This is my way of processing for some recent disappointing rumblings of negativity surrounding my voyage. This is a letter to myself and anyone else who needs it…a reminder…a manifesto. I wrote it as if I had written it to a loved one in my shoes and it is heavily inspired by all of the beautiful and supportive words that have been shared with me by so many lovely souls in my life throughout this journey. Thank you lovely souls (yes, YOU)!
First of all, YOU F**KING DID IT !!!!!!!!!! You set your sights on a lofty ass goal and 10 months later sailed across the finish line. You allowed all of the love and support in your life to buoy you through the triumphs, trials and tribulations along the path that led you to the moment you pulled away from the dock in San Francisco and sailed 2500 miles alone across the sea to Hanalei. It may not have been perfectly executed (yes, I saw the zig zag of (how many?) unnecessary jibes as you clung to the imaginary security blanket of that rhumb line, and I also watched you get mistakenly lured up into the becalming Pacific high for 2 days (ouch!). Oh, and that time you tacked 6 times in 2 hours in your last 2 days because you couldn’t figure out which line to the island was best and kept doubting your choice (one day you will understand VMG my dear)…..I saw that too). You may not have had as much technical experience as others, and I know that your fear of touching anything electrical probably was NOT your best asset on the trip.
What I also know though is that despite all of that, you never got scared out there, and the deep well of courage and strength cultivated over your twisty turny 48 years served you well as you barreled through breaking pacific swells larger than your boat with a smile on your face. All of that therapy and writing you have done since you were 20….well thank God for THAT! A hard earned foundation from which to draw in the midst of situations that could potentially have sent you (or anyone) reeling into self doubt and panic. The calm with which you handled so many nightmarish occurrences (from inundations of gallons of sea water, to battery failure, to your auto pilot malfunctioning and doing a donut while you were precariously perched on the foredeck in the midst of huge swells and 25 knots of wind, to the loss of your drinking water, to food going bad, to never receiving position reports or any communications from the race committee, to sea sickness, to not being able to download grib files… to name a few) is a testament to your grit and also to your badass parents who modeled this your whole life as two of the most capable and calm people ever. The humor with which you handled all of aforementioned things is astounding, if not a little embarrassing (yes, I have seen the videos!). I am proud of you, and honestly, not for all of the things I just listed, but because you left that dock in Tiburon and sailed out to sea without looking back once until you arrived at your destination. What you just did is a true metaphor for life. Head in the direction you intend to go and deal with whatever comes your way as you go along with all the strength, grace and humor you can muster. That, my friend is a huge accomplishment and one that no one can take from you, hater or otherwise. It is YOURS, so own it! Own every little piece of it from the glorious to the horrid. That is what living and growing is all about, but then again you already knew that!
With the biggest deepest love,