You know how immunization works? You are exposed to a little bit of infection so that you don’t get the full-blown illness? Well, I suppose Woody is my pirate immunization. I’m taking a little pirate so I don’t get a lot.
Woody has been loaned to me by my good friend Mariya, who I first met in Peru when I was looking for a climbing partner. It was actually Mariya’s hostel roommate, Mo, who replied to my advertisement, but Mariya came along for our acclimatization climb of Mount Pisco. When Mo went down with altitude sickness, it was just Mariya and I who reached the top of Mount Pisco with our guide. We both found it tough going, but slowly, slowly we made it, regularly reviving ourselves with our battle cry of “A las ninas!”
It was a formative experience, and Mariya and I have stayed in touch ever since.
I saw her a few times last month when I was attending the International Marine Debris conference in Hawaii, where she now lives and trains as an acupuncturist. On the last evening that I saw her, she told me she had something for me. She delved in her bag, apologizing for not having wrapped it, and pulled out a small object. “Hang on,” she said, “there’s another bit.” More delving.
Turns out the first object was Woody the pirate, and the second object was….. his skateboard. Obviously. Where would a pirate be without his skateboard? Makes perfect sense actually – if you have a wooden peg leg, I suppose a skateboard is quite a good way to get around. Especially if you stick to it magnetically, as Woody does.
Woody travelled around the world with Mariya for a year, and kept her safe from harm. I’m hoping he’ll do the same for me on the Indian Ocean this year.
More work on the boat today – still packing, sorting, arranging. I seem to have more food than ever this year, so much that I’m finding it difficult to find appropriate storage places for it all. I’ve probably got enough for at least 6 months, so running out of food is at least one thing I don’t need to worry about.