It’s the final countdown. With only 10 days to go until the starting gun goes off on the race to Alaska, we are racing to get prepared. Gizmo’s previous owner has been a great help in prepping the boat, but with the list of things left to do, I feel a bit like a teen tasked with chores, who has no idea how to start the lawnmower. I’m surprised John didn’t ground me when I painted the hull a blood red instead of the badass race-winning color peaking out the top to remind everyone that someone on this boat once knew what the hell he was doing. I should probably do the dishes, but don’t have any food lined up yet. I suppose the concept behind chores is to teach some sort of responsibility, which is a trick considering this may be the most irresponsible thing I have done. Who signs up for this type of abuse? I’ll tell you, the same people who refused to do their chores as children, the hooligans, the miscreants, the people who design a race over a few too many beers and actually make it happen. Then the people who sign up for it. The man who left his fly open on his dry suit, so it filled with water and weighted his legs so he had to cut the suit at the ankles to set himself free. The actual teens who consider themselves so invincible they built their own boat for the race instead of mopping the floor. The guys who plan to stand and paddle for 750 miles through some of the least navigable waters on earth. The paraplegics who chose not to mention this physical condition when applying for the race, because they are men and adventurers and capable. The nuts who nail 10,000 USD to a tree until someone rings the bell and goes to retrieve it. In other words, the best of company. The adventurers and Adventourists.
Small victories are adding up, in the meantime. The boat is painted and back on the trailer. Through some miracle of measuring, triple measuring, procrastinating and finger-crossing, the rowing stations fit like my favorite pair of underwear and appear to be functioning just as well. They look like ancient torture devices, but will surely prove to be modern day torture devices. We are known for relying on unreliable motors, which have been tossed overboard for this adventure.
While America is celebrating a holiday with barbecues and watering their newly planted garden, this French Australian will be seeking a dry suit, food rations and some elusive oars. I have too much homework to do, and by home I mean boat, the one we will be living on for however long it will take to get to Ketchikan. By the time you hear from us next week, we will be in Victoria, which has victory right there in the name, preparing for the Ruckus, where we will drink too many beers and conjure up the next adventure. Stay tuned.
10 days until the starting gun
3 crew members
2 rowing stations
1 great adventure