Once upon a time when we were very young and stunningly beautiful, my husband and I built a boat on the island of Lamu in Kenya where there was no electricity and no cars. Just lots of boats and a warm climate with equally warm Islamic villagers.
Life could not have been more simple and we lived on an unmitigatesimd diet of fish and rice.
It was a magical year as we ** worked with the local dhowbuilders to create a most beautiful vessel in which we sailed half way round the world with our two small children – the younger one was born en route which seems pretty scary now looking back on it but, at the time, one just takes things as they come. Lest you think me totally foolish, I hasten to add that she was not born on the boat but in Durban in a hospital!
“Mjojo” the boat was called and, when we sadly sold her, she became a houseboat in the Netherlands. A tragic end for a magnificent sea-going craft. But I dare say she made an excellent houseboat – she had after all been my home for some years.
But this was not her destiny. A couple of years ago the boat was spotted by a young Dutchman who conceived a passion for this rotting but still beautiful hulk. He bought her, spent every ounce of energy rebuilding her, and now she sails again and on YouTube this time! First time around the internet could not even be imagined. When we sailed the Mjojo we had no way to communicate at all – one little receiver radio that would occasionally enable us to get a shipping forecast.
On this little clip however, she looks as she did when first we sailed her and rather smarter than after a few years of thrashing around at sea.
Just fantastic work, Tom and IekeWally! We love you for it. Happy sailing and do stop in on your way past and take me for a sail.
** This is, you understand, a royal we. I was not allowed to do anything except take freshly squeezed lime juice down to the sweating men every few hours – while the limes lasted. I did try once to dig a hole in the mud during the lengthy launching procedure but the spade was immediately snatched from my hands and my husband frowned upon for allowing such behaviour.