I used to take weather very personally. When I was rowing the Atlantic, just over 3 years ago, I used to imagine that helpful weather was some kind of a reward, and unfavorable conditions had been sent to teach me a lesson.
I don’t know if this sprang from some kind of Hollywood myth, or classical mythology, or just from my own confused psyche, but I had this notion that if I could just figure out what it was I was supposed to learn from my present circumstances, then everything would suddenly be transformed, the wind would change direction, and I would be whisked on my way towards my goal.
Of course, weather doesn’t work that way. This was brought home to me in one pithy phrase delivered by a massage therapist in Antigua, while she was trying to alleviate some of my post-row aches and pains. She said that when something bad happens to her, she asks herself, “Does this have my name on it?” Sometimes it does – and there is a useful lesson to be learned. And sometimes it doesn’t.
So now I’ve learned not to take weather so personally. It hasn’t rearranged the laws of physics for my personal enlightenment. It’s just doing what weather does.
And this is a very long way of saying that – today – the weather has been a bit of a pig. I have rowed for 10 hours, 10,000 strokes – same as yesterday, same as the day when I did 38 miles, close to my personal best – but today I have achieved a measly 16 miles.
I used to get very bent out of shape about this kind of thing. My mood index was almost a precise reflection of my day’s mileage. But what can I do? Sure, it’s a bit demotivating to work so hard for so little result. But it’s not my fault. It’s not the weather’s fault. It just is as it is. Sigh.
And the best thing about weather, as with most things, is that it changes. Eventually.
Crave of the Day: ice cream. I was listening to Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” and he talks about how he and Michelle went to Baskin Robbins on their first date, and how their first kiss tasted of chocolate. This brought on daydreams (no, not of kissing Barack Obama) but of ice cream sundaes with maple pecan ice cream, bananas, and chocolate fudge sauce. Ooh, and maybe some nutty sprinkles.
Rave of the Day: Carob Energy Nuggets, bought for me by Lorrin Lee from the Down To Earth healthfood store in Honolulu. Honey, sunflower seeds, carob, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews and peanut butter. Very good indeed. In fact, would be nice sprinkled over an ice cream sundae (see above).
[photo: yesterday I promised you a picture of the small fishy escort party that has congregated under my boat. And here it is – sorry it’s a bit blurry. They might defy identification. But they are most definitely fish.]
Special hellos to:
– Dogmouse33, teacher in Pearl City, and all your students. Aloha!
– Laurey Masterson, who runs a carbon neutral catering company and restaurant in Asheville, NC – FANTASTIC!! What a great example – keep up the good work!
– And everyone else who has posted comments on my blog. I can’t read them directly, but Nicole is copying and pasting them into an email and sending it to me daily – lovely to know you’re all following me and wishing me on – thank you!!
Wind: 5-10kts, SE-E Sea: swell increasing, 4-6ft, from E Intentions: have been pointing due south, rowing parallel to swell – not fun, but trying to mitigate W drift
Easterly trade winds slowly increasing tomorrow and increase to the 20kt range by June 4th. Forecast below is for SWerly course at 30nm/day. A Serly route (180 deg T) is preferred. Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) 01/1800-02/0900 E-ENE 7-12 3-4 02/0900-03/1800 E-ENE 12-17 3-4 03/1800-06/0900 E-ENE 17-22 4-5