Where the heck are we!?

Atlantic Ocean

Birthday post!  Another year gone by and so much has happened!

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Like, a lot.

A lot a lot.

So yeah, um…so we’ve been busy. Really really busy.

Not lots of time to keep up with the blog busy.

Busy how exactly?

Well, we learned how to escape overturned crashed sinking helicopters

 

 

so that’s cool.

 

…and there was that whole “Look Greg!   A 10 foot crocodile in the Everglades!”

croc

 

“Oh lets go canoeing with it!”

 

Canoe

 

Seriously, that’s pretty much how it went.

 

and oh yeah, the boats got bigger.

the boats got a LOT bigger.

boat

and when the boats get bigger the licencing goes through the roof.

Because, as we’ve said before, to sail a private yacht through thousands of miles of open ocean to Tahiti you don’t need a license.

But to even step on a ship at the dock you need the freaking paperwork.

and that paperwork has mostly been what we’ve been up to.

Because, and here I quote the US Coast Guard Licencing Agent at the National Maritime Center:

“The US Coast Guard does not recognize the US Coast Guard Academy
as a maritime training academy.”

…Yeah.

So paperwork.  From the ground up.  and classes.

Classes about Radars.

At least they don’t recognize Annapolis either…

So we’ve been busy.  However that does not mean we have forgotten the blog.

Because that story about how we hung out with elephants on the tropical island of Bali,

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that story needs relaying.

So yes, it’s been a while but yes, we do plan to finish this epic tale.

 

Birthdays are usually Greg’s opportunity for a little introspection – and last year’s wanderings are particularly interesting based on what has happened this year.

About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagullsopening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out atwww.CoastGuardCouple.com

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We expected to be better at this…

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

So Tami kept her part of the bargain, flying halfway around the world to bring us our stuff.

(That’s not a turn of phrase, by the way.  She actually did.  Fly, that is.  Pretty much halfway around the planet…with our stuff.)

And now we had to deliver on our part…unique and interesting cultural experiences.

But how do we even top flesh eating fish cleaning your pores?

Or getting mugged by a sacred temple monkey!?

Um…hey surfing!

20120309 (18)Yeah, yeah!  Bali is famous for surfing!  It’s a thing!

Yeah, this’ll be good…

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In The Details

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

When we called Bali the Cancun of Australia, we had no idea how right we were.

Because, like Mexico, people do come to Bali to drink cheap beer on the beach, party and buy cheap souvenirs so Bali caters to that.  And they even have a good sense of humor about it:

20120228H - Bali at night (2)But that’s not all this island is.  Because Bali, like Mexico, is far more fascinating when you’re paying attention to the details.

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Who even buys tin!?

Tampa, FL, USA

Really? Really!?  10 years.

10  YEARS

and we’re supposed to buy each other tin?!?

Freaking TIN!?

(ok, or aluminum…yeah)

What the heck would we even use tin for?

And are we supposed to carry this in our backpacks!?

Dude, lame.

Forget this, it’s not like we’ve been following the rules anyway, so why start now?

10th wedding anniversary sounds like…amusement parks and fondue.

 

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Yes.  That should work well.

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Sacred Monkey Theives

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

The Balinese have an odd relationship with their monkeys.

On the one side, they are considered sacred (and therefore protected and allowed to live where they want) for their ability to ward off evil spirits from the temples they inhabit.

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20120310E - Monkey Forrest walk around Ubud (31)

…and that’s good.  Because those temples are pretty amazing

On the other hand, they raid rice paddies for food and snatch the tourists’ purses, wallets – pretty much anything they can get their hands on.

…which is kinda bad.

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Traveler’s Tax

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

Here is an important bit of travelers’ etiquette that you should become aware of:

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When you join a long-term traveler, you need to be ready to pay the tax.

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Criminals vs Rebels

Departing Australia

Australian friend: Well, we are a bunch of criminals over here.

Us: Is that considered better or worse than the bunch of violent rebels we come from?

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One of the things that has amazed us about Australia has been its similarity to the United States.  In some previous articles we talked about how the “imperfect mirror” taught us some pretty profound lessons about racism (theirs and ours) but the little things were just as fun.

We have the same TV shows
(2 and a half men is a big deal down under…who knew?)

we drive big cars
(Mad Max was an Australian movie…)

and we speak
(…’a horribly maimed version of’…)
the English language.

After all, we we’re both colonies formed by the same father country!

So as a salute to the continent that is a country and that constituted one of the largest single portions of our journey, here are some of the little things that made “down under” so interesting…

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What are the odds?

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

There are those things you hear about but you assume the chances of them happening to you are just so scarce as to not even give it much thought.  Then, of course, it happens to you.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s start at the hotel.

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We managed to find a really nice place to stay for the few weeks we were on the beaches of Bali.  But “nice” has a lot of different meanings when you talk about international destinations…

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The Cancun of Australia

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

Sailing out of Australia would have been a great idea except for two things:

1) We had arranged to meet Tiffany’s sister in Bali on a specific date.

2) Our work holiday visa in Australia was expiring fast.

As we’ve said before, a key element to being good crew is being able to be flexible.  Since we had to be somewhere at a specific time…oh and that our visas were set to expire in about 12 hours, flexibility was not something we had in abundance.

So a quick flight later and we found ourselves in what we’ve heard called the

 “Cancun of Australia”

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House or Travel?

Karumba, QLD, AU

As our time wound down in Australia we found ourselves having a difficult conversation about a choice we could not had foreseen coming when we first started this adventure.

Karumba beach sunset

Like we said last week, we had a good time “living the dream” and we were successful at said dream; we had completed what we originally set out to do.  Much more than what we originally planned actually, as this whole “sailing to Australia by way of Tahiti” kind of came together on the fly.  What we had not anticipated was that the dream would actually be fairly profitable. You see, Australia had been good to us on the job front and their wages for the jobs we worked were, when compared to the United States, 2 – 3 times higher than what we would have been paid in the states.  Alongside that we had watched our money very carefully and saved every chance we got.  Also don’t forget there were 2 of us. What that all boils down to is that when we originally planned our trip, we had not expected to leave Australia with a surplus of cash. As it turns out, we did have quite a reasonable surplus…which led us to a question we weren’t sure how to answer:

House or Travel?

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