (with your boyfriend’s head on a stick) in the choppiest waters this side of the Atlantic?

Doesn’t even bear thinking about.

Otherwise today past quite swiftly and without incident. I have to say though, I think Johnny has seen through my ‘I’ve been sailing loads of times’ blag. Sorry Hugh, I should have paid more attention in Anglesey. Now, what’s a Halyard? Isn’t that an evil version of The Doctor?

Working with Captain Johnny is a lot like working Saturday mornings at my Dad’s shop as a kid, in that he will point in a vague direction, scream at you to grab the THINGYMABOBAJIG and when you try to confirm what in fact a thingymabobajig is, he will continue to point and scream THE THINGYMABOBAJIG!! The bloody f-ing THINGY-MA-BOB-A-JIG!! IDIOT!!!!!

But I…

Tsk! At this point he’ll down tools, walk over, violently pick up random object (which in hindsight should have obviously been the Thingymabobajig), holds it in front of your face. THINGYMABOBAJIG! Moron!

Ah, happy days…

Later that night, as Captain Johnny slept and it was just me in at the helm, trying to keep a steady course against the wishes of the Gulf of Mexico, I sat there with my ipod blaring in my ears, the bright bright stars twinkling far above and the inky black of the sea all around; and as the boat bowed and pitched its way through the water I felt like a proper adventurer, one of those chaps involved in daring-do and the buckling of swashes.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. kevin

    if for some crazy reason you end up in oregon, (i dunno… on your way to russia?) i’d love to buy you a pint. i’m really enjoying this. be safe!

  2. kevin

    p.s.

    nice gatsby reference.

  3. Suzanne

    ah!! so i’ve been following your trip (which i am extremely jealous of)and i actually just finished reading gatsby, and that reference made my day! ooo, and from your blog on st. pattricks day….you probably didn’t meet her, but my sister was on Duval street. just a coincidence…i think its pretty cool though.

  4. Lynn R

    Hi Graham,
    Sailing with Captain Johnny really made me laugh coz every Captain I’ve sailed with is exactly the same, swearing to get results & referring to incomprehensible objects. Every sail is another bruise,injury.

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