“Ever since I owned my own 40ft ketch – which dare I say was a lovely vessel – I’ve yearned to do this voyage. I’m 72 but I’m fit enough to do it, so it’s now or never,” said Michael Payne in his distinct British accent.
“Yes.. very well,” I responded. “But Aldebaran is not a typical ‘yacht’… It is more like a VW Camper Van of the Sea, a community ship built in 1968 with lots of character..”
“So I’ve heard. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. In my 20s, I hitchhiked thru the middle east, and since then I’ve had some great adventures, but frankly, this has been my dream for so many years. Doing it with good people is more important than a fancy yacht. I couldn’t think of a better boat to do this passage with.”
And thus we signed on the one and only Michael Payne for our passage from Galapagos to Pitcairn and Gambier. He’s with us for 5 weeks sailing across the Pacific.
You probably know our adventure cooperative’s motto is “Harvesting Stoke”. So it’s remarkable that we’ve rarely seen someone quite so stoked about being aboard the boat! Ever since Michael joined us a few days ago in Santa Cruz island of Galapagos, we’ve been flabbergasted at his genuine delight and keenness to live as we do.
This English gentleman, whose successful practice as a high end interior designer has spanned 30 years, had one primary concern: can we make a cup of tea aboard the boat? And is there milk for the tea?
We have our dear friend Erika to thank for connecting us with Michael, who is a family friend of hers. We have now added more wisdom (and joie de vivre) to our sailing community. And also to our passage across the Pacific!