Adventures of Avalon Part 1

This blog is about the boat voyage my uncle and I took from North Myrtle Beach, SC to the Florida Keys along the Intracoastal Waterway upon his 46-foot yacht, Avalon, from March to June, 2013.

You can find the original blog here:

Avalon, my home for the next three months

Friday, March 15, 2013

To the marina

I took a plane to Wilmington, NC, today and began a journey south that will, Lord willing, end in The Bahamas in early or mid April. For now my uncle and I are living on his 46-foot yacht, Avalon, in the Barefoot Marina in North Myrtle Beach, SC. In about a week we will begin cruising south along the Intracoastal Waterway that is now right outside the back door of the boat. Learning boat talk has been the biggest challenge for me for now. The difference between the bow and stern, port and starboard are simple enough, but don't ask me what means what beyond that. Uncle Ken is giving me a crash course in boating that is more difficult than most college courses I took. Some of it has sunk in, but experience will be the most trying teacher.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

If men weighed the hazards of the sea...

Some things have happened. While living on this boat, I am also doing all I can to continue coordinating with the team of Rambling Spirit magazine, which is really a story for another time. I am also trying to squeeze in preparations for my trip to Rio de Janiero for World Youth Day in July, but that as well will have to take a back seat for now. For now priority number one is being my uncle's crew on Avalon. Internet connection is, well, low quality and inconvenient -- but it'll have to do. I'm connected through my phone's mobile hotspot and can only open a tab at a time, but that's all I need. Sometimes I think I left at the wrong time, especially as I recall the many loose ends I left back home that I'm now trying to tie up electronically.

Many distractions involving doubt, regret and worry often keep me from focusing on my role on Uncle Ken's boat, but the time to embrace a great opportunity is never just right, and you'll always find yourself making other sacrifices in the process. If you think too much about the sacrifices, the opportunity slips you by. That's what I had in mind when I decided to come aboard Avalon. The boat voyage to The Bahamas will be amazing, and everything else I plan to do at this time of my life will come along at the right time. If you want to live life to the fullest, you just have to make it happen.

"If men weighed the hazards of the sea, none would embark." -   Juana Ines de la Cruz

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Learning the ropes

Well, the weekend is over and I'm getting used to the routine of living on a boat, so I can now set some time aside to catch up with some other items on my list. Those loose ends, or untied lines, that have been making my head sway, are starting to finally reach a calm on this peaceful waterway. I'm learning a lot about boats, things that will probably prove useful for the rest of my life. But life is still life, and this isn't all a vacation. We work on Avalon a good number of hours each day as we prepare her for our voyage to The Bahamas. In the meantime this marina in North Myrtle Beach is her safe haven, as it is mine. I just hope I don't get too comfortable as we will be leaving in no more than two weeks.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hakuna matada

I'm well into my first week on Avalon, and I've learned how to do some simple tasks like fill up the fresh water tanks, lower the anchor, drop lines off the boat, and work the breaker -- which we use quite often to conserve energy. Uncle Ken and I went food shopping in the beginning of the week, and we're spending more time fixing things and checking things on the boat, and less time on the beach and in the resort towns around us like land lovers do. (Who am I kidding, I still am one!)

I'm still learning things about life on a boat, and I now see that there is more than a lifetime of things to learn. I can only accumulate so much of what my uncle teaches me. I never knew that stepping on a boat is like stepping into a foreign country, with a foreign language, laws and all. Getting used to a new lifestyle can take some time. Everything down here is how I'd hoped it would be. I just don't have my home conveniences, but that's what wanted: a change in lifestyle. In this setting I refuse to worry. Hopefully, if all goes as planned, two months on the ocean will give me a broader perspective of things, and make all my worries go away for good.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013