This is my cousin*. He has a rather large boat. A 65 foot steel ketch, actually. He skippers the odd leisure cruise, but mostly he dives wrecks off the African coast for a living. With National Geographic tagging along. Because they are generally really old wrecks. 400 years old. With gold coins and bottles of cognac and cannons and stuff.
He lives on the boat. He and his South American mate bought it about a decade ago and spent years doing it up. And inviting chicks on board to see their GPS. And surfing. And scoring models. And diving. And getting into trouble with the Triad.
Then they sailed up the coast. During one of the worst storms in Cape history. Made it to Mozambique. Pottered around. Invited chicks on board to see their GPS. Met up with some guys who had diving rights. Happened to find the wreck of the century. You know, if I didn’t love him so much, I’d have to hate him.
Anyway, so after Andreas’ existential travel moment, I was thinking about my cousin. And how much I admire him for just doing what he loves. For ignoring the family and their ‘become a marine biologist’, ‘be a navy diver’, ‘get a real job’. For being the last of the swashbucklers and for having a huge heart behind the bravado. For knowing my most embarrassing secret and never telling anyone. For having a poet’s soul and a sailor’s hands. For trying to be a nice guy, even though he’s mostly really crap at it. For never compromising himself. For being a primary instigator of compromising situations.
And so when he sms’d the other day, I asked if there was a berth for a city weary cousin. And he said, anytime babe. And so I’m going, in September. Not for long, maybe two weeks. But enough to hang in a hammock for at least two days, without the sight of land. Enough to eat fresh prawns and king fish straight out of the sea. Enough for the sun to turn my skin a darker shade and lure the freckles out on my nose. Enough for now.
*if I could work out how to post a pic, I’d’ve posted a pic. Novice!