I am taking yet another course with the Waukegan Sail and Power Squadron, Cruising and Cruise Planning. This course is designed for those that wish take their boat, power or sail, out for more than just a day sail.
The course is being taught by the loveliest couple, Ken and Anne, who sailed around the world over a ten year period. They have been sharing stories of their adventures and I can’t get enough! They are also imparting their wisdom that came from all the people they met and the places that they visited.
They get so animated when they talk about things that happened or people they met along the way. They have terrific mementos of their trip that they pull out to share with us. The one they shared with us in last week’s class was Russian Naval Long Underwear. Apparently they had to be stolen from the navy lockers, which is the way all transactions in Russia work (or worked).
Ken offered to pay, but the Russian said no just alcohol was all he wanted. Ken said he and the Russian sat and chatted for hours even though neither of them spoke the other’s language. He said they just pointed and gestured their way through.I can’t wait for encounters like this.
They were telling us about various other places in the world too. One location, that escapes me now, the locals would not let them pay for fuel. Instead the locals wanted coffee for payment. So Ken and Anne handed over a jar of instant coffee. I guess it was a fuel for fuel exchange.
They shared with us that no matter where they went, the children would always come out to see them. So they always traveled with crayons and coloring books that they could give to the children. Did I mention how lovely these two are? I have made a note to myself to take along things for children I encounter along the way too.
They recounted how they were in Venezuela on a coastline that did not even have a road to it. It was just a bunch of homes along the shoreline where fishermen and their families lived. They met children here and had given this one young boy a colored lead pencil that had multiple color leads in the cartridge. Well they came back six months later and the little boy brought back the pencil to show them that all the lead was gone. Since they did not carry replacement leads, as of course they never expected this eventuality, they just gave him a new pen. Too funny!
All of us in the class have commented that we wish the course was more about them and their travels as we could sit and listen to them for hours. Don’t get me wrong, the information that is the official part of the course is very valuable and we are enjoying that too, it’s just that the stories from their travels are awesome and very entertaining. I am thoroughly enjoying this course. So much so that I am Skyping in for the classes I will miss over the holidays due to my prior scheduling of events that I could not change. I don’t want to miss a thing.
The group of people that I am taking the class with consists of the same folks that I have been taking all my other course with. As I believe I mentioned before, I affectionately call us the Class of 2015 since that is when we will all be wrapping up our courses. This group, to say they are a hoot would be a severe understatement! We are so disruptive because we laugh so much in class. Why Ken has not smacked us over the head is beyond me.
One of our group is so in awe with Ken’s calm and nonchalant demeanor. Ken mentioned that as he was single-handing across the Atlantic that he got de-masted and Maureen said “he made it sound like he got his hair cut!”. I’m telling you, awesome folks!
Well that’s it for today.
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See you on the water,
Sail Away Girl