When I was 8 years old, I met a kid called Edward. We instantly became best friends and began a lifetime of adventure and tomfoolery. We’d find sticks and have full-contact “sword fights”, stopping only when our hands started to bleed. We’d challenge each other to see who could jump over the pond, or walk across it when it was iced over. We’d climb trees and fall head first into the bushes below and laugh about it. Then there was the time that we accidentally set a field of hay on fire, and the time our booby trap (suspended bucket of rocks) nearly killed his dad, Bob. Our favourite game involved a bicycle and a large broom stick. One of us would ride the bike in a circle, the other would stand in the centre of the circle and try to spear the broom stick into the spokes of the front wheel. I have such fond memories of flying head first over those battered old handlebars.
It was proper boy stuff; muddy adventures, cuts and bruises.
And now, twenty years later, Ed’s living on a boat with his dad, sailing around the world. Literally living the the dream.
They are taking part in the 2013 Oyster World Rally, a 455 day journey around the Southern Hemisphere on a boat called Crazy Daisy. I speak to him when he’s docked, normally whilst I eat breakfast before setting off to work – which is a breathtakingly de-motivating way to start a day’s work. He tells me about the friends he’s made, the sharks he’s swam with, and how life on a boat really is.
A large chunk of the journey so far has been in the Caribbean and they recently cruised through the Panama Canal before spending a full twenty days at sea. It’s been about 4 months since he last wore a t-shirt and he feels that he can do anything now – I believe him. Of course, it’s not all been plain sailing (pardon the pun), there have also been plenty of lows and stressful, life-threatening scenarios. All of which add to the colour and excitement of his stories.
You can follow Ed and his dad, Bob, on his travelogue: Failing Sailing.