Day 20 No Ditheration
Dictated by Roz at 20:55 local time, position -03.91948 159 5329.
This morning I was woken by the sound of porpoises exhaling noisily near my boat. I popped out on deck to take a look, but despite the bright crescent moon it was too dark for me to see anything. Nice way to be woken up though, beats an alarm clock any day.
Later today I saw a pod of dolphins cruise past. I have mixed feelings about dolphins. They have such a reputation for being such friendly, even spiritual, creatures but in the open ocean I found them to be rather supercilious. Unlike whales and turtles, they take very little interest in me. They just shimmy on by with a superior air as if I am beneath their notice. It’s like they know they are the stars of the show and I am just a bit-part player, or even worse, the clown. I can’t help taking this rather personally, but maybe I project too much.
Fortunately there are no signs of human life today, although I am sure it won’t be long. Today I officially set course for Papua New Guinea.
Tonight I will pass about 35 miles north of Nuku Anuu island and will then head for the straits between Bouganville Island and New Ireland.
Last night I had a bit of a dither. I had made good progress south over the last couple of days, and I toyed with the idea of routing towards Australia. Then I remembered the agonies of last year’s ditheration over the Tuvalu/Tarawa question which hung over me for weeks. I am not going through that again.
I remember going to a talk by a couple of guys who had rowed the Atlantic. This was several years ago before I had ever rowed an ocean. One of them said “It is not the decisions you make, it’s the way you see them through.”
Last year I really learned what he meant. All the vacillating backwards and forwards really affected my motivation. While I was uncommitted it was difficult to push myself to row hard for Tuvalu, when I would suddenly be overtaken by doubt and wonder if I should be aiming for Tarawa instead. I was too hung up on aiming to make the right decision.
The older I get the more I suspect there is often little difference between a right decision and a wrong decision. The worst of all worlds is to make a weak decision and then constantly revisit it, worrying over it, and wondering if it was the right one and changing your mind. It almost never ends well.
In most cases it is better to make the best decision you can, face all the facts available at the time, and stick with it – only changing it if the passage of time reveals that it was completely misguided. Very few decisions are totally irrevocable, and most will succeed if you commit to making them succeed.
I am quite excited about Madang. Australia is a great country but I have been there before. Papua New Guinea will be something quite different, a new adventure. This will be a voyage of discovery.
Other stuff: Can anybody out there tell me what currency they use? What language do they speak? Will they allow me to bring food into the country? And do they have decent beer?
Thanks to latest donors to Foundation: David Saunders and DL Perry.
Fundraising Newsletter by Nova Lee
I was reading Roz’s recent blog on how she dove into the ocean to prevent a plastic stove from polluting the sea without any thought to her safety. Made me think of the times I was too lazy to chase after a piece of escaped plastic wrapper. That plastic wrapper that got away most likely joined the 14 billion pounds of trash that end up in our oceans annually. I have a few friends who regularly pick up trash and they serve as a good reminder of the ‘little more’ that I can do. I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting Roz but I get the feeling that she would be just this sort of friend.
Fans: Support Roz’s foundation today by sharing stories of things you have done to prevent the plastic pollution of our planet and donating so we can collectively catch all the plastic before it ends up in the ocean.
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