Hello Seattle, goodbye plan.

Plans… Who’d have em.

Tuesday: Wake up in the sunny, lovely surroundings of Denmark. Just another day imposing on the the gracious hospitality of the Powys family. Might take the dogs for a walk, potter around, do some reading, take some photos, go for a sail even. Could do this all year (or until Courtney throws me out at least…).

Wednesday: Pack up life in Australia, abuse Courtney’s offer of leaving my motorbike in his shed and ditch him with all my camping and motorbiking kit as well. Drive to Perth, lunch with Carter, round up the various bits of sailing kit stashed at houses all around Perth (thanks Steve, Mike, Helen…), go to airport, get on a plane.

Thursday/Friday: A glamorous affair of four airplanes, four international airports, three countries, one international date-line, and 36 hours of not a lot of sleep, and very intermittent levels of self-promised productivity in this time.

Friday: Hello Seattle, next adventure please.

So there goes all my best laid plans of motorbiking in Australia, at least for the immediate future. One of the few times I actually tried to make an real plan of sorts, and committed to it, no sooner had I begun, a phone call from America happened, an exciting sailing adventure was proposed, and over the course of a few weeks in Western Australia, the plan went well and truly out of the window.

The sailing adventure doesn’t actually start in Seattle, but the fleet of Clipper 70s on their current circumnavigation were about to arrive there, and as it turns out Denmark, WA is an incredibly expensive place to sit and drink coffee all day (I think I single handedly contributed several percent to the coffee industry over my three weeks there…), it seemed like a nice to idea to go help fix boats for a week or so before heading on to the new project down in San Diego.

A busy but fun week was spent bolting on new bowsprits, rebuilding steering gear, and generally messing around with boats. Second only to sailing them, never happier than gluing them back together.

It was great to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in a long time, and hadn’t expected to for a good while longer. In between drilling, bolting, grinding, sanding, fibreglassing, drinking, baseball, blues bars, and more drinking, there wasn’t much time for sleep, although I did manage to shave off my one-month moustache while drunk at 2am, which gave me quite the surprise when I looked in the mirror the next day.

And then, they were gone. Boats gone, people gone, just me in Seattle, with no actual plan about what happens next. I’d ditched everything in Australia on the basis of a couple of phones calls and a few emails about a project so crazy it warranted following up, and a big of a leap of faith. I’m a great believer that all the best adventures come from leaps of faith, and the bigger the leap, the bigger the adventure (or the bigger the failure, sometimes…). That evening in Seattle with 3 bags of kit, nowhere to stay, $100 in cash, no one answering their phone, and not a clue about where I needed to be where or when, it was definitely feeling like a big leap.

I’m not going to detail the phone calls, meetings, conversations, and musings of the next few days, as they are going to make a great first chapter of a book if this whole thing comes off, but in short I ended up with another week in Seattle, living day to day, never quite sure where the next 24 hours would lead. The hostel I had checked into started to seem a bit bemused when every morning I would check out, put all my luggage in storage, set off into town with camera in hand, and then return in the evening for another nights accommodation. The Green Tortoise Hostel near Pike Market, Seattle was a superb place to stay however, and I felt very lucky to manage to blag a bed every night at short notice, and even luckier to meet lots of great people there to spend my week and evenings with. It was hostel living at its best, and one of my favourite things about travelling; a whole bunch of people with totally different plans, lives, and agendas, but all in one place where they feel able and open to socialising and, for a day or two, living together.


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