Did you know I got zika on my latest trip through Central American and the Caribbean? I knew it was a risk when I left, but I went anyway. I tried to spray myself with DEET as much as possible, but what most people don’t know is that in the tropics, it’s virtually impossible to protect yourself 24/7. The symptoms first kicked in in Rio Dulce, Guatemala, and followed me into Belize. It put me out of commission for a week, but I still wouldn’t trade my trip for anything. For me, it’s just part of being a traveler, but not everyone feels the same. My latest piece for Oyster explains everything:
1. Whether you’re already a pirate or just want to be one, you might just learn something! There are workshops on everything from knots to engines to navigation to what it’s like to be female captain (and maybe a writing workshop taught by yours truly?)
2. You don’t have to have a boat (although you can!) There are boats going from ports all over North America, and most of them are looking for crew (no experience necessary). And I have corresponded with most of them, and they are awesome people who are willing to share what they know about sailing, travel and living aboard their boats.
3. Rio Dulce, Guatemala, is one of the most beautiful and legendary boat cruising spots, not only in Central America, but the world. It’s complete with waterfalls, beaches, toucans, and monkeys swinging through the trees. The local Guatemalans welcome the meetup crew every year with open arms, so you’ll get to experience local hospitality as you hang out with the sailors.
4. It’s free! These are boatpunks, which doesn’t mean they live on boats and spend all their time listening to the Ramones and Elvis Costello–althought they might do that. It means they have a DIY aesthetic and a collective mindset. Which means everybody pays what they can pay, whether that be $$$ or good, honest work.
5. Fun. We’re sailors, so we party (duh). If all else fails, I’ll be there! And let’s face it, nobody is ever bored when I’m around. (Possibly delusion thinking alert.) In any case, I want to meet Princess of Pirates readers in person, and now’s as good a chance as any to do it!
Convinced? I thought you would be. Find out more on my blog post or from the Salt Assault site, which has lists of boats going, a workshop calendar, message boards where crew and boats can find each other, and more!
I have long believed that a boat–preferably under the power of sail–is the single best way to travel and see the world. It’s not only because it’s fun, and sailors are the best people on the planet–even though they are–or that traveling by sea lets you see places and people that the rest of the world don’t even know exist.
It’s even more important than that. Given the increasing strain on our earth and its resources, it’s important that we rediscover low-impact ways of living and traveling. Plus, boats transcend national and international boundaries, creating global nations of sailors and forming communities of people united by a common interest of life at sea.
That’s why Salt Assault 2016, which takes place In Rio Dulce, Guatemala, is for “merfolk, boatpunks, nomads, DIY sailors, anarchists, and any landlubber who dreams of a salty life to come together for a week of skill-sharing, networking, celebrating, and helping each other actualize our dreams for a life by sail-power.feel the same way.”
With a description like that, how could I resist? I’m partnering with them to bring attention to this event. According to event organizer Jack Clayton of S/V Gnarwind:
“Salt Assault Fest is one part an excuse to gather to have fun on boats together, and two parts teaching others the things we have learned on our own the hard way.
The world of sailing can be tough to get into if you are completely new to the scene, and even more difficult to stay afloat in when you have a boat and don’t have an insane amount of money.
So this event aims to create an inclusive, progressive space for beginners to learn the basics and get some experience with like minded people, and help those of us with boats learn how to be more self-sufficient to make living on a boat a more practical and economical lifestyle choice. A huge part of all this is the networking aspect of the meet up which, in my opinion, is the most important part.”
My thoughts exactly. I’m also new to the sailing world and the amount of money I have is not anywhere CLOSE to insane, so anything that helps me connect to like-minded people is incredible!
Jack also says of the meetup:”The awesome people I met there changed my life forever. I am involved because i really believe in the boatpunk movement as a positive catalyst to enrich people’s lives and connect them with the ocean, and I hope that this meet up can keep us boatpunks and DIY sailors inspired, connected, and sailing.”
Check back in this space and at the official website for more news. Interested in learning more? There’s a list of boats attending, some of which are in need of crew! Meanwhile, as the weather turns colder here, I’ll be dreaming of warm Guatemalan seas…