round we go!!

Vessel Name: Bubbles
Vessel Make/Model: Fast Passage 39
Hailing Port: Seymour IN
17 September 2012 | Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVIs
22 July 2012
10 June 2012 | St. Martin
04 June 2012 | St. Martin
31 May 2012 | Saba Rock
19 May 2012 | english harbour, antigua
07 May 2012 | Bridgetown, Barbados
27 April 2012 | Georgetown, Guyana
22 April 2012 | Paramaribo, Suriname
19 April 2012 | French Guyana
13 April 2012 | Atlantic Ocean somewhere off of South America
08 April 2012 | Amazon River, Macapa, Brazil
01 April 2012 | Amazon River, Brazil
30 March 2012 | Tapajos River, Brazil
28 March 2012 | Amazon River, Brazil
21 March 2012 | Xingu River, Brazil
20 March 2012 | Amazonia, Brazil
18 March 2012 | Para River, Brazil
18 March 2012 | Belem, Brazil
13 March 2012 | Capim River, Brazil
Recent Blog Posts
17 September 2012 | Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVIs

The final blog, Bubbles sold yesterday

First lets go back to that week in May in the British Virgin Islands… we had over 20 sparkling crew on board Bubbles (all wearing the coral crew shirts) approaching the round-the-world finish line at Nanny Cay. With only a few hundred feet to go the propeller fell off. Not being able to raise sail [...]

22 July 2012

the last leg sail

We had good wind on the morning we set sail to complete the 90 mile last leg (from St. Martin to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands) of Bubble’s circumnavigation. With a full boat, I was on deck explaining some navigational markers to some of the more virgin crew when Trevor at the helm yelled [...]

10 June 2012 | St. Martin

Magic Aboard Bubbles

That night in St. Martin the party aboard Bubbles can only be described as magical. With Christmas lights strung up both in the rigging to light the deck, and in the interior to light below, a special glow illuminated the boat that had carried us around the world. Paddy King lead a conga line of Bubbles [...]

04 June 2012 | St. Martin

The Round the World Pre Party Begins!!

The seven of us woke well before sunup to the Indiana Jones theme song cranked over the Bubbles sound system. Sails were up by sunrise with Paddy King at the helm and brother Joe standing by as we watched the morning light illuminate mountainous Saba's cliffs rising from the sea. With 20 knots of wind [...]

31 May 2012 | Saba Rock

the Sea Hawk 4 takes flight

The day sail to Barbuda was sunny with good wind and buzzing excitement from both new crew and old. Arriving in the poorly charted waters we ran aground, but jumping into a shallow sea full of starfish isn't a bad place to get stuck. Ashore the six of us strolled on an endless beach of pink sand with [...]

19 May 2012 | english harbour, antigua

Adding more Bubbles

Bubbles and crew ran completely broke of funds after Carine flew back to Amsterdam. Having neither cash nor credit via any type of card, Diego and I resorted to trading. For a couple dive tanks we got the jib sail repaired, for a regulator we got fresh produce out of a local garden. We were able [...]

sepik day 4 scar tissue

03 December 2010 | 150 miles up sepik river, papau new guinea
alex rust
We woke at sunrise to find all the locusts, mosquitos and countless other bugs were now passed out after thier night of feasting and partying on us which at least kept me up for the most the night. There bodies now clogged the sink, toilet and deck drains. After cleaning them up we picked up anchor and headed up river.

We were several hours up the river before Mr. Mobo told me we werent on the Sepik anymore. I was confused as there had been no turn offs and the map clearly indicated the town of Mindimbit to be on the Sepik. We turned around and it was a half day later when were only a mile from the spot we had turned around at that I discovered what had happened. The Spepik had cut a new path and the Karawari River is what we had been on and the new river on which Mindimbit now sits. We would have went days up the Karawari tribuatary before realizing our error if it werent for Mobo.

As we passed village after village the local kids would come out by the dozens and run along the river bank with the boat yelling and laughing all the way. We were always beckoned to come and stop by these friendly people but with so far to go up river we just couldnt stop everywhere.

We finally came to a bigger village with some logs at the bank so be pulled in and docked on the massive logs. The cheif immediatly came down the greet us and as we secured the boat we had no fewer than 50 people line the mud bank staring down at our boat from above. We were escorted to the local spirit house where only men are allowed inside. A fire smoldered underneath huge wooden pillars (all carved intricately) that supported the building and a large wooded pig (with real tusks) stood in the middle acting as a drum. An elder picked up a log and beat the pig drum to announce our arrival. The cheif went on to explain the dirfferent sections of the spirit house were for different tribes and that it is here where they would meet to make peace. The sections belonged to the sego clan, crocodile clan, bird of paradise clan, and river shark (yes there are freshwater river sharks in the sepik) clan.

An elderly man then entered the house and everyone went quiet. I had heard stories of scarification in these areas but up until this point hadnt seen any and after asking the cheif about scarification earlier this elder was summoned. He was brought to my side and asked in the local language to explain his scarification. It had to be translated first from an older language to more recent one and from that into English and this is what we heard

"when i was a boy my uncle took me into this very house and while cradling me, cut me all over but mostly on my back. he then laid me in the smoke so the wounds would not heal for a long time. my mother and sisters would be bring food and water to the door but were not allowed to see me. i layed here in this house for three months in very much pain during which time my uncles told me the traditions of the clan and taught me what it meant to a man and when it was my time to leave this spirit house i was one"

He then stood up and took off his shirt revealing several ringed scars around his nipples and dots over his chest but it was when he turned around that I was truly amazed. His entire back starting as his neck and going down the back of his legs resembled grueseomly and artistically that of a crocodile. We asked him how old he was when this was done but he didn't know because they never kept track of age. All he knew was that it was done when the Japanese were here which meant it would have been during world war 2. The recent missionaries had put a stop to such practices in this particular village but upriver we heard they still perform the ceremony. Farther up river we go.

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