Rules of the Road

I'm In Ur Fied Lice, Eating Ur ChickenzSome of you have asked, “rules? What rules? And why?” Well, here they are:

Number one: no flying. For starters, nothing eats into a well hoarded reserve of cash like flying. Also, flying, for me, is in a sense cheating. I miss so much I would never see jetting from one place to another. Also, I abhor flying. For a traveler, that must sound silly, but flying just scares the bejezus out of me. And lastly, the pollution and carbon footprint is too large. In the past when I have flown I have bought carbon offsets, voluntarily. But I cannot afford it on this journey. So, the above are pretty good reasons for rule number one.

Number two: must see penguins. That means the Tierra del Fuego at some point and hopefully, if the money lasts, a cruise down to Antarctica.

All that being said, rules are meant to be broken and if need be, in case of emergency or if there is simply no other way–I am worried about the crossing from South Africa to Argentina (there is a boat, but it doesn’t sail often)–then I will fly. But only if there is absolutely no other option.

So, y’all got the rules now?

Oh, and enjoy the kitty photo. He was a brazen little cat.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

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  • there are sub-tropical penguins you can see without having to go by remote South America or Antarctica (pretty expensive jaunts, last time I looked, too)

    Penguins live in the Galapagos, and (I think) around New Zealand…much friendlier destinations than coastal Antarctica, by any estimation…

    “God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.” — Robin Williams

  • There is the South Atlantic Yacht race every year in January. Get a crew position. 63 days to the start of the ’09 race, probably ’10 would be a better target.

    Here’s the URL:

    Through africa? Anti-malarial pills & do not swim in fresh water north of the Reef (27 deg South). There used to be groups who travelled together overland from London to Joburg, company was called Adventure Overland.

    Good luck

  • I like it. Have you considered taking a sailing course? My brother completed a week-long one this summer and already had an offer to crew a boat to the lower 48. There are opportunities like this all the time, where a captain will give you a place to stay and feed you in exchange for manning the vessel. I don’t think this would be a very feasible way of getting around in the Indian Ocean because piracy is such a problem, but maybe when you’re somewhere else it could be a worthwhile option.

    I hope you’re thinking about writing a book at some point, because I’d buy it. This is such an interesting time to be traveling with an open-ended itinerary.

  • Sean Paul,
    Your blogging is at its best when you are on the road. Your posts and photos are extremely informative and wonderful.
    Thank you,

    “You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You’re dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!” – Joseph Heller

  • neophytes for cruising. But no owner in his right mind would take on a newbie in a competitive race.

    Sean-Paul, you appeared to enjoy your outing in a power vessel when you were in Singapore. Do yourself a favour and switch to sailing–much more environmentally friendly, uses no fuel except wind. It’s really great being out on the water with only the sound of wind in the sails.

    Until you gain competency, suggest you concentrate on cruising but if an owner is willing to train you in racing, jump at it. Yacht clubs usually need crews and are willing to train people, but from my experience that’s at the local level and you wouldn’t be welcome on a racing boat until such time as you’re highly competent. There is an exception to every rule–if you weigh more than 300 pounds, you’d be welcome on fairly large and sometimes small racing boats, but limited to being movable ballast! 🙂

  • going to either see Penguins in the Tierra Del Fuego or go to Antarctica.

    “Is not our first thought to go on the road? The road is our source, our vault of treasures, our wealth. Only on the road does the ‘traveller’ feel like himself, at home.”
    Ryszard Kapuscinski

  • “Is not our first thought to go on the road? The road is our source, our vault of treasures, our wealth. Only on the road does the ‘traveller’ feel like himself, at home.”
    Ryszard Kapuscinski

  • Called bilharzia or Schistosomiasis

    The Reef is the Witswatersrand, the gold bearing reef. It’s a watershed between drainage to the north (The Limpopo) and the south (The Vaal), and runs east-west through Joburg (roughly 27 deg south).

    Anti-malarial prophylactics are not necessary above 3000 ft (the Highvelt) because the malarial carrying mosquito, the anopheles mosquito, has a ceiling of 3000 ft.

    The lowvelt, below 3000 ft, has both malaria and sleeping sickness.

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