Sailing Around The World

Archive for January, 2013

The DUDE!

Well I am still in St Thomas and after a day of window shopping and finding so many great deals on Admiral Nelson “$2.99” a fifth, I got 4 bottles. I also got a great deal on vodka and Kahlua. I guess your thinking I have a drink problem well I just hate running out of booze when your in some random bay next to nothing but shrubs and the random dumb seagull. I also realize that after a few buddies of mine “Kyle & Bryan” pointed out that I am looking more like the DUDE from the movie “The Big Lebowski” everyday. I guess that may be true and I agree that a lot of my feeling on my personal life has been evolving toward the idea of less is more dude! But my own belief is hard work now play later dude! I take the comparison as a compliment and cant wait to finish my 1 part Kahlua, 2 parts vodka, and half/half cream, yes the White Russian. Just remember the dude has a beverage here man! I am drinking it up!

St Thomas walking around.

St Thomas walking around.

 

The Parents loved this photo and I love lots of colors so here you go!

The Parents loved this photo and I love lots of colors so here you go!

Thanks,

Jacques


Broken Dinghy Motor With Broken Blisters!

Today I spent the day first by moving the boat to a better anchorage and then setting up the dinghy on deck. Then mounted the outboard onto the dinghy but found the engine would not start. I pulled on the engine cord for many pulls to the point that both hands had broken blisters. After waiting patiently I gave it one last finally try and the engine fired up. Thank god, because I was about to rebuild the whole dam thing in the water. After a quick dinghy ride to shore we tied up the dinghy but could not get the lock to work due to the salt binding up the lock. My dad suggested soaking it in the fuel tank to dissolve the salt and being a good idea I did so. After pulling out the lock and working it with the key, my hands covered in gas and oil my open blisters burned with pain. So being the smart person I am I dipped my hands into the ocean only to reminded myself that salt water on open cuts hurts even more. Anyway we walked to Frenchtown to a Scuba shop where I met Scott who owns the shop and purchased all my gear for scuba diving and maybe a compressor system to fill my tanks for the future scuba dives. Then we went to a local taco joint and had some very strong Margareta’s. Then after consuming some good food we walked  miles back to the dinghy. It’s a funny thing trying to find your boat among 100s of sail boats from all over the world anchored in the same place. Its like play the game of where is Waldo? But we found Dragonsbne and made it back so I can wait till mom arrives at 10:30pm. It should be interesting finding Dragonsbane when I bring my mom from shore. I can’t wait for tomorrow and all the window shopping on St. Thomas we can do.

Thanks,

Jacques

Can you Find Dragonsbane?

Can you Find Dragonsbane?

 

Walking the St Thomas Water Front

Walking the St Thomas Water Front


Made To St. Thomas Island

Well we made it to St. Thomas Island where tomorrow my mom will be joining us to tour the British, and US Virgin Islands. We traveled 50 nautical miles from Puerto Rico to a little anchorage in St. Thomas where I am so close to land I can hear the crickets, kind of a nice change. I have been in these waters before when I was 8 or 9 and it feels great to be somewhere familiar. Tomorrow I will go to shore and hopefully not need to speak Spanish as I am getting sick of that game. Hope all is well.

Thanks,

Jacques


Pictures of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico!

In San Juan there where few dogs but enough cats they where falling from the sky. They where everywhere.

In San Juan there where few dogs but enough cats they where falling from the sky. They where everywhere.

You can tell but all the brick in the road was blue and looked very cool. I wondered how they made the brick to look blue. Picture of the road leading to the San Juan Harbor

You can tell but all the brick in the road was blue and looked very cool. I wondered how they made the brick to look blue. Picture of the road leading to the San Juan Harbor

After walking around old San Juan I had a Puerto Rico Lager and it was great so I had 2!

After walking around old San Juan I had a Puerto Rico Lager and it was great so I had 2!

Looking south from the north fort Felipe del Morro to the city of San Juan.

Looking south from the north fort Felipe del Morro to the city of San Juan.

The furthest point of the Fort that looked out over the San Juan Harbor.

The furthest point of the Fort that looked out over the San Juan Harbor.

Looking south out the view look out

Looking south out the view look out

Looking from the look out to the north fort Castillo San Felipe Del Morro and the coast between.

Looking from the look out to the north fort Castillo San Felipe Del Morro and the coast between.

Photo From Fort San Cristobal off the upper gun deck looking into Old San Juan City

Photo From Fort San Cristobal off the upper gun deck looking into Old San Juan City

A view of the Fort Castillo San Cristobal, Old San Jaun Puerto Rico

A view of the Fort Castillo San Cristobal, Old San Jaun Puerto Rico

Thanks,

Jacques


We Made It to Fajardo Puerto Rico

We arrived at 4am in the morning and have been waiting for the US customs agents to come clear us in. It is 13:29 locoal time so I guess they are busy doing other things. Sorry its just a little annoying that you cant get off the but till your passport gets stamped and I have been at the dock for 8 hours. Anyway as I am sitting hear I posted some pictures of the Dominican Landscape as we left.

 

Sunset Over the DR as we sailed away

Sunset Over the DR as we sailed away

 

A Man trolling for fish out on the ocean

A Man trolling for fish out on the ocean

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Thanks,

Jacques

 

 


My World is on a 25 Degree Slant

Day three out on the ocean I am beginning to believe that the world is no longer level. For the last 72 hours and counting the boat has been on a 20 degree plus angle which make everything more challenging to do. For example as the boat bounces up, down, back, fourth the simple task of walking around is accompanied by smacking yourself into the boat. I fell like I am trapped in a human size pin ball machine and I am the ball.

Few other notes I saw a group of 5 whales that came very close to hitting our boat, but where cool to watch. For fun last night a passenger cruise liner came within half nautical mile of me and cut me off forcing me off course. I didn’t understand why he had to be right on top of me. I guess to get some good picture opportunities for the guest, what a A-HOLE. Anyway we have good sunny weather, but the wind is now south east and we won’t make landfall till tomorrow morning.

Current Position: 18deg 57.02min N, 66deg 1.75min W

Thanks,

Jacques


2nd Day On Voyage from DR to Puerto Rico

Good morning everybody hope all is well. We are currently working our way north east so we can turn and make landfall on the east end of the island. I am hoping by tomorrow afternoon we will be there. On a side note as I was typing this post a big wave went over the entire boat and the top rear deck window was open. Guess what it took me 20min of mopping up water ad drying this computer off to finish this post. O well its the ocean and sometimes it gets you wet when you don’t want to be.

current location: 19deg 7.99min N, 67deg 21.25min w

Thanks,

Jacques


On Our Way To Puerto Rico!

After having to go through immigration, and customs from the DR navy stamping, our boat searched again, and our papers in order we are on our way to Puerto Rico Fajardo. Our voyage should take 2 days hopefully and cover 210 nautical miles if the wind will stay out of the north. So far the wind is once again right in our face and as a sailor knows that is not good. But I am trying to stay positive and will the wind to my favor.

Current position: 18deg 59,06min N, 68deg 42.82min W

Thanks,

Jacques


I Got Lost In The Dominican Republic! Ooooops!

First off I broke all my rules on world travel and was foolish in thinking the area I was docked was like the town Samana, I know better then to think that.

What our Marina Looks Like from Dragonsbane

What our Marina Looks Like from Dragonsbane

We traveled 5 miles from the Marina by grabbing a ride from the staff truck which was a one way ride to Samana. As soon as we turned onto the local road it was very obvious I was dropped into a 3rd world country. I saw houses or shacks constructed of what ever a person could build a house with and saw kids running around in dirty cloths and people working on cars and whatever they could sell to make a living. As we drove along the roads they where very step and mountainous with lots of water rushing by in the deep red clay gutters. The trees where all palm trees and reminded me of the Jungle. Every man walking the road had on big rubber boats covered in red mud and carried a machete and the women where all carrying water jugs.  I even saw a women carrying a cactus plant on her head in a coffee can, not sure what that was about. Maybe she was the local nut or just walking home , who knows. I also saw people riding horses and mules along the road.

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When we entered the city of Samana it was congested with traffic coming from all over the place. No road signs, stop signs, signals, or anything that would indicate order. The streets where packet with motorcycles, and scooter from the 1960’s and 70’s which traveled at any speed and went where ever. Cars parked anywhere there was space and no real order to anything.

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We where given a few tips about taxi or scooter transportation and dropped off. Our instruction where in a mix mash of English and Spanish words. We walked the streets and found a nice restaurant, so we had a great lunch for a very cheap price. I had a pasta dish with lobster, muscles, and shrimp covered in a taste garlic red sauce for $12. Topped off with the only beer that you can get in the DR Presidenta, at least its cold. As I ate my lunch I looked out at the city and saw roosters running around and a huge one up on a building top.

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We then walked down the street and where badgered by ever shop owner to come in and take a look at what they had for sale. After the 4th time of being nice and looking at a bunch of random things mostly tourist crap I just said “No Se” over and over until they gave up “Thanks Adam”. Luckily I did buy Romeo Juliet cigars for 2 bucks a piece after 20 minutes of negotiating a price. They are very tasty cigars and now my supplies are restored.

After dealing with the store owners we wondered down some side streets and found a city block filled with pallets of cloths that came off a ship. They where cloths that people had donated to good will or other charities, I always wondered where those cloths went to. People where going through the stacks of cloths and where very excited to have them.

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We decided that it was getting late and we wanted to get back to the boat before it was dark. We happened to be outside the Police station so we asked one of the officers holding a pistol grip shotgun where to get a taxi and they said wait here. I watched the officer dress in camouflage and his 9mm gun stuck in his belt band like a gangster put his hand up and stopped a not to happy scooter cab. He told him to take us to the Marina or so I thought. Apparently having a conversation in charades and pictionary is not a good way to explain where you want to go. I wish we had written down the marina name because my Spanish pronunciation was not understood “umm! LA Marinaooo?”. So unknowingly we hopped into this wagon cart pulled by a Honda 125 cc two stoke motorcycle that sounded like a bee on steroids. I thought it was going to explode with me and my dad being pulled up the mountain or the brake would fail on the roller coaster ride down the hills.

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As we where pulled in our radio flyer wagon up the mountains the driver stopped at the top of hill 15 minutes later and pointed to a shack and said here. Ummmmm “NO SE” nope not it buddy! So our game of charades began again and I kept saying Samana so in frustration the driver turned around and stopped ever person we saw until we found some old man with only one tooth in his mouth that new some English. We where able to fill in the missing words to get us home. I thought for sure when we got to that hill top and stopped I was going to be shot and robbed! So I told myself o well there is nothing I can do, at least I have a great view of the ocean from the top of this mountain and felt at peace with the warm sun on my face.

Thanks,

Jacques


I See Land Day 4!

After 4 long days and many hours of bashing through waves we made landfall at 5pm which is 1 hour ahead of eastern time zone at Samana DR.  So far I had the best shower which I got to stand in full height and let the water run the whole time. The marina we are at is very cheap and is amazing to say the least. So now after accomplishing a voyage that should have been 225 nautical miles 2 days it turned into 550 nautical miles 4 days, let say “SON OF A B!!”

The list of damaged equipment, lost a life line shackle, shredded the roller furling line/rope again, lost a chimney vent, flooded the anchor locker, and made my hands so raw from the salt. So not a bad list and can all be fixed quickly and cheap.

Now Some Pictures!

 

The beauty before the wall of rain and wind hits us in a squall.

The beauty before the wall of rain and wind hits us in a squall.

First Site Of Land breaking through the haze!

First Site Of Land breaking through the haze!

 

I thought the DR was a little less rockery then this! Very Cool to see!

I thought the DR was a little less rockery then this! Very Cool to see!

 

Thanks

Jacques

 


3rd Day At Sea

Well the wind is still right out of the east and the direction like always I am trying to go is east. So we tack back and fourth working are way to our final destination. We still have about 80 nautical miles to go straight east so that should take us about 20 hours do to the wind direation. O well this part of the adventure. On a good note I caught a Tuna which we ate for supper and I am stuffed. On a bad note a whole bunch of little things broke do to windy squalls and ropes wiping all over, but repairs where made at sea. Hope you all have a good night!

Our Location: 20deg 4.19min N, 70deg 8.56min W
Current weather: wind east@10 to 27 knots, Waves 5 to 10 feet

Thanks,

Jacques


On The Ocean For 24 Hours Know

We left yesterday and are on our way to the DR but the wind is in the wrong direction. Once again the weather reports are wrong and we are bashing our way to our next destination. Good thing is that I catch a fish yesterday evening, which was fun. I didn’t know what it was so I tossed it back.

The wind is blow 22 to 26 knots and the wave height is about 7 feet. Our location is 20deg 50.81min N, 71deg 28,77min W

Thanks,

Jacques


Replaced the Boat Prop Finally

Cleaning the bottom and replacing the prop

Cleaning the bottom and replacing the prop

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Today we replaced the prop from a 4 blade Max prop to a 3 blade in hope that our issues or odd noises will be resolved. We also took the time to scrub the bottom and replace the zincs on the drive shaft. It took all day but we where able to get it done and not have to pay additional fees for leaving Dragonbane on land over night.

Hopefully if the weather is in our favor we will set sail tomorrow for the “DR” aka Dominican Republic.  It is about 160 nautical miles from our current location at the ship yard in Turks and Caicos. I will try and post my sailing progress as we go via SSB radio and let you all know how it is going out in the ocean. Also I found out that the hump back whales are in birthing season down here and we should be seeing a lot of them as we go. I will try and get some pictures if we do.

 

Thanks,

Jacques

 


Leaving Turtle Cove

I am so happy to inform you that after 27 days of repairs, cleaning, and being bored out of mind we will be living Turtle Cove Marina. Unfortunately we will be travelling only 37  miles to a ship yards to pull the prop off the boat and replacing it. I will also get to wash the underside of Dragonsbane without holding my breath for 3 hours. After this hopefully simple repair we will be on our way to Dominican Republic and then Porto Rico!

Thanks,

Jacques


A Shower In Oil Calls For a Beer In The Shower!

That’s right folks I am living the dream! I welcomed my dad back to Dragonsbane last night and learned about all the family fun over the Holidays and showed off all the things I fixed or broke. Anyway as we talked about our path to the Dominican Republic our plans of leaving today quickly turned into Monday. We decided to install the Hydraulic motor for our autopilot system that has been a paper weight for the last 3 months and now I am happy to announce is working. But we have not attached the computer to the motor yet so we will see. So I am sure you’re wondering why the title, well as we where bleeding off the air trapped inside the hydraulic lines we had installed a long clear hose above my head with a valve to control excess oil. As my dad was working below in the basement of the boat he turned another valve and did not informing me of his well thought out plan. He gave me a very big shower of hydraulic oil, O well I hated my cloths anyway. After finishing up with our work tonight I wanted a very needed beer and the captain informed me that I should shower so I would feel more comfortable after my oil shower. I decided well I want to feel good with a beer but I should shower. So I showered with a Turks Larger beer and complemented it with a light Mint Shampoo flavor; it was lovely. Talk about living the dream, and I am very comfortable, thanks dad.

Cheers,

Jacques


My Reason!

I am still here in Turks and can’t wait to go back to the ocean. The only way to keep myself occupied is to clean, write, or talk to all the people that walk by the boat. I have answered many of the same questions that each new person walks by and asks. But recently a new question was asked that I was very surprised to hear and toiled with for a few days.  This girl close to my age from the USA asked me about pirates and people wanting to hurt me. I gave her my standard response which did not shut her up. She looked very puzzled and said “well aren’t you afraid of pirates and the evil out in the world especially because you have that big American Flag hanging off the back”? Being a little angry about her question I responded quickly with “well you have blond hair aren’t you a little worried people will think you’re stupid”? Just kidding! I wish I did have that thought in my mind at the time but instead thought about it for a moment. I told her that I am an American, this ship is American and I fly that big red, white, blue, and star covered flag everywhere I go with bells on now that you question it!

After her and the family left I was still upset that an American of my age and generation X would question why I fly the American flag so proudly in foreign waters good or other wise. I took it as an insult and my heart is cold with disgust. I thought to myself that, that girl never was on a team! I have been on teams my whole life and they have taught me that when you are on a team it’s about the team not you! I tried my hardest and gave everything I have to it whether the end result is a lose or win. In the end the only thing that matters is representing what you stand for as a team. I transferred that idea to my career and worked the best I could and backed up my team even when I disagreed. I am on my own now and I still feel I am on a team. My team is America and like or fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers that have spent there life honoring it. I to will fly that American flag everywhere I go because no matter what I believe that Americans are the strongest team in the world and so I represent and honor it with OUR nations team symbol.  

 

Jacques


Drunk and Smoked

Just a little too much of the Turks Lager to make me so tipsy to write right! I started my night out to find a friend but ended up meeting a couple that I think may have changed my outlook on life, “MAYBE”. I guess you are wondering what could be such a life changing effect by a drunk guy typing on a blog site. Well it all started in a small family bar called the Teky Hut in Turtle cover Marine. I meet a lady there at 4:50pm  named Angulita who to my surprise was 45 years old “haha”. Of course I was 3 beers deep and in a lengthy conversation with her about how to cook or whatever the hell we where talking about. It was a good conversation for someone that had not talked to anyone in days. After the time passed to 6:45pm I decided to finish my conversation about her needs, wants and take that little idea to the next bar called Shark Bits! I walked my bored and happy ass to the bar and walked in to see no one that I recognized.  I ordered my favorite beer TURKS and LAGER; it only felt right being the winter season, Thanks Kyle. After slurping the first beer down I ordered another and as I was doing so a very odd and un-ordinary man shouted out at me THOR you have come to save us. I looked down to see a frail man and a business man of equal age looking up at me with big fat grins. I openly excepted the invitation as they were making fun of my red bread and long hair comparing it to the man in the movie THOR. We made small talk speaking of their women and wants. I spoke more to the business man and less to the diesel frail mechanic. I was not surprised that a captain of a family owned 160 foot ship was pissed that OBAMA was made president. After lengthily talks and my trying to convince him that the baby boomer club was shortly to come drop the financial hammer on him by buy every young boy dreams of being his own sea captain that the spoils of baby boomer wealth was only a few year to come. He bought me a beer and drifted off to his fantasy. I withdrew and made myself renewed with a cowboy killer name Marble Red. I breathed in the smoke and ate up the nicotine like I was stuck in a dessert wishing for water. As I devoured the cigarette I turned and found myself to a very good looking couple almost newlyweds. I reached out and grab the wine bottle from there sight and breathed in the cork to act cultured but it had no sent or flavor and I thought I was to fucked up to understand what they were drinking. I looked up and ask what the hell are you drinking. They looked up and where puzzled by my expression. I said “this is a real piece of crap wine I can’t smell anything or maybe I am really drunk” I then looked at the label and it was a Beringer wine HAHA! CRAP WINE! Anyway this brought on a whole lot of Q&A small talk of where, when, and why, conversation. Finally the man asked me why I was stuck in Turks for 2 weeks and I told him why and explained that the solution was simple devised from a text book which anybody could understand. “INSERT FOOT INTO MOUTH”. The good looking man and women said together that he would not know. Why I asked, he said well I am dyslectic. Well! Punch me sideways and call me bob. I never thought a man of such grace could be dyslectic. Anyway as the conversation dulled to a very boring this or that  a man very short and glass eyed nosed into the conversation. He said “ are you from ONTARIO?” I said yes many Jacques come from Canada I think.  Hell maybe we do but this could be more interesting then the young engaged couple. I turn my attention to him and his wife. Anyway I asked them what they were dong in TurKs. They said just hanging out for 3 weeks! I instantly asked “what the Fuck are you going to do in Turks for 3 weeks” and the reply was simple “AMYTHING WE WANT”. Long story short they arrived by a helicopter and where staying at a very nice apartment/condo. Their names where SAM and Bill. They asked me simply what I was doing alone in a bar and so young in Turks. I simple said I am sailing around the world to find myself. Guess what? Dead silence from both!. I waited a good minute or two but they just looked at me and said well you will not find yourself sailing around the world. “O yeah do! FUCKING tell”? As I digested the thought that the ocean and sea did not have the answer to my questions of who  I am! I instead listened.

Shit! Before I got to the old or young couple I forgot to tell you about caption hook as I called him. I walked up to the bar to an older man who I found out was in his 50’s and did not divulge his name. I said to him that I loved his hook earring and I would call him from now on that his name to me was Caption Hook. Shortly after our drunken introduction he asked me about the single women in the bar? I said well the women to the back are consumed with their partners, not sure if there boyfriend/married. Second the girls to the right on the bar are with the young man who is to marring  the blonde sister and all the rest are her sisters “bummer!” The last lot of females are bartenders and well that’s it friend. As I explained the situation the caption explain his intentions and asked if he could find a line of snow to a group of lovely hookers. I explained shortly that I had no interest in snow or the urge to hook into a rip tuna! So we laughed and drunk beer on his dim and somehow I turned to the old/young couple I previously talked about.

As I tried yelling with great reticulation the older man could not understand my words being muffled out by the one man band and base in the bar. The older couple asked to retire back further into the dark quieter bar area and I of course agreed. To this point I was entrapped by their life experiences of failed and raise and then fall again. I walked back with them to a small table and asked them many questions. The most eye opening question was this. I asked with so many different business how did you know you would have a retirement? They simple replied they did not know and that they have started many businesses. They had higher education and explained that in their 20’ they were busy finding themselves but had no idea what they wanted out of life or what they were to be. All they said was that they decided that they could do this and did it! Learned the craft and where the best until it made no money. Then they moved to the next thing that made sense and learned it, lived it, and where the best at it. I asked what about your retirement or as I like to say your safety net. There response was jaw dropping!

Jacques! We are 60 years old! We have had many friend die of cancer, disease, and gods doing! They all died in their 40 to 50s and we decided that life is too important to worry about our 80’s. The government or our family will take care of us if we live that long but I don’t intend to sit back and work my ass off to sit in a nice nursing home drowning in my own spit. I am going to spend $1000 and ride Helicopter to this island and live in a condo with my love and eat what I want. I have some money, but I am spending it now. The best education a person can have is in the real world like sailing around as you are. You will be smart, stronger, and better off than those with hundred thousand dollar educations. No matter what we all die, why spend it all on higher education of those who have not taken the time to experience the real world? They only know how to teacher from the text books and nothing else. It’s your time to learn from the real world.

Funny thing is they where Doctors!

Thanks, Jacques


Life Types 1 or 2! Who Are You?

Today I was suppose to start all my new year resolutions but I am to hung over to start such a task so in order to start out right I took the day off. I instead spent time writing and thought a lot about what I wanted out of my sailing adventure and decided I would search for what life is all about for me.

I think I believe that in order to enjoy life you need to have the basic skills and enhance them through higher education from others that already possess them. Having this basic arsenal of knowledge you can solve any issue put before you or find the paper booked answer ready to be assimilated. After the education you can choose two paths. One takes on an endless search of the whys, how’s, and sparks new inspiration that will have to be explored and solutions that will have to be solved. The other path will allow you to coast with what you have now and just enjoy the simple fact that life doesn’t need to have a reason and it just is. No solutions, discoveries, thoughts, or ideas. A happy existents well working in harmony with all the path one types running around in a frantic pace.

I personally choose neither path. I enjoy the idea that there is no idea. I take life as it comes at me and when I want to go forward I charge at it without knowing more than the basics and take the challenges as they come. Some think this is a dreamy way to die young. I say if I die trying then what difference does it matter if I am dead because I won’t know I failed. The time spent agonizing over the ideas and solutions or the “what if’s” will keep you safe for the rest of your life. You will never truly know the answer to life from thinking safely in your nest. The answer to life is GO FIND IT!

For me recently the place I “find it” is out in the dark blue ocean, late into night as the boat sails like a ghost through the dark. I find that not being able to see past the bow of boat at night is much like my life. I just have faith that if I keep on course and move forward slowly I will make it.

Jacques


2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


I WILL 2013

In 2013 I want to do more and accomplish more with my life. I want to learn a new language, have more faith in strangers, and be fit physically and mentally. I want to pray more for my family, friends, and more now than ever my countrymen! I want 2013 to be better than all the past 30 years that I have had the pleasure of being involved in this world. I WILL 2013!

Somewhere in the World Tonight!

Jacques