But Who's Counting
15 June 2012
Clear, under 80 degrees
BUT WHO’S COUNTING
June 15, 2012
I am not sure there is such a thing as a routine day aboard but there are some common things like naps, hot coffee, small bruises, to do lists and the real fact that we are so fortunate to live our dream. I read recently of a distinction between cruising and “going to sea” and it makes sense. The writer (I do not remember who) said that only those that cross oceans under great financial duress should be considered true sailors. That true duress thing must mean something like running from the IRS. We have known folks that are cruising every bit as much as we that never leave the home waters. It is truly a state of mind.
One of the other duties is laundry, lest we be exiled to a remote anchorage by others. Usually that is a dull two hour proposition but today was an exception. A fellow came in and we started the usual conversation about where did you start and where are you going. That usually proceeds the “story telling time” about sea monsters, broken stuff, wild storms and dumb things we’ve done. Today was an exception when the fellow mentioned he spent two seasons on a mountain in Antarctica a few years back. Fascinating is not the word for his story. Start at 9000 feet where he worked. It was minus 56 F most of the warm season. The humidity was 0.05 % meaning snowballs were out of the question. If your goggles blew off your eyes would freeze. Add 42 pounds of artic gear and one could go outside. Life as we know it did not exist. Penguins did not venture there. It was 600 miles to the other station. Life was so harsh that until a few years ago, one could not go if one had an appendix. A psychiatrist and a medical doctor were on staff and met with every person every day to determine fitness. With virtually no liquid moisture in the air, stuff did not rust or corrode. He lived in a Quonset hut erected in 1950 that had brass bug screens (not sure why) but they were still bright and shiny. The place was hard on the mind after a bit and more than one person simply walked off to be found a few thousand years later. The ice was over a thousand feet thick with crevasses that one did not see simply strolling along. They had professionals marking trails with little blue flags lest one fall into one. To make it even spookier, those crevasses would open and close over time. Ok, so there you are at the bottom with your feet jammed together in the crack when you notice the crack is closing. Sounds like a Poe movie. We talked through the laundry cycle and that was it.
As of today, we have spent 1165 days aboard Why Knot. While she shows some signs of wear and tear, she is not bad looking for her age. Certainly, we have been attempting to keep up with those items. Due to the fact that we have logged miles on two separate chart plotters and some dummy, that would be me, accidentally reset the total trip counter a year or so ago, we have really no accurate count on our total distance traveled. That is just a drop in the bucket to a fellow we met the other day that has five Atlantic round trips. Still others have done the round the mud ball and any way you slice that it is a 25,000 mile effort. A young fellow just returned to Annapolis last month that did it alone and without touching land in between. Great stories are everywhere and better yet, some are even true.
The picture is of a very nice boat that came in yesterday. Great to look at all that varnish but glad it belongs to otheres.