At approximately 04:30am this morning I passed the halfway mark. Given I’ve been sailing for 3 weeks this felt somewhat anticlimactic as rather than feeling a sense of satisfaction, it was more a realisation that I still have a very long way to go. I no doubt have many challenges ahead, so Cairns feels like a faraway land. More an idea than an actual destination. The distance remaining in a straight line is just under 2000Nm but given I’ve sailed over 2500Nm so far, it’s likely something similar, i.e. a long way. For now, I’m just biting it off in chunks with the next milestone the equator which is about 600Nm away.
My path today took me past another atoll, Eauripik Atoll, the last land mass I’ll likely see until I reach pioneer channel in 10-12 days. This one had quite a large outer laying reef, so I gave it a wide berth, which meant I didn’t see the granular level of detail like my last atoll, but I still wistfully wondered what it was like, particularly under the water. These reefs would have little to no fishing given how remote they are so must be some of the most untouched on the planet. I’d gladly spend weeks here living off the land and vow to come back one day.
After a few rain showers in the morning, the wind dropped, and the rest of the day was inordinately calm. The ocean was like glass it was so calm with little to no swell or wind. All the intensity and energy from the past week dissipated, leaving a soothing, gentle fluid beckoning you into its silence. It’s serenity. It’s peace.
I lay here for hours getting lost in my own thoughts in a way you simply can’t do on land. There’s nowhere else to go and nowhere else I’d rather be. I needed rest and gladly allowed myself the time and the space. No pressure. No judgement.
It’s times like these when the simple beauty of nature unfolding before your eyes is seen. Truly seen. You‘re not thinking about 100 other things you need to do or places you need to go. You’re simply being and soaking up each beautiful moment.
The ocean is like a canvas that any emotion can be painted on. Its vastness and diversity seemingly endless. This afternoon I transposed my own emotions of contentment, happiness and tranquillity on this world I’m now a part of. Knowing its fleeting but enjoying it even more because of this.
I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your last remaining grandparent James. Thinking of you brother and sending you all my love.
@ Eileen O’Farrell
Thanks for sharing your comments on Ocean Autopsy. I actually had a whole scientific aspect to my trip planned in partnership with a group studying micro-plastics in the Pacific so was really looking forward to lending a hand in collecting water samples in these remote waters. Sadly, the freight issues meant I couldn’t get the equipment delivered in time. A real shame as I was looking forward to better understanding first hand our impact on the oceans.
As for the rash, I’ve been using Clotrimazole Cream which seems to be doing the trick
Once I got closer the wreck looked very old and was a large steel hulled boat so no chance of cold beer sadly. Or perhaps that was fortunate, so the temptation wasn’t there…
Great news re NZ being COVID Free – Go Jacinda! Thankfully I’ve got written confirmation from Australian Border Force that I won’t need to quarantine when I arrive given its more than 14 days since departing my last port, so I’ll be able to head straight to the pub.
Thanks for the tip re stitching the Dacron patch Simon. So far its holding and my plan is to sew a border around the patch once I get to the doldrums.
@ John McWilliam
I have bungies for reef ties, which makes the issue with the tear all the more painful as they were downstairs, while the sail ties were in the cockpit, so I was just being lazy. Won’t make that mistake again. I’ve sandwiched the tear just as you’ve suggested and will sew it up when I get to the doldrums in a few days (or earlier if it starts to peel beforehand).
@ Nina and David
So lovely to hear from you both! The image of sailing on the swiss lakes over summer sounds wonderful and I love the idea of you both exploring together. Enjoy and big hugs to you both.
Thanks for the kind words and the humour. Both of which are greatly appreciated.
So nice to hear from you. I’ve been following the advice from Bertrand who was super helpful with my sleep regime and other than when the weather is intense, I’m finding sleep fairly well all things considered.
As for giving Beneteau some feedback, I’m not sure they’d like all I’ve got to say 😉
@ Mercia Adonis
Many thanks for the well wishes.