Transatlanticism, Day 2

Day 2 – 32°30.06S  014°18.24E
10 September 2013 – Total Distance Covered: 349nm


Another great day of sailing, we had some challenges with the rudder angle sensor coming off its mounting, but otherwise uneventful.

Laura is still sick, it’s definitely not seasickness. I’ve started sanitising all the grab handles in the common areas.


There is a squeaky block (pulley) directly above my head in my bunk. It’s running the prang (preventer/vang) and is loaded with a few tons on slightly stretchy line, which is why it’s squeaking. Incredibly how something so simple can make such a huge, and disturbing, sound. It’s like metal scraping on metal, literally 40cm away from my face while I try and sleep.

We put out a fishing line, nothing yet. It’s a lure wired up on a bungy cord so that it will not snap the line if we get a strike.

Being Forced to Think

A journey like this is as much about the time away as it is about sailing. For me this is a form of meditation without the forced constraints of sitting in a darkened room, legs crossed trying to achieve a state of zen.

Boat meditation is more about menial tasks like mending a line or checking sail trim. Obviously there is a fair amount of time spent gazing at the horizon, but it is the time away from everything, away from the hum drum, the bathroom remodelling back at home, the dinner plans, the accounts that need paying, the week’s groceries, away from everything. Out here it is simple. The routine is almost deadening.

Wake up, breakfast (probably muesli), faff about for a few hours, do some sailing, make something for lunch, an afternoon nap, maybe read something, get up, sail, help with dinner, bed for a few hours before night shift, up at 10pm, sail until 2am, sleep.

The repetition along with the lack of external stimuli and the inherent repetitive tasks involved in running a boat, writing the hourly log etc, really gives you nothing else to do but think.

Suddenly the bathroom remodelling becomes something that is important. The loved ones you left behind become achingly far away. It becomes easier to make grand resolutions in this place.

It’s said that to turn a good practice into a habit takes 30 days (I’ve also heard 21). I wonder if living a completely different life for a month makes it easier to reset your life when you return?

Resolutions are of course notorious. Once you’ve whittled through the obvious ones, get fit, be more organised, be a better friend etc, you’re left asking the big questions: Who am I? What do I want?

I am blessed. I live a charmed life. People pay me money to do work that I find challenging and rewarding. I’m happily married to a woman who is happy with her life and it makes me happy to see her prosper. I am able to do these amazing things like sail 5000 miles across the oceans.

I enjoy being forced to think.


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