The last month has been hell. I’m sorry for the lack of updates, but I just didn’t have any good news at all, and the bad news was too depressing to write.
I probably should have been more honest about what was going on, as part of this whole project is mixing the good with the bad, because there will be vast amounts of both. So I may have seemed somewhat jovial in my post about jobs and going to London etc, however I was quite the opposite. And things progressed from bad to worse. I did manage to keep a straight face because while in London I met with a friend from home, who made the effort on his one day off to come to Southampton and go to the boat show with me, and talk about some potential (big) sponsorship. Not only that, but he even bought me a sailing jacket: Paul, thank you so much.
The Southampton boatshow was interesting, but mostly filled with expensive boats and electronics. I just looked at everything and thought “I don’t just need a job, I need to win the f*cking lottery. Twice”.
So after the boatshow I slept in Constellation and seriously wished A) it was in the water so I could disappear and B) I actually knew how to sail it properly so that if A) ever happened I could do it. I stayed with the boat for a week, but I literally didn’t have a cent, and every penny was spent at Tesco’s on two minute noodles which I heated with tea-light candles as I ran out of gas. I spent most days going for walks or looking in the Chandlery at expensive chronometres and reading books. I wanted to work on the boat, but I had no tools or money to buy parts…
I waited to hear back about my job interviews, but heard nothing and boarded the train back to Gatwick to fly home emtpy handed. I spent my borrowed 120eur and returned home to Berlin, having saved 40eur which I converted and put in the bank to pay the phone bill. Rent loomed the following day, and I borrowed 220eur off of a friend and had about 7euro in cash. Somehow, I made that last a week and a half. Don’t ask.
Boat payment was my next hurdle. I had already borrowed the previous months payment of ?Ǭ�1000, and I had no more avenues of funding. I looked around my apartment and realised even if I sold everything, I would only just make the payment. The date of payment came and went… And for three days I had resigned to the fact that the dream was off; all over, with my initial money on the boat being lost. At first it was panic and depression, and then it was calm, as I realised that while I was going to lose the boat and a lot of money, I still had my dream. As if my dream cost me nothing, but to make it happen cost the world, and I’d just lost it all, but it was ok, because I could start saving again in a few months.
This was a Wednesday, and I figured I’d call the yard on Friday and tell them I couldn’t pay, and there was no way I would be able to. Part of my insane negotiations were that if I couldn’t pay monthly, I’d lose the boat, and the money I had initially put down on it.
Thursday rolled by, and Friday came, and I was putting off the call. I didn’t want to admit defeat, and I thought maybe I could just ignore the issue until they called me. And then I received a call: From my long lost employer who owed me a considerable sum of money. In fact, it was considerable enough to pay this months payment, pay the rent and even buy some food (living on ?Ǭ�7 was really beginning to suck).
Hallelujah (queue angels and violins)!! So we’re back on track, my employer has re-employed me, and Constellation is still pointing South.
Now, moving onto more positive aspects of the trip, I’ve had a couple of emails from people this week that have been really kind. One fellow saying he couldn’t help me financially, but if I ever needed a lift from the airport or similar, he could help me out: It’s that kind of generosity from a complete stranger that is really encouraging.
The second email I received was from a yacht skipper and writer, who offered to go out sailing with me and possibly do a write-up for a magazine. He thinks I’m daft, but that’s the best bit about it: Everyone thinks I’m insane, but people somehow still make an offer of support and wish me luck. As if to say “the dream is impossible, but we can recognise the madness within us all enough to spur you on.”