In this 3rd part series I want to cover how you go about getting the two most likely things you’re after- GEAR and/or MONEY. I’m going to admit something right off the bat here so you don’t waste any time. To be honest, I’m not at all sure what the best way is to get money. We’ve been incredibly successful at getting gear- from watches, to clothing, kites, surfboards, paragliders and a lot more- some of it worth thousands and thousands of dollars.
I feel like I’ve been chewing on cotton. My lips are cracked and my hips are sore and I look again to the east, hoping again for the grayness of dawn to arrive. We have no food and our only jug of water has been contaminated with ocean and sand. I am huddled down with 7 other people in a bed made of two nylon paragliders. The fabric becomes an alarm clock every time we are blasted by wind or when one of us struggles to find a new spot on their body to relieve from the hard sand. If I had a watch I’d check it for the thousandth time. The blanket of night refuses to lift. I try not to think about water and cuss silently to myself for orchestrating this mess. My body begs for sleep but my mind stammers off again, reconstructing how ended up here.
So now you’ve got your ducks in a row. You’ve got a solid mission, you’ve done your homework on your industry, you’ve maybe put together a budget. Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. This entry (Part II) is going to discuss the next three major elements of getting sponsored.
We recently completed two incredible sponsorship deals. One for Eddie Bauer/First Ascent which was sealed up this week and includes some very cool future video dispatches for Outside TV. The other with well-respected Niviuk Paragliders, who are now supplying the expedition with freestyle and acro wings for our upcoming flying expedition in Namibia, as well as planned future flying missions on The Best Odyssey. These two events made me realize two things. 1) We’ve come a long way from wandering around tradeshows disguised as magazine editors trying to get anyone with a pulse to talk to us and 2) we’ve learned a few things about not only getting sponsored, but creating a great relationship that is beneficial to both parties.
For once it wasn’t me who almost died. But I’m already getting ahead of myself.
We had a week in Bazaruto without guests to play on the dunes before heading back across the Mozambique channel to Madagascar. In this time we flew as much as possible; spent way too much time in Vilanculos trying to repair one of our refrigerators (unsuccessfully); and got about $12,000 dollars worth of camera and paragliding equipment stolen from right under our noses on the beach. In less than 12 hours we had it all back in perfect nick after spreading the word that we’d pay a handsome reward no questions asked for the return of the items. We also had our secondary anchor stolen by some fishermen from right off the bottom one night, but this seemed a small price to pay for all that Bazaruto had provided.
Every two weeks or so I have to sit down for many hours and craft a story of our most recent adventure. Sometimes they write themselves, other times they are a real grind. Jody (our photographer and my partner) has to spend hours getting all the photos ready. After over a decade of traveling the world by sail seeking out wind and waves we realized we’ve got a lot of information stored away that might be of interest to fellow adventure-seekers. But we don’t really have a place to easily share what we’ve learned. Well, we’re hoping this new blog is the answer. We’re going to try to make the blog informative, interesting, visually stunning, and our ultimate goal- to inspire and motivate people to get out there. Be it on water, in the air, or somewhere in between- it’s a great big wonderful world out there. So here we go, the top 10 places to kite that we’ve found on our world tour. Thus far 40,000 + miles, 40 countries, 131 locations, over 90 of them virgin.
At the crack of dawn after a very rough night sail from Tofo 140 miles up the Mozambique coast to Bazaruto Tim wakes me up urgently. The problem is Humpbacks. The wind is blowing over 30 knots, the seas are an ugly black mess. And whales are literally everywhere. We’re ripping along well over 10 knots. If we hit one of these giants the giant wins. Our thin fiberglass hull is no match for 40 tonnes of dense flesh and blubber. We’d be destroyed, all would be lost. He and I stand at the helm in awe- everywhere we look massive black torpedos are defying gravity and breaching completely out of the water. I count over 50 individuals in 2 hours. Twice we have to shut off the autopilot and wrench the helm hard over to barely miss a jumping whale right in front of us. It was terrifying and yet of course awesome.
After nearly 2 months in Madagascar it was regrettably time to move on, though we will be returning in September for the final trips of the season. The rough plan was to spend a few days in Madagascar, then sail across the Mozambique channel some 550 miles with a stop in Europa, a French island outpost of which we’d heard tantalizing rumours of sharks, turtles, and a phenomenal left hand wave.
I’m not used to this. Sitting down at the computer writing about a trip where everything went right..or at least mostly right. Ok, a few people got sick but in Madagascar that’s pretty much par for the course. But no one got hurt. The wind and waves paid us a number of visits. Knock on wood, but maybe our luck has finally returned?
In the 2 1/2 days between 14 day back to back trips I found myself deflated and exhausted. A common theme of these logs I know. Less than 60 hours to clean, provision, complete necessary maintenance, handle all the administrative tasks, take on fuel, propane- all the things that happen behind the scenes that are so necessary to keep Discovery on the move. Yet I hear again and again, from just about everyone who boards that I must have the best job in the world. Hmmm. My house has guests visiting 200+ days every year. It is small (as houses go), always on the move, in constant need of repair; and my office, bed, bathroom and only place to be “alone”, is the size of a large closet and shared with my partner Jody.