Sunday, March 09, 2014

Sailing to Greenland with three Disney Princesses

I'm a great believer in the ethos of travelling light: the problem with packing is so many things seem essential.

But on the trip to Greenland I tried really, really hard, for example ditching the DSLR for a lighter mirrorless camera, and then going through Siggi's what to bring list with a tooth-comb.

Sleeping bag - tick. Layers - tick. Camera - tick. But there was no requirement to bring a towel. It did puzzle me, as in most sailing trips I've had to bring my own, but not all. Following the essentials only ethos I therefore left all mine at home and made my way to the remote Icelandic small town of Isafjordur.

Relaxing on the boat with all the chores done and under an hour to go before our planned departure I mentioned I hadn't yet received my towel.

"But you're supposed to bring your own" was the ship's mate's response.

Eek! It was past 6 pm on a Saturday evening and I had under an hour to magic up a towel.

Isafjordur is really not that big and all the main shops had closed apart from a general store. It sold many many things but alas towels were not one of them. The closest were tea towels and on the principle that, given this was the only shop open and they were better than nothing, I bought half a dozen.

On the way back to the boat I spotted there was a hotel here and had a brain wave: hotels have towels, lots of them, and commercial if-it-makes-money-lets-do-it attitude.

So I popped in and threw myself on the mercy of the receptionist, explaining I was about to sail to Greenland and had no towel and could she help. She wasn't sure, but said she'd go and talk to housekeeping.

She was gone a long time, and I was beginning to give up, seeing the time on my watch approach the 7 pm departure time.

But she came back with a towel, a white one, and said that one of their guests had left it behind so I could have that for free.

Thanking her profusely I ran back to the boat, arriving just in time.

It was only back on the boat I checked my towel and discovered that while mostly white there were embossed at one end three very pink Disney princesses, not the sort of the thing any man wants to take on a wilderness expedition.

Maybe that's why, when I took a photo of my bunk (top) with the towel drying on one side (left) these three ladies were discreetly hidden from view.

At the end of the voyage I decided not to take the towel home but left it - together with the tea towels - as "gifts" for the boat.

It is, after all, important to travel light.


O Docker said...

'Tis better to have loved embossed than never to have loved a towel.

JP said...

For some reason Buff seemed disappointed I hadn't brought it back for him.

Anonymous said...

Nice story. There must be picture evidence somewhere?

JP said...

I'm pretty sure I didn't take a photo of it. But if you google "disney princess towel" you'll get the general idea (an no doubt adverts targeted accordingly).

However writing this post made me wonder what happened to the Disney princess towel and so I've sent an email off asking what happened to it after I left at Tasiilaq.