Some people may be labouring under the misconception that I possess some kind of bravery, or courage, to do what I do. The truth of the matter is, I don’t think I am any braver than the next person. I just have a good capacity for not thinking about the things that might scare me.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not like an ostrich, with my head in the sand, assuming that if I can’t see it then it can’t hurt me.
But I do all my worrying before I set out, while there is still something I can do to address them. I write out all my “what if” scenarios – anything from the boat catching fire to a bout of depression – and identify what I would do, and what items I would require to do it with. Most of these contingencies are covered by a huge first aid kit, a good set of tools, a selection of marine flares, and standard marine safety equipment. Oh, and a list of useful phone numbers.
Then, once I’ve written out my lists of Bad Things, I try not to think any more about them.
I also deliberately choose not to think about: – how far away I am from dry land (once I’m out of sight of land, it could be 20 miles or it could be 2000) – how deep the ocean is (you can drown in 2 inches of water – so never mind that it is 2 miles deep – all the strange and potentially dangerous creatures that may lurk beneath the thin shell of my boat..
Actually, in connection with the last, I have been quite disappointed not to have seen more wildlife. On the Atlantic I didn’t see much either, but there was at least the occasional turtle, and lots of flying fish. Here on the Pacific, apart from birds (which I see most days) I haven’t seen another living thing since the bizarre sunfish on 3rd June.
I know the fish stocks are collapsing and many species of sharks and whales are on the brink of extinction, but surely we haven’t killed EVERYTHING?
[Photo: in the absence of more interesting wildlife, you’ll have to make do with a picture of a Savage]
Relatively calm conditions at the moment, with winds coming from the NNW. Slow but steady progress at the oars.
And hellos and thanks to all who have written in. Special mentions to:
Paul Nordquist for the story about the drunken Swede who tried to row home from Denmark. Not a bad effort for a 78-year-old!
Gordon Christie – good to hear from you!
HSS for the words of encouragement – and the riddle. And I am proud to be associated with your funny old kettle saved from landfill!
DON’T FORGET TO BE BLUE
Want to make difference? It’s easy! Go to www.theblueproject.org and click on the Make a BLUE Pledge button. (This is not about money)
BE COOL, BE BLUE!
Position Wednesday evening: 29 01.118 N, 126 14.694 W.
Click here to see Day 39 of the Atlantic crossing 7th January 2006.