Two thirds of the way round.
Mon 21 Nov 2016 08:28
The reef has been shaken out and the sails set, the wind is a steady 10-12 knots, we're holding a good course and there's nothing needing doing except to sit in the shade of the mizzen sail and keep watch. This is not an arduous task. It involves making sure I check all 360 degrees of the horizon for any other boats every 10 or 15 minutes. So far, since I came on watch three hours ago, there's been none. So in between I can rest my eyes on the blue waves, the morning sun behind me, and as the gentle swell passes under Lochmarin, I follow its progress with all my senses: my muscles tense and relax as my balance changes whilst the boat rolls under me, my eyes watch the wave move ahead of us, white foam spreading out in a fan as it flows, and my ears hear the soft sigh of its passage. The breeze on the back of my neck and my arms strengthens in perfect step with the the filling of the sails and the creak of the sheets as they take up the load.
How magical is this? Imagine if you could transport your whole home to another country, another culture, another climate without engines and levers and grind and stress but by water and air in balance and harmony?
So on days like today, on easy passages, and this is an easy passage, there is time and space and inspiration to think - to get 'filosofikal' as our friend Dave says. On this passage I have been reading of Humboldt and of Thoreau and, in my humble opinion, they are both right. Humboldt was driven to travel, to explore, to visit the furthest reaches in order to make sense of the world he was living in and find the whole picture. Thoreau studied his local surroundings in incredibly intricate detail in order to make sense of the world too. Humboldt studied the mountains and rivers, Thoreau studied the streams from the spring thaw flowing down a sand bank. Same thing, different scale.
Tonight we will have sailed two thirds of the way around the world. We've swam with whales and sea lions and manta rays and penguins. We've stared down into the mouths of live volcanoes and walked down lava tunnels. We've broken bread with people from cultures and ways of life hugely different from our own. We have a handle on how big the world is: traveling around it at push bike speeds gives you a true sense of scale. Our minds and eyes and hearts have been opened in ways that they never would have if we hadn't made this journey.
Yet, in all the places that we've been to people are essentially the same: most are lovely, a few aren't, and they all want a better life for their children. There are wonders to be seen in every environment and when we have returned to the UK on visits we see the beauty around us with fresh eyes. Although it helps, you don't have to travel to see the wonder of the world, the important thing is to have an open heart and mind and soul and engage with where you are. Take that stroll in the evening, you may see fox cubs playing in the last of the light. Pull over, get out of the car to take 5 minutes to watch the moon rise.
So, its been 4 1/2 years, 30 different countries and we are heading for our 250th anchorage. A long way. It's strange, sailing half way around the world sounds like quite an accomplishment but sailing 2/3 of the way around the world begs the question: what about the other third? Well, it is certainly our intention but these last 10 days or so have reminded me that cruisers plans are written in the sand at low tide, not set in stone. So who knows? Maybe we'll get round, maybe we won't, it doesn't matter. The important thing is getting back to watching those waves right here and now, before the evening sun turns the white spray pink. I might miss a whale or a dolphin or that blue beaked, blue footed Boobie with black tipped wings that just flew by.
Day 2 - Lunch: cashew nut, red pepper and mushroom stir fry with mi goreng noodles. Supper: blackened cajun spiced chicken leg with potato salad.
Day 3 - Breakfast: oats, grated apple and sultanas soaked overnight in milk. Watermelon and lime smooothie. Lunch: more of day 1's chickpea curry with brown rice, followed by fresh mango and yoghurt. Supper: humus and red pepper sandwich on granary boat made bread.
This passage cans of food count: 4
tomatoes x 1
red peppers x 1
mushrooms x 1
potatoes x 1
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