Adventure to Delos, Part 2- By Michael Gunkel


Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014. The Next day I woke up, looked up, smiled big, breathed deep, tossed the covers and sat up. I look up, look down; my feet are on the ground. Awesome, I woke up! Stand up feeling great cause I noticed I still have four walls and a roof over my head, that’s a plus! Think I’ll use some indoor plumbing, brush my teeth, and then a warm shower. All modern conveniences in one room! That’s pretty FN cool, right?

Hey you! (That’s what I call myself, “Hey You” cause let’s face it to address your self in the third person would be just plain weird.)

So I said to myself “Hey you. You should buy another raffle ticket.”

It would, after all, increase your odds of winning from only 1 in 100 to 1 in 50 or maybe just click => and make a donation. After all, this raffle is an amazing idea and the Delos crew definitely deserves a drink for that. Cheers !

It was just before 8AM Tuesday morning. I’d just finished my morning routine and I decided to check out the Delos blog before diving into my day. Then I saw it: SOLD OUT! What, How, Who! What happen? It’s only been 24 hours! Wow, that was fast! Who won? I check YouTube, nope! I check Facebook, nope! Then it dawns on me, you entered your name & email. “Hey you, check your email – duh.”

So I pick up my iPhone and I open my email, Checked my inbox and then I saw it, subject line, Congratulations from S/V Delos!!!

I excitedly opened my email (here is a copy)

          Hey Michael,

          Guess what?!?!? We just did the drawing and your name was picked! Congratulations ?

          We’d love to discuss more details with you. Would you have time to do a quick Skype call with us sometime soon?

          Fair Winds, and we look forward to meeting you!


          S\V Delos

I read it twice, the first time in somewhat disbelief but there was no misunderstanding this email, as you can see. A smile exploded on my face. Action figure time! Fist pump, fist pump (picture tiger woods on the green sinking his third eagle of the day) as I proceed in to the happy dance. I’ll leave out the details of my happy dance, as I’m sure mine is as embarrassing as yours.

Full of excitement, I had to, just had to share the news! I immediately walked to the back of the house, to the back bedroom, stood tall at the entryway as Nikki sat at the foot of our bed. I explained to her briefly that I had entered a raffle the day before. (Remember yesterday was one of those days and I didn’t exactly share with her how I was feeling that morning or that I had purchased a raffle ticket.) I started to explain.” So yesterday I entered uhh- bought a raffle ticket. ” Nikki looked up at me with her big brown beautiful eyes. I repeated, “ So yesterday I entered this uh-This raffle where I could get the chance to go sailing with S/V Delos for 10 days on the other side of the world and uhhh– Just Read this email mail, please.”

I handed Nikki my phone, email opened. She read it quickly and just about hit the ceiling. Then grinning from ear to ear then proceeds into her very own happy dance. Mind you Nikki has not read the Delos raffle instructions and is not aware that this is a trip for two. She is overwhelmingly excited for me. Damn I love this woman!

I walked into the room grabbed my MacBook air opened favorites and clicked and pulled up the Delos needs crew blog. Then handed her my laptop and said, “read this, please.” Sitting at the edge of the bed she read the post and read it twice, I think she did. Nikki’s response- “It says” — she paused — ” it says you can bring a friend.” She looks up at me with her big browns eyes once more, then bats her eyelashes twice and in a most playful tone and says “Can I be your friend?” —

Without a doubt the most adorable look I’ve seen in weeks but I couldn’t resist the chance for a little friendly banter. So I responded “Do you want to be my friend?” back-and-forth, back-and-forth (banter persists) back-and-forth, back-and-forth. Nikki stands up hugs and she leans back slightly still embracing me, looks me straight in the eye and says “So are we going to Thailand or what mother trucker.” At that point I couldn’t resist I said, “F#@k ya, lets book some flights.”

But before we get ahead of ourselves maybe I should write an email to Brian and Karin and let them know a little bit about the strangers they just invited into their home. They’ve got to be a little bit worried. I know I would be! I’d have a Million questions running through my head. Who are these people? What are they all about? Can they handle life on a boat? How are they going to get here and meet up with us? Are we going to get along? Are they going to have fun?

It’s all a bit odd, when you think about it because as I have never really considered myself a “fan boy”. I don’t really follow actors, bands, photographers, writers, cinematographers or artists for that matter however I do appreciate multiple different forms of creativity. What makes Delos so unique is that they are all of the above. But it is much more than just that. Delos is true to form and true to life. They put themselves out there, in the world and express it all so vividly through their video and blogs. This type of dialogue allows for the true personalities of the crew to shine through. Which causes us as viewers and readers to have somewhat of a kinship and a real understanding of who they are, what they’re about.

With that being said I’ve come to the realization that I’m a “fan boy.” I love Delos, what they do and all the Delos crew (even the ones I haven’t met). I love them all, for putting themselves out there, for being real and being true to oneself. This puts me in a bit of a quandary because I feel as though I know them and they know nothing about me.

Who the hell am I? I’m at Bad Ass Mother Trucker; at least that’s what Siri calls me (after I programmed her to say so). How do I put their mind at ease? How do I let them know that I am not a weirdo? Or that we can fit in and be a part of Delos crew. Well the obvious thing to do is write them an email start a dialog, say thank you and tell them a bit about myself. My first email looked something like this…

Holy Sheet…!

Thank you, thank you.

It almost seems cliché to say I never win things like this. I guess I can’t say that anymore.

 Needless to say I’m super stoked and excited for this adventure.

I have been watching you guys for a few years, huge fan of what you do, so I feel like I know you guys a little bit  already.

I would hallucinate you’re a bit nervous as to who I am and what my traveling experience is. So let me try and put your mind at ease a bit.

My name is Michael Gunkel (you can look me up on Facebook but I am not very active on there) although I will login so we can chat.

I am an American, born in Olympia Washington and raised in the central valley of California.

I have travelled all 49 land locked states of the United States in a small bus, driven coast to coast in the US over half a dozen times and once across Canada. So I am no stranger to living in small spaces as a matter of fact Delos will be a bit of an upgrade for the size I am used to traveling in.

 I’ve travelled my home country, Canada, and Mexico so I’m feeling a little landlocked to this continent. Very excited to sit down with you guys and go over the details for Delos next adventure.

Warmest Regards,

Michael Gunkel

So we email back and forth, set up a time to Skype and we talk logistics. Got to love modern conveniences! I won’t bore you with the details but I will tell you it was awesome to speak with Brian and Karin in person, truly great people. Our conversation with them only inflamed our enthusiasm and determination to make this adventure standout above all other to date.

With five different sailing crew leg options on the table it was a bit of a tough decision. I feel ya, poor me, tough decision but these are the type of tough decisions we all want to have. Am I right? My birthday is December 15 so leg 1 in oil rich Brunei sounded pretty cool. I really waited to get a sailing passage in so Leg 2 sailing across the South China Sea for Christmas sounded pretty sweet! And so on and so forth we analysed each leg. All legs are great prospects for an amazing time; thanks again to Delos for this opportunity & of course the Delos TRIBE

Another blog I wrote-

So we start looking for flights. After analysing the options and coordinating with Delos, We decided Phuket Thailand was definitely the place to be! We searched all the deals, hacked all the pricing tricks. It’s a 24-hour travel day, from the west coast of the US to Phuket Thailand, each way. We concluded that is would cost 1500$ US- per round trip flight, per person. Really? That is the price?!?!? It’s going to be 2 travel days and 3000$ no matter what we do.

(That would be 250$ cost per day before we even stepped on a plane.)

thailand trip cost sv delos 2

How can we do it? What would we pack?

Now here is the real challenge how do we plan a trip without planning a trip?

— Stay tuned Smile

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