Saturday, April 21, 2012


Noon Position: 42 27' S, 124 42' E, SOG 5.5, COG 090, Day's Run 106nm.
Now that I'm back in "civilization," with Australia only few hundred
miles to the north, I've been keeping myself awake at night turning
ordinary noises into the sounds of company. A flash of moonlight on the
wall above my bunk with a low hum from somewhere aft had me on deck,
looking around for the coast guard boat that I was sure was hitting me
with a spotlight. The juddering groan from one of the crudded up
windvane blocks had me sure that a tanker was somewhere in the vicinity,
blasting away with it's foghorn. So naturally this morning while I was
on the bow, basking in the unaccustomed warmth of the sun and repairing
some stitching in the staysail, the roar of a jet engine as I was
watching a pair of albatross skim by had me instantly wondering what new
weirdness Odyssey was assailing my ears with. Then I realized it really
was a jet engine - a big airliner from Adelaide or Melbourne, headed out
across the Indian Ocean shooting across the sky. The first tangible
evidence of human existence outside of this boat since mid February.
It's almost as if a dream has ended - a dream where days roll by
endlessly, marked only by the wind and the clouds and the sun, a long
blur of constant motion, action, inaction, brought to a grumbling
awakening by a jet headed towards South Africa, covering in a few hours
what's taken me more than a month of blood, sweat, shivering, more than
a month of glorious days and agonizing calms. I wonder a bit if the
passengers on that plane take for granted the miles of ocean they're
breezing over, if anyone happened to look down and wonder about the
little speck of white and tan, rolling along towards Tasmania.

1 comment:

  1. Few people ever experience "alone." Lucky you!
    Stay safe, Eric.