Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Goodnight, Sweetheart, Well, It's Time To Go

Christmas is over. It's a new year. And I am sitting at a desk in front of a shiny new desktop computer. There's a dishwasher in the kitchen and a washing machine in the back room. I sleep in a bed with covers. And, unlike in years past, this isn't a temporary situation.

We have moved home.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

You Never Know What Will Be Difficult

Friends, I'm irked. This post is the cumulative result of six weeks of steady annoyance. So if you are looking for positivity today, I must sadly suggest you look elsewhere. I am going to be cross and crotchety, and I won't have a good word to say about anyone or anything. Okay? Okay. Let's get started.

Every country has its quirks. As a traveller, most of those quirks fall in the "good" column - different food, pace of life, community rhythms. But some quirks are simply irritating. Remember the mysterious liquor sale laws of New Caledonia?
And somehow, I still always tried to buy cider on a Wednesday afternoon.
In Germany, we had to return our milk bottles to a separate facility than all of our other glass bottles. I couldn't make collect calls from New Zealand. And so the list goes. You never know what a place will do differently than everyone else on the planet.

But I admit, I never expected to find that one can't ship personal goods from Malaysia to Canada.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Tortoise Crosses The Freeway

The worst thing that can happen to a boat isn't bad weather; it's other boats. Specifically, big boats. Big, gigantic, monstrous cargo ships. I get the shivers just thinking about them. So you can imagine my trepidation as we prepared to sail through the Strait of Malacca on our way to the yard in Malaysia.

We have a fancy system aboard called an AIS (Automatic Identification System). The AIS transmits our vessel information (size, speed, heading and so on), and receives similar information from other vessels in the area. All commercial ships have AIS (although I can tell you from experience they don't always turn the system on), which is handy when you're trying to determine whether someone is going to run over you in the night.