25 Jan, 06 – 20:30
‘In my experience, a castaway’s worst mistake is to hope too much and do too little. Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.’
From The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
At the Ocean Rowing Weekend in Torquay last year I was surprised by Sally Kettle’s words of advice, ‘On our boat we banned the word “hope”‘.
Abandon hope all ye who enter the ocean?
But it’s making sense to me now. I’ve wasted too much time hoping, and it leads to procrastination – I kept promising myself that progress would be faster, that I would put more hours in, ‘when I get to the trade winds…’, ‘when the wind improves…’, ‘when my shoulders feel better…’
It’s not productive. All I’ve got on each day is the here and now, and I have to make the best I can of it. If frustration is not getting what you hoped for, then if you don’t have the hopes you don’t get the frustration.
So today I’ve been cultivating an attitude of zen – accepting that the only constant in life is change, so there’s no point getting too despondent when things are bad, because they will get better. Likewise, no point in getting over-excited when things are good, because they will get worse.
Easier said than done, of course…
My bottom needs scrubbing… Or Sedna’s bottom, to be more precise. I noticed today thart the barnacles growing around the bilge outlet are getting rather large, so all the ones I can’t see a probably getting rather large too. The last (and only, in fact) time I went overboard to scrub the hull was Christmas Day. It was dead calm, and I wasn’t keen then. Now it’s far from calm, and I’m even less keen. What if the boat lurches and knocks me unconscious? What if I lacerate myself on the barnacles and it gets infected? What if I get too exhausted to climb back into the boat? Hmmm, will put it off at least until a calmer day.
Texts: Apologies, but in the interests of cultivating my inner calm I’ve had the phone turned off all day so I haven’t picked up any texts. Will pick them up and acknowledge tomorrow.
Rita Savage’s PS: Another batch of Sponsored Miles:
Pat Keene, 1005; Thursday Group of Cookridge Methodist Church: 1200; Alastair Brown: 1369; Tessa, Gerard, Gemma and Tom: 1370; Ian Jackson: 1401; Sarah Watson: 1402; and Sebastian Pearey: 1412. Thank you for sponsoring Roz in this way
For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see http://www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk
Wind: E, 15 knots (estimate)
Weather: sunshine and cloud
Sea state: moderate
Hours rowing: 12