This sure looks like the South Pacific to me. Like maybe Moorea or Tahiti. I can imagine sailing up on this picture after being on the ocean for a few days from one of the nearby South Pacific islands and being glad I’d get to dock my little boat and get back on dry land. How cool would that be? For now I’m just going to rent a 14′ sailboat and practice on the lake 40 minutes from my house. Have to start somewhere.
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.
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… “cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
“I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.”
What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it.
But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
– Sterling Hayden
Since its publication in 1963, Sterling Hayden’s autobiography, Wanderer, has been surrounded by controversy. The author was at the peak of his earning power as a movie star when he suddenly quit. He walked out on Hollywood, walked out of a shattered marriage, defied the courts, broke as an outlaw, set sail with his four children in the schooner Wanderer-bound for the South Seas. His attempt to escape launched his autobiography.
How did this guy get such incredible shots while single-handing in a 30′ sailboat around Cape Horn? Beautiful and amazing to watch. His accent and the vintage-ness just adds to the coolness of it. I think I need to buy this movie.