Sept. 30, 2007
By Ken Krayeske • 9:05 PM AZORES Time
In the Atlantic: Sunset last week on the delivery from the Bahamas to Bermuda.
Law school is really expensive, especially at a private university. Like $23,000 a year for part time night school pricey.
I graduated from Syracuse University in 1994 with more than $10,000 in debt, and it took me until 2002 to finish paying it back. When I wrote my student loan checks, I often wondered if I was paying for classes that I skipped, was stoned for, was hungover for, or fell asleep in, and if I was there, had I done the homework?
From that student debt encumberance, I learned that financial freedom is intellectual freedom. Since I don’t see myself raking in the big bucks at a firm like Dewey, Cheatam and How after I pass the bar, I am taking that lesson to heart.
Once I finish school, I want to be able to apply my newly acquired legal skills to battles that I want to fight, not ones that the senior partners assign me to.
Combine that entrepreneurial spirit with my bad case of wanderlust - one that has plagued me for years – and I need to do something to finance my education and travel. The solution is simple: I am taking a semester off to work as a crew member to deliver a boat to Thailand.
The yacht – owned by an obscenely wealthy white man from Britain – will start the journey to Southeast Asia from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
We will motor at about 10 knots an hour to the Bahamas, then north to
Nova Scotia Bermuda to avoid the South Atlantic hurricane season.
Canada Bermuda, we will go straight to the Azores then Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. We will refuel in Malta, then navigate for Egypt. Once we pass through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, we will refuel again in Yemen.
Yes, the same Yemen where the U.S.S. Cole was bombed by Al Qaida – but it is a safer alternative than passing close to Somalia, where no navy exists, and pirates rule the roost.
From Yemen, we head through the Arabian Sea to Sri Lanka, and from there, Thailand is but a hop skip and a jump. I should be back in Connecticut sometime in January for the start of the semester.
Don’t think this is all fun and games, though. I have been laboring 12 hour days for the past three weeks preparing the ship for this journey, and I expect this pace to continue for at least another week before we depart.
The average highlight of my day during the yard period? Today, I was practically giddy when I coaxed a ¼” screw extractor to work properly and remove two stripped stainless steel phillips head screws from an outside door lock, which was terribly corroded. (And no, I didn’t strip the screws.)
Rehanging the door was another matter altogether. Working on boats is a physical and intellectual challenge, plus, I live on the water, which spiritually refreshes. Plus, it provides a break from torts, contracts and being prosecuted for standing on a street corner taking photos of the governor.
So by the time you read this, I will be somewhere in the North Atlantic. We don’t expect to reach Thailand until November at the earliest.
Once we are underway, I will be working two four-hour watches daily, making sure we don’t crash, sink, catch fire, get attacked by pirates, or suffer any other sort of malady which would render us adrift.
Most days, the ocean can be a pretty boring place, and I plan to catch up on my reading. And in case you are wondering, I am a certified (certifiable?) sailor, and thrive on this kind of adventure. During the next few months, I will keep you posted regularly about the journey at sea.
Stay tuned, and may you too, experience fair winds and following seas.