After a coffee and a bit of last-minute cuddling, Kris took leave of our houseboat, SonOfAGun. He rowed over to his sailboat, Kehaar, pulled her rag (sail) up, dropped the mooring lines, and was off. He sailed past me on the way out, and I busied myself with taking pictures so that I wouldn’t burst out bawling. He’ll be gone for about four months, this time, and although we are often apart—he goes on adventures and chases down dreams, while I take more ordinary trips to visit parents and friends—I still snuffle, snort, and weep at departures.
Going to Asia in THAT?!
You bet. Kehaar has done 47,000 miles of sailing. She’s been up to Vladivostok, to Busan (Korea), spent years in the fishing harbors of Japan, hopped the islands of Southeast Asia, traversed the Indian Ocean, wiggled up rivers in Madagascar, done some trading in Zanzibar, and lolled in Jo’burg…in fact, we came to Darwin together in this small boat, 6 years ago. These 14 years of unconventional sailing came together in the book Monsoon Dervish, which we finally published (ourselves…the first and second printings were even bound by hand!) in 2009.
The boat has a quarter-inch steel hull with bilge keel, a Chinese junk rig (unstayed). She has no engine or propeller, nor any sort of electronics on board. Hardcore sailing, the old-fashioned way: a concentrated elixir of wits, skill, nerves, patience, fear, and self-reliance.
A heavy fog rolled into the harbor as Kris was sailing out, and my photos went from ‘clear morning sunlight on the water’ shots , to grey and hazy milk-soused scenes, in a matter of minutes. Before I knew it, Kris and his boat had disappeared into the sea smoke.
Bon voyage, my love.
- Voyage of discovery: Why you should buy a houseboat (telegraph.co.uk)
- Go Plastiki, Go!: Boat Reaches Australian Waters (fastcompany.com)
- Adventures of Polo: wordless picture book is a bedtime delight (boingboing.net)