Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mark my words: I will sail across the Atlantic one day.

Sailing across the Atlantic is unachievable for many sailors, usually for psychological reasons. People hit their 30s, have kids, and the desires from their 20s are left on the ash heap of childish tomfoolery.

But I vow to you, I will sail across the Atlantic one day.

I can do it because I'm already in the process of training a hardy crew for my pursuit. Check them out here, here and here; and those who got an invite for 2006 but couldn't make it are, of course, on the invite for my future trip as well. 2007 will mark the fourth annual Celebration of Life Weekend, in which I load up a sailing yacht to navigate the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, and it's one more notch on the bed post of cross-ocean travel. Every year, my men get a little saltier. Each year, our mistakes become our skills. That's not to say I don't need more salt water in my veins. I do. But the more I'm out there, the closer I am to traveling to southern France on the power of wind alone.

The plan is this: 1) Buy a big-ass ketch for cheap; 2) Fix it up, with the help of my loyal crew, no matter how long it takes; 3) Sail to southern France, or thereabouts; 4) Sell the ketch; 5) Fly home.

This desire has been amped up recently because I'm reading Joshua Slocum's monumental 1900 book, Sailing Alone Around the World.

Mr. Slocum was the first man to sail alone around the world, and he did it in 1895 with a 100-year-old fishing boat that had been sitting in a farmer's field for god knows how long. He re-built the thing by himself from wood he cut from a nearby forest. At age 51, it took him 13 months to re-construct it, and a few more perilous years to round our planet. To navigate with his sextant, he bought a $1 tin clock that he got on discount because the glass face was smashed. He couldn't afford a proper chronometer because it was a whopping $10. All this, having lived a life that gave him four kids, two wives (one who died, and the other, a first cousin), multiple knife-wielding mutinies, and a wrecked boat off the coast of Brazil that he re-assembled to sail back to New York.

How weak would I be to make excuses for why I can't do this? How about reasons why I can? Slocum was an old, broken man who did it with FAR less than I have.
I would still need my virgin voyage before I would even attempt such a feat.
You should work out ahead of time which of you will be eaten first. Prevents a lot of arguing later. Trust me, I've been there.
If anything, this is a lesson in not thinking things can change in your life, at any stage. neglected to mention that Slocum and his boat disappeared in 1909 after setting sail for the Orinoco River. "It was assumed he was run down by a steamer or struck by a whale," according to Wikipedia.

Since steamers no longer ply the waters and whale herds have been thinned, you and your crew should encounter better odds than Slocum.
All in one go:


You'll get it, my friend. You'll get it.


The cabin boy is usually the plumpest. But then again, he's usually the best choice for buggery as well, so maybe not.


Hmm. Good way of putting it.


Yes, the sea took back one of its own with Slocum.

As for whales and tankers, those still remain two of the biggest threats to ocean sailors. Actually, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet had many encounters with hitting whales, sharks and other wild life in '05/'06. Luckily no one was sunk.

I've also read that being attacked by a school of Killer Whales is very dangerous. They seem to see many yachts as threats for some reason.
Well, I got beat to the cannibalism joke and then the sodomy joke. What's the use of commenting now?
Congrats on your mention in DC Blogs today.
Some unsolicited advice: don't do it.

Never undergo a sail where it gets colder every day. Buy the boat in the South of France, look cool in the Med for a while, pick up on chicks before the boat is beat to hell, then sail to the Carribean and repeat the process.

And don't bugger your's a boat not prison for heaven's sake.
Note to Crew Number Three: NO WAY will that flotation aid will keep you afloat!
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