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.
A few days before the tsunami hit Japan and the horrors that followed life on board Discovery seemed to be almost on autopilot. Cape Verde had been serving up heaping platters of wind and waves and while my list of projects had grown beyond the boundaries of our “to do” whiteboard, none of them were all that critical. Well, other than replacing a prop, which had mysteriously fallen off. A three thousand dollar rather critical component vanished to the sea floor.
The Cape Verdes lie in the path of this hazy swath which resembles the locust swarms we’d seen in Madagascar- thick and inescapable. But as soon as we left port on that first trip before the fall of the New Year another place and country began to take shape. … On the way to the guests’ hotel I made one final effort to find a portable generator I could run on deck (previous attempts had come up empty), struggling to communicate my need to the taxi driver using a mix of Spanish, English and very poor Portuguese, which was all he spoke.
We’ve put together this 2010 highlight reel for all our owners, guests and well- anyone who has ever had interest in playing in the Indian Ocean as we covered just about all of it this past season. This will be mostly a slideshow from the field but I’ll give you a little run-down as well. Don’t miss the slideshow at the end!
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.