A few days ago I went shopping in preparation of leaving for Fiji. It is the duty of those flying in from "civilized" countries to bring goodies for the crew who have been in the tropics, so I called Sean on Slow Dance to see what everybody wanted/needed from New Zealand. "Nothing - just you," he said, "And 10 pounds of coffee." Hmmm... better buy the bigger suitcase. Funny side note - I have traveled 10,000 miles without a suitcase, and only now do I need one.
"Oh, and one more thing," Sean said before we hung up, "We are thinking about heading over to the Gold Coast next week, so we will be going to Vanuatu and New Caledonia too, not just staying in Fiji."
Huh? You mean, like, with me? I bought a round trip ticket in and out of Fiji, but I guess that is easy enough to fix. And I have been wanting to go to Vanuatu, but I thought I would wait until after cyclone season ends. However I am lowly crew and do not have a say where we go, so... I am down.
In reality I am pretty excited about this change of plan - to do a passage on Slow Dance will certainly be an experience. While it is cyclone season, we will have very good weather forecasting as well as take all precautions necessary. Besides, Sean told me if we do encounter a cyclone, we girls and the owner get to go stay in a hotel while Sean and BJ hold down the fort. Doesn't sound all bad. I have always wanted to go to Australia, too.
To be completely honest I was a little intimidated when Sean told me this. When I told Dad about the change of plans he cracked a big smile and said, "Wow! Lucky! Think I could go too?" He has always supported me in my adventures and it was great to have his encouragement with this as well. Mom was not quite so pleased.
Dad and I have been spending a lot of time together. Last night we had a fun dinner party to bring in the new year with Mark from Merkava and Jared and Christine from Architeuthis. Dad made a delicious dinner and chocolate fondue for dessert. Then we went up to our favorite Irish pub to celebrate at midnight. The bar was packed and there was a live band, good beer and lots of holiday cheer.
Jared and Christine spent the night on Rutea and we got up in the morning, nursed our hangovers with coffee and pancakes, and then headed out to surf at Sandy Bay. The gods must smile on Kiwi holidays because the waves were super fun and the sun even came out for a bit. I surfed until I thought my arms were going to fall off and made sure I got plenty of waves, as who knows where or when the next time I will surf. Plus, surfing is the best way to start a new year.
2011 was an epic year, and I think that 2012 will be even more so. My new year's resolution for this year is to go big. Or go bigger. I want to take advantage of all opportunities, to not hold back because of fear or uncertainty, to seize the day and relish the night.
Regardless of your resolutions or intentions for the coming year, I wish you health, wealth, happiness and success with whatever it is you do.
Next time - from the tropics!