Deep Water

NOW EQUAL FOOTING MERMAIDS STOP

– Cablegram received from Donald Crowhurst while adrift on his sailboat

I am currently watching a documentary about the Sunday Times 1968 Golden Globe circumnavigation sailing race called Deep Water on Amazon Prime. It’s a really excellent movie. The creators really do a good job placing you alone on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean and giving you that feeling of claustrophobia of the boat, but then also the contradictory feeling of the seemingly unending vastness of the ocean, as they would look out over the horizon. Moitessier’s wife, one of the sailors in the race, described what it must be like. She said they must feel like little Gods in their own universes when they are out on the open sea and that Moitessier probably felt most at home this way.

It’s striking how much like astronauts they were. This is another point brought up in the documentary. Without GPS like we have now – it’s like they are traversing the vast reaches of outer space not knowing exactly where they are. Also, the sailor is in a little capsule just like an astronaut, floating along with just ocean on all sides.
Donald Crowhurst’s story is really fascinating. I don’t want to give much away, although obviously history has already told his story, but the quote above is one of the weird cablegrams he started sending when things were going bad for him. I would like to one day also be on “equal footing with the mermaids” on my own sailboat, but only for a short while. I don’t want to live at the bottom of the ocean, unless my final breath is coming next anyway. I have a lot more left to do.

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