Monday, April 4, 2016

In Time

This long long passage is drawing to a close with a whiff of suspense. We find ourselves less than 300 nautical miles from Cape Town, in light winds, with easterly winds up to gale strength forecast in two days.

Easterly, as in: headwinds. Will we make it before the headwinds shut us down?

Though weather forecasting is a key element in our ability to sail in higher latitudes, this is a time when I almost wish we didn't know what was coming. With the threat of strong headwinds looming, I am impatient to be done with the passage. I have to make an effort to summon my normal equanimity concerning the length of passages. We'll get there when we get there. The end will come when it does.

This is the only reasonable way to approach a long passage.

The more unreasonable, but nonetheless more satisfying approach to long passages, is to just enjoy them. This too has been difficult to achieve this time out. Alisa and I agree that sunshine makes an outsized difference in the pleasure that being at sea brings us. I think that the absence of large swell is also a big factor. We're both thinking a bit wistfully of sparkling, flat-water days in the tradewinds, a thousand miles from anywhere, when there's nowhere else we'd rather be.

The swell has been constant. Though seasickness is long past for all of us, I find that the swell makes any concentrated thought or work impossible. The motion just sets me into a passive mode of existence, able to attend only to the needs of the boat and whatever reading material I put in front of my eyes. Add my fractured sleep schedule to the mix - I commonly stay up until two in the morning or so, getting Galactic through the wind shifts that have been bedeviling us at night lately - and I have this strong sense of being in an altered state of mind. I'm fully aware, but beset by sloth. It's like I've been sitting in some committee meeting or other for the last nineteen days.

I wonder what our future land-bound selves will think as we look back on these long stretches of time that we burned up, getting our boat and our family from one side of an ocean to another. Three weeks at sea! Will we think of the other things that we might have done with the time?

Or will we look back at these long days, day after day, spent as a family in the cockpit, and think that they were the best of times?

This post was sent via our high-frequency radio as we're far from internet range. Pictures to follow when we reach internet again. We can't respond to comments for now, though we do see them all!


  1. I love your committee meeting comparison. The weeks we spent crossing oceans became hard to recall in any detail almost as soon as they were done with. You've been keeping minutes plenty well enough to prompt some recall, I reckon. Hang in there Team Galactic. Can you smell the lions yet?

  2. How often do we near the end of a passage to be blighted with head-winds - we feel for you ! In a few days time it will be just another blur of course, but when it's the present/immediate future it dominates one's consciousness. It's great to hear how far you've progressed in he past week. It would be probably futile to wish you 'fair winds' in the face of that forecast, but regardless our thoughts are with you both, and the boys. - Jon & Barb