'Erik': My unintended alias to get aboard Mezza Luna
Once I came up with the idea of taking a year or so off, the Caribbean seemed like an ideal place to spend the winter. Sun, warmth, kiteboarding, diving, adventure, a friend to visit! One problem - how was I to get there? Since I have recently fell in love with sailing, I searched for a job as a crew member on a boat heading to the Caribbean. As luck would have it, I found one!
Mezza Luna is her name, a gorgeous 53 foot Swan yacht located in Annapolis, Maryland heading to Puerto Rico. 4 crew members required. Perfect, I thought. The only problem is that I'm a novice sailor with no off shore experience. Oh well, I applied anyway and anxiously awaited a response. A prompt reply e-mail arrived in my inbox the following day: "Hi Erik, Very happy for you to join the crew.....". Peter, the British captain and owner briefly described the 3 other male crew members, the journey, where I had to meet them, etc. As for the lack of an "a" at the end of my name, I figured it was simply a typing error. Simple as that. And if it was an unconcious gender error on Peter's part, well I wasn't going to correct him. Females can do anything males can do!
Once I arrived in Annapolis, I found out that indeed, Peter did think I was an "Erik", not "Erika". Whew, that was a close one, but I was in!
So the crew consisted of:
Dale (wearing a hat)- a retired US Navy/Coast Guard man who had sailed with Peter twice before
Marty (wearing glasses) - a fellow Canuck from TO, previously a stock trader turned farmer/ property manager/owner/house fixer/jack of all trades who had also sailed with Peter twice before
Tom (centre of pic) - also a retired US Navy Explosives Ordinance Device guy and electrical engineer who had done one Transatlantic sail and has his Day Skipper certification. Sailing experience and can fix stuff.
And.....Me - a 30 year old girl with virtually no sailing experience, can't really fix stuff, and no idea what I've gotten myself into!
Peter (wearing red shirt)- the British Skipper, boat owner, and retired paratrooper from the British military, is a very experienced sailor who has done this trip 3 times before.
If anything, the trip would be interesting!