Saturday, January 24, 2009

Goodbye and Hello

........and so it begins again. On Tuesday, January 27th, I board a plane bound for Brisbane, Australia. Yesterday I said goodbye to some of the most amazing people in my life...again. After a month of wandering in my old territory, the time has come to make my next move. Although everything necessary for my trip to Australia has been squared away for weeks, the flight remained unresolved until last Tuesday. I grew tired of waiting for things outside of my control and pulled the trigger. Now I sit in Carlsbad, having said goodbye to all of my dear friends in San Diego, spending some of the remaining time with family.

The past month has been full of great experiences. My friends have made sure that we celebrate every day of life. San Diego and Los Angeles have been filled with sunshine, surf, and Lakers victory. A great combination if I must say so.

Having looked up old contacts from my travels in 2006, I realized how many people I know in Australia. Although contact has been sparse with some, as soon as I looked them up, old memories resurfaced and I remembered the warmth I experienced while there. I am very eager to catch up with my Aussie mates and forge new experiences in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

After an 18 hour flight, including a 4 hour layover in Fiji, I will arrive in Brisbane on Thursday the 29th. After hanging out in Brisbane for a few days I will hop a train to Noosa where I will meet with family friend, and legend, Dennis. This will be my home base until Seton arrives and I can secure a job and an apartment. Who knows what will happen along the way but I am ready for whatever comes, greeting all with a smile and a lust for adventure.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Chapter

I know that it has been awhile since my last post but once again I am in Southern California awaiting my next move. It has been great to see family and friends however I miss the excitement of travel and although I was excited for my fix of La Playa burritos, the sharp decline of quality food in my diet has become depressing. I constantly find myself missing the fresh lobster, scallops, crab, octopus, and shrimp delivered to the back of the boat by local fishermen.

I miss killing dinner.

Furthermore, it wasn't too bad having a chef constantly preparing a vast array of culinary delights with these freshest of ingredients.

Today I got my first surf in since I returned. The 57 degree water and hazard to health warnings made me realize how good I had it in the crystal clear 78 degree water of Mexico. One of my most memorable experiences while with the El Tigre is when I woke up one morning to another ponga at the stern of the boat trying to sell shrimp. We already had alot onboard but managed to strike a bargain anyhow. We gave them fresh water in exchange for a ride over to Santa Maria point where the waves were firing. I grabbed my board and jumped in for the ride. When we got there I jumped off the ponga and paddled into the lineup. The waves were small, but they were consistent and peeling and I had them all to myself.

Other then surfing I remained on a strict regiment of fishing. It quickly became routine as I learned to control the cockpit. I would need confidence when it came to some of the flurries we encountered. At one point, while chasing a school of dolphins at close to a thousand strong, I witnessed the most intense display of sea life I have ever seen. The dolphins were breathtaking in themselves but when they were joined by 10 marlin at the surface it became more exciting. We hooked up 3 of these marlin at the same time then started catching the other fish that had joined the feeding frenzy. Everyone on the boat was hooked up at once. We had marlin, Dorado and tuna on at the same time. We spotted the tuna when they converged on a bait ball so concentrated that the surface of the water boiled with tuna leaping out of the water. In the midst of all this, the owner of the boat cast out on a marlin only to have a gray whale surface mere feet away from his bait. It was truly an amazing sight.

Although my time in Mexico with the El Tigre was an experience I will never forget, and no doubt improved me as a person, after getting the boat to Cabo San Lucas, I have chosen to leave. As soon as I returned to San Diego I planted myself at the computer trying to plan my next move. After days of contacting every family member and friend that I have met over the years through travel I have decided to move to Noosa, Australia. While studying in Brisbane Australia in 2006, I always talked of returning to work. Since I made the decision I have sold my truck and applied for a Work and Holiday Visa that will allow me to stay and work in Aus for a year. If an opportunity presents itself, I may stay longer. My plan is to leave as early as the end of January and set up shop. My buddy Seton, who has been a partner in travel and crime will be joining me. From there it is fairly easy to visit Luke in Japan and Cisco in China (when he gets there). My family friend Dennis Dunsten will be helping us get settled in with a job and temporary housing until we find our own apartment.

As chaotic as my life is, im still living, and adventure is always on the horizon. I may never be able to live this freely again in my life so I am going to take full advantage of it while I can. As a great man in Chicago said once, "Just do whatever."