Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


25 December 2009 - Thailand (Photo taken in Bangkok)

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I have fallen off the face of the earth again and the blog is way behind. I am in Phuket for Christmas and things have taken an interesting turn once again. I'll be updating the blog soon!

Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and joy filled Christmas.

Love,
ali

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hornblower v. Captain Ron

24 November 2009 - Somewhere in Malaysia en route to Phuket.

It was my first night on Sirius when Simon insisted we watch ‘Captain Ron’ and start memorizing it because, [bxA] he warned in his theatrical British accent, “no one is allowed to say anything for the rest of the week unless it is a quote from the movie!”

Captain Ron (Kurt Russell / Martin Short, 1992) is an American comedy about an average yuppie family from Chicago that inherits a dilapidated boat and hires a madman, Captain Ron (Kurt Russell), to help them sail it from the Caribbean to the US. It’s hilarious, well worth memorizing.

Simon assigned us all roles from the movie. Thirteen year old Patrick got the role of the young boy, whom Captain Ron deems ‘swab’ and orders around constantly (“swab, bring me another brewski!”). Fiona got the role of the sexy teenage daughter who paints her toenails and lets a non-English speaking Cuban boy give her a tattoo “somewhere private.” I got to be the mom, a hopelessly na├»ve optimist in the face of extreme discomfort and danger. Mick and Simon shared the responsibility of quoting Captain Ron throughout our journey.

As we snuggled into the main cabin around the television to watch Captain Ron, I remembered Horatio Hornblower, a television series a young Royal Naval officer during the French Revolutionary & Napolenic wars. Each night of the 15 day sea passage from India to the Maldives on Millennium, we watched Hornblower get himself into a heap of trouble, then heroically get himself out. It’s definitely a guy’s show, but we girls respectfully made the best of the daily ritual. Many days into the sea passage, Captain John teased his Thai girlfriend Nat that she only watched Hornblower because Horatio is her new boyfriend. Alyssa and I erupted into giggles. We hadn’t discussed it prior to John’s remark, but finally it was on the table: Horatio Horblower is kinda hot.

Speaking of Alyssa….Captain Ron reminded me that Kurt Russell stars in ‘Overboard’, another great boat comedy and one of Alyssa’s most favorite movies (mine too). Patrick once asked me, “Are you ever going to stop talking about Alyssa?” No, I’m not.

Let us not forget Sybaris, the boat on which Alyssa and I sailed from Egypt to Lebanon and Cyprus. Life on Sybaris was too exciting to allow for much television and we never quite settled down enough to watch Per’s favorite film, Monty Python’s the Life of Brian.


I’ve never seen it and don’t know that it has anything to do with sailing, but the film was also mentioned on Millennium and I just got an invitation to sail from Italy to Greece next year with a guy who mentioned ‘Life of Brian’ as key qualifier for compatibility.

What was I doing all those years everyone was watching these films that I missed? I was busy watching ‘Caddy Shack.’

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pregnant Maiden

23 November 2009 - Lake of Pregnant Maiden, Dayung Bunting, Malaysia. A fresh water lake where the backdrop of trees form the silhouette of a pregnant woman. See it?

I stuffed all my stuff into my backpack and [bxA] paid six Malaysian riggits for a taxi to the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. Hung out with Fuzz onshore for a while since they have wifi and we have laptops, then ...

went to town with Simon for some final provisioning. Saw the yummy crunchy fish I loved eating on Millennium...

...spotted the piles of Milo, which Alyssa turned me onto in the Maldives (Alyssa, please compile a photo album of our best Milo moments)...

...then about noon we motored away from Langkawi and on our way toward Thailand.
They told me we were stopping in a couple hours at a freshwater lake named Pregnant Maiden. Folklore has it that once you swim in the lake you get pregnant shortly after. Fiona's dad told her whatever she does, do not swim in that lake. Fiona swam laps. We anchored near the little island that surrounds the lake. Simon warned us not to carry bags ashore because there are monkeys, many many monkeys, and they will snatch our bags, crawl up a tree and toss our cameras and phones to the ground while scrounging for food. Yeah yeah, I know all about the monkeys...


Simon insisted we plop down on the pier near a spot where dozens of catfish will swarm your feet if you dangle them in the water and sprinkle crackers for the fish to eat. How this ever came to be a tourist attraction I cannot imagine, but we did it and it was...fun. Or maybe funny? Creepy for sure. They're slimy and they slither and nibble back and forth across your feet. Patrick, Fuzz and I got a little playful kicking our feet around, then trying to catch the fish with our bare hands. (I felt it was good practice in case I am ever a contestant on Survivor.) We debated whether the fish were poisonous, dangerous, etc. Nah, couldn't be...or else they'd post a sign or something...

...it wasn't until we were on our way out that we spotted the sign:

"...please don't KICK or CATCH the fish...the sting is so PAINFUL..."

We finished at the lake and continued on our journey, anchoring in a remote spot near a boat called Whim-O-Way...



The couple on Whim-O-Way invited us over for a beer so we dinghied over and watched the sunset while indulging in yachtie conversations about restoring old boats and everyone's favorite subject: pirates.

It's great to be back on a boat;)