08 September 2013 | Kitchen Table
As you might imagine, the actual passage, the focus of this blog, was a whole lot easier than the preparation leading up to it! I have the following advice for anyone who might be interested in having a similar experience.
Surround yourself with great people! I was more than fortunate to have met my primary mentors, Dave and Dorothy Nagle and Wade Biggs. Not only did they open my eyes to the possibility of such a venture but they were phenomenal friends, teachers, crew mates, troubleshooters, generous with their time and energy in an other worldly way, and set an example of how to do this correctly—safely and rewardingly. The crew, Roger on the first leg, and John and Mark on the last, were the greatest. Expert, fun, even, calm and unflappable in every circumstance and I couldn’t think of anyone who would be easier to live with and depend on in close quarters for days and days of open ocean passage.
Select a trustworthy craft up to the task. The Duck was the perfect choice for me and although one has to wonder about people who form relationships with inanimate objects, I feel pretty good about Shearwater and her unfailing John Deere engine after 9000 miles of Pacific Ocean. Nothing I have ever done has required me to trust a craft more to protect my life and those of my crew and the Buehler designed, Seahorse Marine built Dieselduck 462 came through big time. This trip didn’t come close to testing her capabilities.
And finally, have fun. Sounds simple, but imagine being over 1000 miles from land, weather deteriorating, and have an active “what if” center in your frontal cortex. The list of bad things that can befall cruisers in any situation offshore is significant. What I learned from these guys is the key to the whole process in my mind and is applicable to all things in life.
Prepare as well as you can, be vigilant and proactive during the trip, (a bit of OCD works well but not too much), and then take time to really enjoy the moments as I have tried to describe in the blog. It was a phenomenal experience!!!
I never had a yen to cross an ocean. I saw the boat as a coastal marine RV affording me the transport and lodging to see some amazing places and do some great activities. The crossing popped up as a possibility as my work life ended unexpectedly and I decided to go for it rather than ship the boat on a container ship from China. The seemingly unapproachable task got broken down slowly but surely and it all happened in a good way with the help of so many people. We were lucky on several fronts but we were also well prepared to deal with issues which may have arisen.
Thanks for following along. Hope to have many of you aboard to share future adventures! And when I end with these words, I have a way better understanding of their meaning and significance.
Fair winds and following seas!!!