The hardest parts of the trip so far
06 July 2010
A friend of mine emailed me today and asked what have been the hardest parts of the trip for me so far. Let's see, the hardest parts of the trip, in order:
1) The 48 hour gale we had to sail through! It was intense. I was knocked down to the first spreader, another wave spun me around, and the biggest wave just missed me, right on my stern. This beast was huge! Through all this, I had to cook, sleep, go the bathroom, navigate, and make sure the boat was balanced and heading in the right direction. As another sailor in the race said, "How many times did you say never again!¢
2) Being becalmed for two days. I can't begin to describe the feeling of having no wind to move the boat. I just had to sit there, with nothing to do, for two days! All this time the other boats are sailing away, I was just stuck in this hole. By the second day I thought I would go insane. You sit in the cockpit for an hour, then at the nav station for an hour, then on the foredeck for an hour, then sleep for an hour, then walk around for an hour, then...... There is nothing to do!
3) Not being able to sleep at night b/c the off course alarm keeps going off! If this alarm goes off once more, I think I will bash it with my largest vice grip! It§s amazing, it knows just when I put my head on the pillow, then waits for a few minutes to tease me, then goes off!!! During the day, no problem, sails just fine, during the night, nope, she loves to go off course.
4) Understanding the idea of staying on course, no matter what! I can easily pick up 2 more knots of boat speed, it would feel so good, but it will not bring me in faster, in fact, slower. All I can do is point my bow to the finish and get the most speed possible. With the light winds we have had for the past three days, this makes for a real exercise in patience.
5) Being alone for 20 days. This is not easy. I think for some reason humans need contact with each other, it does not have to be physical contact, but even just being around other people makes the loneliness go away.
With all this being said, I would not give up this experience for the world. It has been the adventure of a lifetime.