Four weeks out here already. Time flies when you’re having fun, hey?!
If I’d written that after my first month on the Atlantic, it would have had a distinct whiff of sarcasm. The first month of the Atlantic Rowing Race was one of the most stressful, terrifying and depressing I had ever experienced. I was on a huge emotional rollercoaster, over-reacting to every change in circumstances and weather.
But it WAS a useful learning experience.
As the saying goes, experience is one of those things you get just after you needed it – so rather than let that intense learning experience go to waste, I decided to row another ocean. The best way to find out whether I’d actually absorbed the lessons learned two years ago was to put myself in an equally challenging situation and see how I coped with it. Could I face the Pacific with greater equanimity than I managed on the Atlantic?
And so far, so good. Although this voyage has had its share of fear and frustration – with high winds, big waves, a swamped watermaker and a temperamental sea anchor to contend with – it actually hasn’t been bad at all, and I’ve spent most of the time feeling cheerful, positive and determined. I’ve adapted quickly to life back on the ocean, and generally accept it for what it is – with all its discomforts, inconveniences, trials and tribulations.
Ideally, I would learn to be happy anywhere. My happiness would be inside me, independent of circumstances, so I could be equally happy in a jail as in the most beautiful place in the world. Happiness, surely, is seeing the perfection in everything.
OK, so in the last 4 weeks I haven’t actually got very far, but as Zen Dog reminds me, It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride.
The watermaker didn’t work today. Its feed pump revved apathetically for a couple of minutes, and then stopped. I’ll try it again tomorrow and see if it’s in a better mood. This approach may not be rational, but it has worked before.
Otherwise, a fine day’s rowing. I’ve clawed back some vital miles westwards, and it’s been a gorgeous day – blue skies, fluffy white clouds, sunlight glinting off the ocean – perfect.
I’m sorry – I’m really too tired and sleepy to write individual acknowledgements of all the lovely messages that have been coming in – but I have read all the ones that my mother sent through, and I really appreciate all the love, support, sympathy, encouragement and helpful hints that have been coming through. You are all wonderful people.
Position Sunday morning: 32 20 574N 123 56 733W