And I know Martin Eden’s Gonna be proud of me And many before me Who’ve been called by the sea To be up in the crow’s nest Singin’ my say Shiver me Timbers ‘Cause I’m a-sailin’ away -tom waites
The island of Puerto Rico is located in the north eastern Caribbean just east of the Dominican Republic. It sits some 1000 miles off the coast of Florida. The Archipelago has a number of smaller islands the main ones being Mona to the west, and Virques & Culebra to the east. In August of 2007 Derrick Mayoleth of Baraboo, Wisconsin and his secret partner will attempt to circumnavigate the island and 2 of it’s neighbors; Virques & Culebra. Along the way they intend to visit a variety of small communities, historic sites, ecological reserves, and much more. . . .
It’s so fun to just sit and write about yourself in the 3rd person isn’t?? Well. Let’s start this out a little less formal shall we?
I’d been thinking about a trip for quite some time. Think back to that chat I had with Simon Osborne last summer. Thing was I really wanted to go somewhere that was not on the “expedition” radar so to speak and yet, I wanted to have a fairly reasonable learning experience. It would be stupid of me to try to run off to the artic (Too bloody cold anyway)! Especially being a novice when it comes to expeditions. I’ve never planned or paddled 20 or more days straight. I’ve never worried about finding a decent landing site, shipping boats, long open water crossings or any of the rest. So I also needed a place that I could perceive as just a bit “friendly” a bit of a proving ground if you will. Puerto Rico seemed the perfect choice.
Sure I’d like to see Cuba. That had been a conversation at one time. But getting in could be a nightmare. And something about it wouldn’t feel right for me. I wouldn’t paddle around Haiti & the Dominican Republic either. There are more important concerns there. Sure you could possibly bring more attention to the islands and their political and social needs but do I really take my voice that seriously!?? No, Bono should go to Haiti. The neurotic kid from Wisconsin should go to Puerto Rico!
Over the coming weeks I will share all the little details of planning this first trip. I want to give everyone an opportunity to see my successes and mistakes along the way. Hopefully I’ll get your help and show others that following your dreams (as Wendy K often talks about) is possible. It’s just got to start with that first step. Lord knows there’s nothing I can do that YOU can’t do better!! Who knows what will happen along the way. But the first step is just to announce the trip.
Already I must thank, Nydia Kien for all her help. I’m going to owe her bigtime! Also, Mary, JB, Silbs, Meg, Justine, Freya, Keith, Alex, Jeff & Simon for their encouragment that has carried me from a passing fancy to a dream to a goal. Oh and of course my masked partner who thinks spending a month with me and my neurosis might be a lark! Even though she’s not ready to admit it publicly yet!! I can’t blame her! LOL! We’ll talk about finding a partner after the holidays. . .