Jody gets another cover and a 17 page spread of her work around the world!
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A curse and blessing of our times is the speed at which we can move about the planet. I often think it must be terribly hard for our guests to negotiate the distances and logistics required to get to the boat, then get their mind in a place where they can actually really BE on the boat rather than thinking about work, children, pets, bills and all the distractions and nuances of daily life. Then suddenly just as they are getting into the groove, just as those layers of “home” are wearing off and the need to fire up the blackberry or Iphone are beginning to fade they find themselves at the airport and it all comes rushing back in, like a spinning tempest.
I met a number of people on the docks in Falmouth and Dublin who kept saying the same thing when I told them where we were heading. “You’re crazy! Well, it will be beautiful, but you’re crazy!” Stories of horrendous midges (sand flies), storms, freezing water, huge tides that created vicious whirlpools and radical overfalls. I have to admit I was feeling like maybe I’d made a big mistake taking us this far from our usual tropical environs. I’d learned to sail in the Pacific Northwest so I felt reasonably confident the skills required to keep people safe this far north would come back to me, but that was a long time ago…
National Geographic Adventure Magazine features a paragliding photo taken by Jody MacDonald of our Dune Discovery last year off the coast of Mozambique. Epic find and a very special way to remember such an amazing few days of flying.
Discovery does not hold a lot of fuel. Our range, which is greatly influenced by current, wind and seas, is about 900 miles in perfect conditions, well short of the distance on a standard ocean passage. Our forecast as we left Cape Verde for the 1200 mile trip north showed almost no wind at all. Simple math meant we’d either have to get some wind, or we’d be doing some sitting around in the middle of the ocean. But no wind does have its benefits. For one, Jody actually gets to enjoy being at sea. Usually the passages for her are synonymous with suffering and I too admit that as the years have gone by my indifference to seasickness seems to be wearing off.
I’ve been trying to write our final log of the Cape Verdes for over a month now. It’s not that I can’t remember what happened, and it’s not that I don’t have a story to tell. I experienced some of the most magical days of my life in those dry islands off the west coast of Africa and I’d like to describe how that feels.
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.