An account of the wanderings of Perry, Captain of ALEXANDRA, a 31' Cape Dory cutter rigged sailboat.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Long range planning
Such beautiful sunsets here in St. Lucia; this photo’s colors are un-altered.
Ever since attending my brother’s Tokyo wedding last April, I’ve been consumed with the notion of finding a job in and moving to Japan. I’ve always been interested in working abroad, and I’d better do it now while I’m still clinging on to the last quarter of my 20’s. When I flew back into Puerto Rico, I immediately went to a Borders book store and bought a Japanese language book and audio set, as well as a phrasebook and a guide to living abroad in Japan. I figured if I was serious about the idea, then learning the language would be a good way to prove it to myself. Now I’ve learned over 300 words and phrases on flashcards. Obviously, being able to speak Japanese fluently would be an immense resume plus when looking for a job there. In addition, it gives me some peace of mind to know I’m doing something productive on this trip, something besides just being a sailing tourist.
I always shy away from publishing a trip “schedule” on here, because I change my long-range plans constantly, and don’t want to be held to any schedule. I’ve spent many hours this trip looking through my World Sailing Routes book, researching different possible routes. But, I’ve had it in my mind for a good while to transit the Straights of Magellan, in Patagonia (Bottom of South America) this December (their summer). There are several options after that, like sailing clear across the Pacific. The option I’m leaning towards now is arriving in California b/t April - June of 2011. From there I’d sell the boat, visit Charleston, and make the move to Japan all in short order. I’ve come to be very comfortable on the boat and could happily live aboard in Japan, but sailing the 10,000nm (Chile – Hawaii – Japan) there really doesn’t appeal to me. It would be over 90 days of solo sailing very long passages on a desolate, often angry ocean.
One thing is very clear to me; I need a good working steering gear. This is a mechanical device that will steer the boat using no electronics and allow me to leave the helm to tend sails, cook, sleep, etc. while single-handing. Up till now I’ve made do without one, but no one sails like this, hands on the wheel at all times, it’s ridiculous; exhausting. Unfortunately they are expensive, and the one I want, the “Cape Horn” has a 3 month wait. They custom build them upon request. For lack of a better option I think I’ll buy it and just wait for it to arrive at a mailing address in Grenada. Then I can install it and take off for Trinidad and S. America.
A Charleston, SC native, Perry graduated from The Citadel (The Military College of S.C.) in 2005. He spent 4.5 years as a Naval Officer operating out of Florida and Virginia. In 2007 aboard the USS Arleigh Burke he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and spent several weeks off the coast of Somalia conducting Anti-Piracy operations. 4 months before leaving the Navy he bought a 31' sailboat and began to prepare her for a great adventure; a sail from Virginia to South America and back by way of the Bahamian and Caribbean Islands. This blog picks up at the beginning of that journey. Perry is currently preparing to find a job, sell the boat, and make a move to Japan by summer 2011.