Since I officially decided to prepare for my big adventure, (sailing in the Singlehanded Transpac next year), I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about sailing, single-handing, navigation, weather and ocean crossings. I have found so many inspiring blogs (see links below) and books that I am currently devouring. I am reading everything from the most technical instructional books to the most personal accounts of life at sea. I am currently on a tear with solo circumnavigation stories. I have taken to waking up at 5 or 6 in the morning and tucking back into my bed with my little dogs and a cup of coffee to lose myself in these amazing tales of self-inquiry, courage and adventure. I am so incredibly inspired by these brave souls who not only put themselves out there to have these experiences, but also to share their personal stories. I already knew this in my guts, but the common thread that I am finding is that these solo voyages are transformational on a very deep level, and not solely from the standpoint of technical accomplishment. I am certainly not discounting the magnitude of the technical part, but what interests me the most is the deeper, emotional part of the journey, so I am happy to glimpse others’ expressions of this. I am sure people who know me well are laughing that I just explained that (hello, obvious), knowing that I don’t do much in my life if not from that place. I certainly wouldn’t be undertaking all of this solo off-shore sailing unless it promised to reveal a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with myself.
One of my favorite documents out of all of the things I have read so far, is my Father’s log from his first pacific crossing in 1975 aboard Scottish Fantasy, a Westsail 32. I love that my Dad still has his log. It is perfectly typed out (I imagine transcribed from his beautifully handwritten log) and bound. I feel like it has been waiting there in his files all of these years, for me to discover and read at the exact right time. I was thrilled when he sent it to me last month, and immediately read it cover to cover in one morning coffee sitting.
His log is a perfect blend of technical data and emotional reflections. The scariest thing (it seems) that happened on the voyage was hitting an unknown submerged hazard. Thankfully the boat was fine, but the sound of it gave everyone a huge fright. To this day they have no idea what it was, but the unanimous guess was that it was a log. Thankfully it was not a shipping container or something that could have caused real damage. On one of Dad's crossings, they had a near miss as they sailed past a mostly submerged shipping container (now I know why hitting a floating container is my Dad’s largest worry for me on my trip). I loved reading his descriptions of everything from the constellations, to the weather, the serenity, the loneliness, the physical challenges, the technical boat stuff and of course, the blissful rewards. My Dad is a beautiful writer, and even in this “official” format of a ships log, his poetic style shines through. The most touching moment for me was when he was reflecting on how much he missed us (I was 8 at the time), and our Mom who was pregnant with my baby sister. I actually got all teary (shocking, I know!).
I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to the desire to document and reflect upon my life’s adventures. The format has changed, but I think of this blog as much the same as Dad’s journals about his voyages. I am grateful that I have a platform like this to reflect upon and document my journey!
Whats currently on my nightstand:
Here are the links to some blogs I have found inspiring and informational: