and life with Captain Ulysses
03/31/2014 - 04/01/2014 54 °F
[Post is pictureless for now. Will post photos of the Valparaiso in a future post]
I’m still in the middle of a couple entries that I haven’t yet finished, but I wanted to give people an idea about where I am, because it is very unique. I just got in to Amsterdam and immediately headed out to meet up with my CS host. As clearly stated in his profile, I knew that this one would be a little different from typical CSing.
The host goes by “Captain Just” or simply “Captain”, and he hosts people on his houseboat. I’m not sure exactly what defines a house boat - I’m fairly certain now that I’m here that this was just your standard boat, but if you put a bed, a toilet, and some shelves and cooking surface - voila! - it is a houseboat! In exchange for staying on the boat, he asks for 5 euros to throw into the communal food bank, and for you to put in a few hours work on the boat most days. He’s been restoring this boat for the better part of a year and it’s a lot of work. It sounded like a win-win: he provides travelers an almost free place to stay, he gets free labor, and everyone gets to join in on the good times! He also highly recommends that you bring with you “rum rum rum rum!”
I knew all this going in, but still it was a little bit of a shock initially getting here. We walked out to where it was docked and because he was doing work on the small rowboat, that was blocking the main entrance point, but without hesitation, he leads me down a narrow piece of wood where you then step onto a narrowing edge of the boat. You’ve got to grip the siding of the boat as you shimmy over to the door. Keep in mind, I’m doing this with a 40 lbs pack on my back. True to form, I just shrugged my shoulders, took a breath, and followed after him. After a few days on the boat, I know longer even think about this when bounding on and off the ship
He said that he regularly hosts 5-6 surfers or up to 12 when it’s nice enough to sleep out on the outer deck, and I can only imagine what that would be like. When he says that there are 7 bed spots (himself included) that means his spot, 2 spots on the twin bed, 1 legit spot on a couch/bench at the nose of the ship, and I guess the other 3 spots are on the floor where there is enough room to fit a body. While this might be a turnoff to some people, I’m excited to see how this’ll all work out!
He’s currently got 1 CSer who’s been on board for a month or 2 - Colin - and apparently I am the start of a new wave of crew. We should have more crew joining us within the next couple days. Time for some true bohemian living, out on a boat.
Without reliable internet, I’m having trouble uploading my photos, but I’ll put them into a future article about life on the Valparaiso. This is the first chapter in the 3-part Valparaiso series. More to come soon