Thank you very kindly to all the supporters of my Bridge Project, I really appreciate it (as does Oxfam Australia). I don't quite have enough to purchase a bridge, but there is still lots that can be done with the money at the Oxfam Unwrapped store - So I'll transfer the money out and go on a charity shopping spree in the next few days. Across the Atlantic I had no idea if I'd raised more than $50, and thought the idea might fizzle, however I was happily suprised! Thank you once again. The two podcasts that went AWOL when the site went down (days 24 and 30) can be played here:
I have a few photos on my Photos page, however as I said, my camera broke pretty early on - I have a video camera on loan from Jack, which I took some photos with, but it's really for video, not for stills!
A regular but sorry sight! Kamikaze flying fish on deck
Also a fairly regular sight - Line squalls.
Windy the Windpilot, rocking it for 2700nm across the Atlantic. Look Ma, no hands!
The last photo is at Port St Charles, Barbados, at the clearance dock for immigration/customs and health. You can't tell, but there was swell surging around the breakwater, and poor Constellation was being crushed. I put tons of lines on after that photo, and high-tailed it out of there to the anchorage after the paperwork was done with.
Check the few other photos I have (but I have tons of video, although I don't have a fast enough computer to extract it!!) here.
And last but not least, are the the days from 15 - 30 of my crossing. As I said earlier, the quotes are from books I was reading at the time.:
"We seem to be born to be dissatisfied" -Steiner
Felling a little stir crazy and impatient now, with still at least 12 days to go, assuming wind stays as is. Thinking way too much... It's impossible to stop all this mental junk coming into your head and invading your thoughts. On land you can distract yourself. Here there is nothing, but to battle it in an mental arena. Except *I* (or is it the id?) always lose...! Days, nights and weeks are all one. Or none. I ate jelly beans for breakfast.
"God growed us up till we could wear long pants, then he licensed his name to dollar bills, left some car keys on the table, and got the fuck outta town... Don't be lookin up at the sky for no help. Look down here, at us twisted dreamers." -DBC Pierre
I found some old cough drops in my jacket pocket. I don't have a cough, but they taste good. The first tanker I've seen in two weeks steamed past today, and was picked up by the radar detecter. We did 125nm today.
"Those who steer a boat across the sea, or drive a horse over the earth till they succumb to the weight of the years, spend every minute of their lives travelling" -Basho
Hairy sail change at dawn... At least the water is warm now, because I got an involuntary shower, the bow dunking heavily. But the boat is happier now, not have so much canvas up. Swell is annoyingly choppy, and we are doing 5.5kts under my smallest Jib (one before Storm jib). I would be intrigued to know exactly what speed the wind is at the moment... We did 135nm today (our record).
"We live as we dream; alone" -Joseph Conrad
Very bad day. Squall, then contrary winds. Boat rolling around like crazy. Curled up in my bunk, bracing myself with knees and back just to hold me still. It's difficult to explain, but there is this little thing underneath your psyche out here all the time, which is silently aware that some things are just chance. No matter how good you are at sailing, there is always the possibility you will be hit with bad luck, and this is a thing that goes over in your mind out here when you're alone. You suppress it 99% of the time, but today, I guess I weakened up. I feel like crying, Ellen McArthur style, but what I'm doing is nothing in comparison so I don't. Much'o extra respect for her.
"See, it's a brave man that weeps!" (Starbuck exclaims to Ahab) -Melville
Three weeks. Two more ships picked up on the radar detector. Today I feel much better. We're still rolling a lot, but that's life. My noodles are balanced on a washboard, on my lap. I raised more sail to ensure we did the minimum 120nm/day quota. I think we are in good shape to make landfall in eight days. Night fell with an ominous squally horizon. Reduced sail just before dark.
Increased sail this morning, and cleaned the deck of flying fish. Man, they get everywhere! Today is as was yesterday, as was the day before, yet one day closer to land....
"I've neer been lonely. I've been in a room. I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful beyond all, but I've never felt that one other person, could enter that room and make a difference. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with, because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude." -Charles Bukowski
I have a bit of a sore throat today, which I suspect is the result of 23 days of bad food. The wind died down a bit today... Argh! I'm not sure if we'll do our 120nm today. I found a rusty old can of tinned Tesco Rice Pudding in the caverness depths of Constellations storage crannies. Great day! The Genoa is flogging in the light airs. This annoys me.
"No, I must lie alone Till it comes for me; Till it takes the sky, the sand And the lonely sea." -Thomas Pynchon
Woke up again with a sore throat. I also feel tired. Rummaging around I managed to find a bottle of expired vitamin C tablets. I overdosed. Last night a flying fish some how landed in the cabin, and buzzed around the floor. I was asleep, and dreamt of short circuiting wires. All of a sudden I realised it was a localised sound, and thought the boat was short circuiting! And then I looked down to see a smelly fish on the floor - Still flapping, I picked it up with the frying pan and hurled it out the door. I estimate the wind to be blowing F3 now. This is frustrating, because it's consistent, and I'm concerned we've simply hit the belt of light-airs. But, it's a perfect sunny day, and the swell is much less, so I can't really complain.
We have really slowed down now... Doing around 90nm/day. Some parts of the day I am frustrated by this, others I'm non-plussed. The only problem is, I'm really running out of nice things to eat! ('Nice' being a relative term...!)
"Without serious storms my small ship of fate sailed through the sea of life; and if on the occasion it took the wrong course, then providential navigation steered it back in the right direction". Xaver Scharwenka
Ok, now speed is really frustrating me a lot. Forget the zen stuff, I'm fucking annoyed. I decided to try out a goosewing configuration with the rig, which all up took 35 minutes to put up, including the time to dismantle my previous setup. I smashed my elbow raising the mainsail, and it's bleeding and really hurts. I jumped around on deck yelling profanities for quite some time, remembering soon after my sore throat. Which is worse now. Finally up, it turned out to be useless. The swell simply kicks the boat sideways, and we gybe. I thought maybe we'd get away with it, but no... I should have trusted my instincts. Now I have to put everything back. We're doing a whopping 3kts, and now the wind keeps changing, so the windvane sends us off course. Already three squalls have blown over, leaving behind a windshadow, and rain. I suspect it's these squalls hovering around that have been playing with the wind. Every morning I have such a feeling of urgency, and glancing at the GPS 'To Go' field makes me furious at our slow progress. However, by mid to late-afternoon, my anger subsides, and I don't really care if we have another 1000nm's to go. Mornings are for impatient youth/evenings for more gentlemanly thoughts/and aspirations.
"Let others bemoan the maliciousness of their age. What irks me, is its pettiness, for ours is an age without passion... My life comes out all one colour." -Kierkegaard
At our current pace we'll be in Barbados within three nights! Why am I complaining about progress again!? It won't be long before I start feeling nostalgic about this whole voyage... A tanker steamed past me last night on the starboard side. I gave it a solute and went back to bed. As you know I always salute cardinal buoys for guiding me away from dangers - As such, tankers should be thanked, for not running you down! It's hot in here... I spent the afternoon listening to Jeff Bucky bootlegs.
"Waiting for joyous tomorrows, is what kills joyous todays." Raoul Vaniegem
Closer, closer! It's Friday, we'll be in port by Sunday. I know it. I feel i'll be stuck on the boat till Monday though due to customs clearance... Maybe I'll sneak ashore though, during the night, just to make sure a place to stand that doesn't pitch and roll actually exists.
"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very edge of despair." -Bertrand Russel
I was hoping to break the 30 day barrier by arriving today, but I still have 24hours to go! Nevermind. I'm so happy, I virtually done it... It's strange though, I don't feel particularly excited, or even anxious right now. I guess now I'm just so used to being out here...
"For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure." -Emerson
Wow, it's done. I arrived at 14:10 in Port St Charles. I docked on the fuel birth, and stood on land. It was an incredibly odd feeling. I had to see Customs, Immigration and Health before being allowed back on my boat... I went out and anchored in Six Mans Bay. The water is warm, there are kids playing on the beach, the sand is white, and I just can't believe it. How beautiful; great day.
"The concept of freedom has two aspects; the first concerns the individual, who is free to do as he pleases; the second, more important, has to do with sharing the fruit of our free actions with others." -Lucrezia De Domizio Durini