Saturday, April 21, 2007


10 27.871 S
138 40.057 W

I wonder why people say that? If there was such a thing as Sea Ho's then I doubt sailors would have to go on such a terror when they hit port. One of life's great mysteries.

I had the dawn watch today (5-8 am). This, the day that we finally put this leg to rest. I was so excited to be the first to sight land after so long, alone, the sun rising at my back, a piece of something on the horizon that didn't disappear or bob up and down like a top. The sun rose with clouds everywhere and.... no land! Around seven Chris came up from below and I gave him the bad news. He shook my hand and congratulated me while he pointed off into the distance at what was, in retrospect, so obviously Fatu Hiva. I guess you have to know what you are looking for in this life.

Distance: 3028nm
Time: 27D 5h
Avg Speed Over Ground: 4.6 knots
Best Daily Run: 141 (awesome day)
Worst Daily Run: 79 (this, my friends, was a very dark day)

I have realized that I tended to treat pride as a comparative statement and subconsciously avoided it in the last five years. Pride itself is a dangerous thing and a fine line, but I think that it is only when you approach it as comparative that the poison flows freely. It is the first time that I have said so in a very long time and I do so with a clear conscience... I am _proud_ of this accomplishment and I will be so for the rest of my life. There are people lining up on shore to tell me that we should have done this in 3/4 of the time, in more comfort, with less comfort, more style, different style, with a different route or sail plan. I can (and will) learn from other's experience, but how I feel about this journey is locked up tight and I will not allow it to be gnawed at from inside or out. I am not shameful of my pride this time around and my competitive nature is blissfully asleep.

A wise woman once implored me to celebrate the small victories in life. I missed the tie with lack of pride and feeling like I had not accomplished something worth celebrating. I am treating this as a collection of small accomplishments and celebrating the hell out of each one in turn.

I thought that a month at sea would teach me the finer points of sailing. What it did teach me was that I knew very little about sailing in general and that blue water sailing has much more to do with the stuff that goes on around the actual act of wind pushing cloth (that I knew absolutely nothing about... not to mention the crap that goes on inside your head during such an outing - don't get me started). Tolerance, endurance, the failure mechanisms of 12v systems, radar, HF/VHF radios, how to truly stay awake with nothing much going on but your synapses firing, corrosion, auto pilots, boat motion, securing for sea and keeping a boat quiet, rationing, electric winches, REAL anchors (not the paper clips I am used to throwing), wind generators, solar panels, the practicalities of rope chafing and sail longevity, provisioning, paperwork and how to grow a ridiculous looking beard (some of you might think that I already had that mastered - trust me I have taken things to new heights) are all things that I can say I now have some knowledge of... Oh - and I learned a fair bit of how to actually sail.

Tonight I can pour out three cups of coffee at once. Tonight I will leave my diner unattended for 5 seconds just because I can. Tonight I sleep and for the first time in 28 days I won't wake up in the middle of night to go to work.

Life is good.

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