The sail over to Tahiti from Bora Bora took twice as long as I thought but I guess you can say that’s typical of sailing. I forgot about that westerly current that pushed me backwards a knot in the direction from whence I came. I was finally able to grab a wind shift and sail at an angle that made much more sense for my intended destination. It’s been such a long time since I sailed upwind I forgot about the excitement that goes into it. The rail spent most of the morning in the water yesterday. To you non-sailors, the boat was heeled over so far the deck was awash. That means I was going fast, not thinking of safety, and seeing if I could break anything. After miles of easy downwind sailing, it was fun to push Dosia to her limits again and remember why I put so much hard work into making her seaworthy. So there it is, my first overnight solo passage and I gotta say, I don’t like it. I don’t understand solo sailors and how they do it or why they even want to. I guess many don’t have a choice cause if they did, I assume they’d sail with a beautiful woman like I do (no offense Aaron…you were a good mate last year man). In the end though, I guess it’s not who you are voyaging with as much as the fact you are actually out there doing it, living life the way you demand it be lived.
And that brings me to my not-so-official quote of the week. I was reminded of this quote reading a fellow Pearson 365 owner’s blog. I used to have a copy of Sterling Hayden’s book, The Wanderer. I have no idea what happened to it but I remember reading it 10 years or more ago and falling in love with the concept. A hollywood actor in the 50’s, distraught with the industry, accused of being a communist, and pissed about his recent divorce, takes the kids and runs off on his sailboat to Tahiti. You may recognize him at the cop Michael Corleone kills in The Godfather but probably not as it was years after this photo was taken. A famous quote from his book describes exactly what I’m doing out here and why I’m doing it at this point in my life. Sterling Hayden died from prostate cancer at age 70.
“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. “I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?”