I was lucky to be part of the Skimpy-gang for nearly two months roaming and exploring in French Polynesia, aka Paradise on Earth (yes, I know it's a cliché, but French Polynesia really IS paradise!). Needless to say I had the time of my life - who wouldn't if "stuck" as the only girl on a boat in Paradise with four hot guys for five weeks? J
Thus, not surprisingly, when it was time to leave Skimpy my emotions were in turmoil. I was filled with sadness because Skimpy continued her quest without me. How was that even possible? At the same time my mind was happily crammed with vivid visions of floating in an insanely turquoise sea, whilst indulging in gourmet food, diving in coral gardens with sharks and millions of colourful fish, swimming in crystal clear waters on deserted motu's, snorkelling with majestic manta rays, spotting reef from the bow when sailing in and out of current laden lagoon passes, picking sweet juicy mangoes, bananas, limes and coconuts along the roads of exotic islands, sharing sun downer cocktails with my new friends and sailors from all over the world, making sushi of a beautiful freshly caught yellow fin tuna, drinking rum straight from the bottle, dressing up in sailor gear when going on shore, sharing random fits of laughter and partying in the flickering light of the disco ball - and many many more priceless memories.
But DAMN you Skimpy, I didn't expect those memories to keep on bugging me on a daily basis for months and months! How am I to concentrate on anything, when memories keep popping up, instantly causing my mind to drift far far away to the South Pacific? It happens in the supermarket when I'm shopping limes for mojitos and BAM - I'm next to a perfect white beach on Tahuata, where Andre and Tue swam to shore to scavenge for limes and came back with a 10 kg bag of freshly picked limes. When I eat sushi with girlfriends I can't help but think how tasteless and scrawny the tuna is compared to Skimpy standards. Even when I sit on my fancy toilet that flushes with fresh water at the push of a button (a lot easier than pumping 25-30 times in one of Skimpy's three toilets!) I miss being on Skimpy and the option of jumping in the water for a pee and a swim.
Of course, there are many perks to being home in a spacious modern apartment. Like a big bed with clean sheets, electricity galore, running water, washing dishes in fresh water, a large sofa to lounge in, my espresso machine, a stuffed wardrobe AND the possibility of having showers more than once every two weeks. But guess what? I'd still rather be on Skimpy!
I'd rather bum around in nothing but my slightly filthy board shorts, bikini top and sunscreen every day, go for a stroll on a deserted beach with my camera, have daily saltwater baths in crystal clear lagoons, lounge on the trampolines with somebody playing the ukulele in the background and drink café latte made with long-lasting milk, feed sharks and stingrays with fish skeletons and canned tuna respectively, watch billions of bright stars in the Milky Way instead of TV, read in the light of my headlamp and be lulled to sleep in a cosy smallish bed, whilst listening to the sound of clucking water against the hull and just maybe wake up again to the excited shrieks of the Skimpy-boys catching yet another delicious fish generously provided by our Fish-God Moooùhu of Tahuata (long story, but the local dude Moooùhu from Tahuata in the Marquesas, who could spot and catch fish at any time any day, taught the guys how to spearfish and catch lobsters at night, in total darkness, using only tiny flashlights, mask and snorkel, gloves and a spear gun!).
Basically what it boils down to is that life is eons simpler on Skimpy and feels "right" despite the lack of many necessities we in a modern society take for granted and think we can't live without. I love the concept of travelling, exploring and indulging in life while being almost self-sufficient, with Chuck Norris (a small wind turbine) kicking out electricity on windy days - the faithful solar panel doing ditto on most days, and catching enough seafood to keep our stomachs full. Fresh food and veggies are sometimes scarce and are thus treasured more and lovingly turned into mouth-watering dishes. Sometimes you have to travel extremely far to fill up with clean fresh water, making water more cherished than fuel - like it should be all over the world.
If everybody lived like we do on Skimpy the world would be a much happier, cleaner and sustainable place with food, cocktails, and energy enough for everybody. Therefore I urge you to jump on board, join the fun and bring all the good habits with you back home to create a slightly better world. But don't come crying to me when you keep daydreaming about your adventures on Skimpy, have a strange craving for dark Rum at odd hours and can't seem to fit into your "normal" life again. I warned you J
Cheers everybody and THANK YOU Captain Simon for sharing a little snippet of your dream with me.