September 2011

Arrival in Mauritius – Leg 3 Day 3–Voyage Day 28

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Current Position 15:00 UTC +4
Course over Ground   Degrees
Speed over Ground   Knots
Speed thru Water   Knots
Heading   Degrees
Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 20 09.508
Longitude East 57 28.939
Distance Remaining 0 Nautical Miles Sea Surface Temperature 21.4 Degrees C

Image of the Day:

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Highlights:

We arrived in Mauritius this afternoon and will be here for a little over a week; tentatively sailing on Monday the 26th.

Reflections:

It’s great to be back to this beautiful place and I can’t wait for a shower and a meal! 

I’ll be updating the blog over the next few days on previous days, but won’t take too much time away from the R&R to do this.

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Whales and Parenting – Leg 2 Day 7–Voyage Day 18

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Current Position 10:00 UTC +6.5
Course over Ground 270 Degrees
Speed over Ground 6.0 Knots
Speed thru Water 4.8 Knots
Heading 200 Degrees
Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 16 29.609
Longitude East 080 45.191
Distance Remaining 1008 Nautical Miles Sea Surface Temperature 22.9 Degrees C

Image of the Day:

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Whale Watching at Lunch

Highlights:

Sabine spotted a whale at lunch today which created quite a bit of excitement and though we all searched for quite some time no one else actually saw it. 

While looking for it we snapped a reef line on the main and had to reset the sails in somewhat of a hurried fashion.  Never a dull moment…

Reflections:

Andri’s Guitar Lesson

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Parenting:

When does it start and when does it end – or does it? and how do you judge success or failure as a parent?  Is it in terms of job, number of grandchildren, their partner, societal contribution, happiness?  How can you know you’ve done well or failed?  How can you step back and let them take on their lives when things aren’t necessarily going well?

Tonight I’ve spent the last few hours ruminating on this.  Being with four small children (ages 4 months, 2, 5 & 6 years) sheds a very different light on this and lines of responsibility are viscerally clear.  However, in both cases I’m not even a full parent; here I’m a guest adult and at home a step-father as was made quite clear to me at Juliana’s wedding this past July.  Yet, from an accountability perspective I am responsible (with or without the recognition) and have not been feeling particularly positive about my impact.  

So as I write this, I can’t help wondering if I am trying to take responsibility for something I know longer own?  At ages 27, 30 & 31 can I really be accountable for that?  When did accountability end?  Did it?  If I was unsuccessful in transmitting the base and the core skills-set that they need today, perhaps I failed.  Today, as adults, they must address these issues themselves and my feelings and judgments are irrelevant.  Even if I could, I’m not sure I that I can or want to, and it’s certainly not my place – which gets pointed out to me again and again and I don’t believe it is actually my right or responsibility as it definitely was in the past within the scope of ‘step-father’.

How is the parental accountability shared (particularly complex in the situation of parents and step-parents)?  The four parents may often work at cross purposes with each other bringing greater confusion rather than clarity to their shared heirs.  Communication here seems to be the key and given circumstances of separation and regrouping with new partners can to be a huge hurdle.

As an adult (and even as a child) I have always resented being told what to do or having some authority impose their direction, opinion, etc. on the choices I make in my life – never mind the “I told you so’s” after the fact.  Given that, I have always strived to have a light touch in the guidance I provide and this becomes even more critical with adult children – we must back off!  Sorting out my emotions is my problem, which as I’ve stated above, are irrelevant to the situation, though are very real and something I must live with. All this even begs the question of how dare I try and judge the results of my contribution here given that things are so far beyond that today…

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Tale of Perception on the Tail of a Flying Fish – Leg 2 Day 6–Voyage Day 17

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Current Position 08:00 UTC +6.5
Course over Ground 260 Degrees
Speed over Ground 6.4 Knots
Speed thru Water 5.0 Knots
Heading 196 Degrees
Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 15 29.225
Longitude East 083 29.019
Distance Remaining 1176 Nautical Miles Sea Surface Temperature 23.4 Degrees C

Image of the Day:

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Dominique enjoying the morning light                                                    Afternoon guitar with calmer weather

Highlights:

The weather calmed today and though the winds held at 25+ the seas finally dropped a bit making life a bit more comfortable and easier for all.

Reflections:

When I fist came on watch last night around 8pm I hear the telltale sounds of a flying fish landing on board:  first the smack of the impact followed by some fish flopping about.  I thought it was forward and shinned some light on the foredeck looking for the unfortunate fish.  I could not see or find it.  Later before ending my watch I had a few snacks and each time I came through one section of the cockpit I was disturbed by a strong raw fish smell (no connection made).  When I came back on watch at 2am later that night, I still smelled it, though could not see or find the sources.

Just after 4am after peeing off the leeward side of the boat I had just unclipped my safety harness from the lifeline and was stepping back into the cockpit, ‘splat’!  my right heel landed on it and like crushing a ripe banana I slid out and off balance, looking down down, seeing and realizing all at once connecting all the dots of the last 8 hours or so and the poor flying fish, now extremely dead and crushed into the teak of the cockpit deck and me nearly flipped over the rail given my reaction to the rather odd sensation of landing on a fish…

How slow we are sometime to realize what is in front of us, sometimes until it nearly kills us! 

How un-thorough and incomplete we are in our search for information given easy clues.

How quickly we abandon the search when no immediate clues are found.

And How wonderfully patient life is to give us so many chances to “find the fish”

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No Place to Land – Leg 2 Day 5–Voyage Day 16

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Current Position 08:00 UTC +6.5
Course over Ground 271 Degrees
Speed over Ground 8.2 Knots
Speed thru Water 4.9 Knots
Heading 198 Degrees
Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 14 53.968
Longitude East 086 20.206
Distance Remaining 1345 Nautical Miles Sea Surface Temperature 24.2 Degrees C

Image of the Day:

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Lost Land Bird at the mast

Highlights:

Details of the day to day begin to surface with more intensity and dynamics.  We’re now 5 days out from Cocos Keeling, have been on the same heading, with similar winds and seas since we left and at this rate should have about 8-9 days more of the same.

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Dominique’s and my cabin            The common area, mess deck and galley

Them impact is one of routine and also growing discomfort with the big seas hitting us on the port beam day in and day out.  Tempers shorten, babies cry longer and louder and bruises multiply…

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Reflections:

A lost land bird unsuccessfully tried to land and rest on the mast this afternoon.  With luck he’ll find a better platform for rest before his strength is gone. 

It’s always sad to see a bird lost in the air. Ironic given that this is his element – yet bound to the earth and unable to land on water – a sad place to be indeed.

When I worked on the R/V Knorr they could at least land on the ship, though usually perished as well due to lack of proper food and water.

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Dark Shooting Stars or Shadows – Leg 2 Day 4–Voyage Day 15

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Current Position 08:00 UTC +6.5
Course over Ground 284 Degrees
Speed over Ground 8.2 Knots
Speed thru Water 5.5 Knots
Heading 196 Degrees
Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 14 05.379
Longitude East 089 12.795
Distance Remaining 1519 Nautical Miles Sea Surface Temperature   Degrees C

Image of the Day:

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Chocolate Pudding for Sunday Dinner!!!

Highlights:

There have been several shooting stars over the past nights and something I’ve never seen before: dark shooting stars.  These are literally dark shadows – blacker than black – which cut through the night sky exactly as a bright shooting star would do.  Often they have been followed by bright shooting stars when I saw them.  Are they shadows, which precede their primary light source?  Or are they some other form of falling object?  The size and intensity of the falling objects we’ve seen on this trip by far surpass any others I’ve ever seen.  I hope that this isn’t just additional space garbage coming at us…

Reflections:

“Vision is the learned process of deriving meaning from what you see.  It begins with light entering the eye. However, vision goes far beyond the simplistic concept of sight (measured in terms of visual acuity).”  Boulder Vision Center

When I went to visit my brother Chris, his wife Anne and their son Jack back in July, I was impressed by the fact that Chris was no longer wearing classes.  We spoke about this at dinner and it seems that both Anne and Chris have been working on their vision in ways that are actually providing healing to their vision rather than just progressively stronger and stronger glasses for their failing sight.  The quote above came to me from some information Anne shared with me from her vision program and Chris passed on a link to the source: The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses something I’ve devoured over the past weeks here on the Pachamama. 

Thank you both and highly suggest reading and trying some of the exercises. 

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My Hair Feels Like Fur! Leg 2 Day 3–Voyage Day 14

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Current Position 08:00 UTC +6.5
Course over Ground 270 Degrees
Speed over Ground 7.1 Knots
Speed thru Water 4.8 Knots
Heading 195 Degrees
Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 13 17.681
Longitude East 091 56.203

Image of the Day:

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Fur Heads! Note Dominique’s going more for the dreads in a bonnet look…

Highlights:

It’s been 14 days since we’ve had a real shower, washed our hair or washed our cloths; that’s not to say we’ve not had salt water washings of all sorts… vodka_dans la boue_1

I ran my fingers through my hair yesterday and the sensation reminded my of my dearly departed friend Vodka!

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Living conditions are simple and with greatly reduced creature comforts.  The constant contact with the salt water and intense humidity of living so much in it has really interesting impact on the body.  Hair becomes fur-like.  Skin hardens and peels; on the hands and feet this gets pretty funky and you feel as if your hands are always soapy and never dry.  Our cloths are all damp with the salt as is our bed and I must admit it can be rough to come off watch at 4am and strip down and lie down on what feels like a damp sponge…  It takes some getting used to.

Reflections:

Dreams are not forgotten, don’t have a “past due” date and are extremely valid points of departure for realizing oneself in life.  Dreams create energy and drive as well as use them up when not acted upon or resolved.  You must clear the cue of your childhood dreams so that you can create space for adult dreams!  Or perhaps better put, empty your bucket of dreams so that you can go back for more!

Many dreams we have in our youth seem impossible or beyond reach and literally “too late” the older we get.  There is often one such dream which holds a lot of energy in our lives and can be somewhat of an emotional trigger point.  Unfortunately, this one dream sometimes becomes the criteria or “validating dream” we use to abandon all our dreams and just get on with our dreary lives of endless responsibilities that seem to multiply exponentially with age.  

I would argue that a false rational creeps in which tells us “we’re too old for that now,” or “that’s unreasonable at my age, place in life, career stage, marital (or lack there of) situation.  As such there can be a tendency to through the baby out with the bath water.  Namely, we abandon all dreams when one of them is severely challenged by certain limitations and we use it as the judgment criteria.  That’s crazy and potentially very self-destructive.

Personal Example:  One of my dreams was to a professional athlete; a down-hill skier in fact.  Now as I rapidly approach my 50th year, the likelihood of my ever realizing this dream seems quite remote.  However, I’ve a bucket-load of other dreams, many sports related that are completely attainable and have been attained.  If I look at my past, I’ve worked as a professional dancer for close to 10 years – pretty athletic, right and definitely professional.  I’ve competed nationally (USA) racing in the ‘Masters Nationals’ as a road cyclist and thanks to my friend Mark, I’ve gone heli-skiing (snowboarding actually as skiing fell to the wayside after I discovered snowboarding… If I discount all my dreams because of the one I know will be hardest, I do myself a great disservice.

2nd theme on this not quite logically complete: I’ve often been at a place in my life where I didn’t know what to do.  I’ve tried many things to figure out what’s next, where should I go, what should I do, etc..  This is the first time that I’ve actually decided to fulfilling a dream while sorting out the what’s next question.  I’m surprised that I have so many unrealized dreams today, yet so often have found myself in this place of, so now what do I do?  Why is it that dreams don’t get the same attention as next steps in a career, marriage or other ‘adult’ situations? 

This one’s worth developing, so expect more on this and apologizes if all the logic doesn’t quite hold together. 

Input welcome and encouraged!

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It’s Getting Physical… Leg 2 Day 2–Voyage Day 13

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Current Position 08:00 UTC +6.5
Course over Ground 274 Degrees
Speed over Ground 7.5 Knots
Speed thru Water 4.7 Knots
Heading 206 Degrees

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Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 12 31.559
Longitude East 094 20.576

Image of the Day:

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Dominique grabs on as we surf down a big one!

Highlights:

The wind picked up to over 40 knots during the night and we’ve been hand steering for the past 24 hours and more.  That plus taking one of Dominique’s watches, as she was ill during the night has made this for a nice work out!

Reflections:

More on yesterday’s theme of “Attitude and Intention is everything”  I’ll rephrase that to the following formula:

Achievement = (Intention + Attitude)/Accountability

Intention: for whatever reason, be it need, desire, aspiration, vocation, etc., is the starting point of any journey – even if “journey” itself is the intention. 

Attitude: comes next and depending on the nature of the intention may play a bigger or smaller role, et, is alsways a key component.  When I say attitude, I am speaking of more than just “positive thinking” or “living one’s intention”, I speak more of an attitude of ownership and responsibility. This actually leads into the validator: “accountability” in that my attitude must be one of “ownership” and being accountable for every situation in my life; most particularly in the area of my intention.  A person suffering from “victimhood” has rather limited abilities to transform their reality given that they have abdicated responsibility for whatever transpires in their life to someone or something else.

Accountability: includes the above, though also has a notion of tracking progress towards your intention with real integrity so as to compliment and correct as required.

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Departure from Cocos Keeling–1 September 2011 – Leg 2 Day 1–Voyage Day 12

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Current Position 08:00 UTC +6.5
Course over Ground   Degrees
Speed over Ground   Knots
Speed thru Water   Knots
Heading   Degrees
Position Direction Degrees Minutes
Latitude South 12 05.4019
Longitude East 096 52.9931

Image of the Day:

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Andri on the spinnaker sits in to raise the anchor of our predawn departure this morning from Direction Island on Cocos Keeling.

Highlights:

I think this picture says it all:

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We’re wing and wing with 15-20 knots wind and following seas.  The sun is shining, porpoises came to say hi as did a few boobies.  It’s good to be underway again and heading west.

Reflections:

Attitude and intention is everything.  If I am able to have the right attitude, regardless the situation, so much more is possible.  Intention leads to realization though can’t get there if not aligned with attitude.  Perhaps you’ll want me to justify this – let’s just say that this trip would never have happened without both.

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