|From Blue Sky in Maldives|
Photo taken: 26 March 2009 - anchored on Addu Atoll, Maldives. Ali, Sacha and Alyssa visiting Blue Sky.
19 June 2009 - Beirut, Lebanon.
I got an email from Captain John that Millennium (and John & Nat) are out of Chagos and enjoying Rodrigues (Rodrigues, Mauritius and Reunion form the archipelago of the Mascareignes, about 2500 km from continental Africa in the south Indian Ocean.) John said, "Chagos was Paradise!!!! Beautiful Lots of fresh fish and coconuts, no phones no internet no banks no shopping no worries mate." That reminds me of one of the first nights on Millennium when we were sitting with a bunch of yachties at a picnic table in a secret little beach dive where we'd anchored in Phuket. [bxA] A woman told us that after a few weeks in Chagos you forget what your shoes and your money look like. The same proved true during our two week sea passage to the Maldives. It actually is kind of strange to stop wearing shoes entirely and to arrive in foreign lands with no recollection of where you last saw your wallet. Not that there'd be any useful currency in it...but always the hope that your ATM card will work.
Meanwhile, all the Lebanon election talk about they sky being blue kept reminding me of Blue Sky, one of the sailboats that was anchored with us in the Maldives. The family on Blue Sky were the first (only?) Americans we encountered on the trip. It turned out Jim and Emma lived in Houston in the early nineties...lived in Montrose and hung out at Rudyards. Well, me too on all counts. Small world. As the only American on Millennium, I enjoyed referring to them as "the Americans." They are a really cool family with two happy adorable children. One of the amazing things about sailing is stumbling across couples and families who brave the unconventional life to sail the world together. It's inspirational...and most of them are willing to explain precisely how they afford it. Jim is a super positive guy and when he told me how they did it, I actually felt a resolve that I could do it too. You'd be surprised how doable it is.
Anyway, so...I've been wondering how the Chagos crowd is doing and I checked on Blue Sky's website to see that they have made it to Madagascar. Here is their blogpost about the Maldives sea passage. [Alyssa: note that when the Sri Lankan fishing boats approached them, they had extra fruit which they traded for fresh fish!!!! OMG. They also had cigarettes, which, maybe if we'd had on our boat Sacha wouldn't have wanted to kill us the entire time. At least we had Fruit Loops.]