As we are about to round our second mark in this short Race nine, chasing the Spanish Armada (Punta Del Este) for some sought after race points, I am reminded of the myriad races which we are all participating in. One inside another.
Remember those small Russian dolls which you kept opening up only to find a smaller version of itself on the inside. That is clipper Race in a way. The largest doll is the race itself. It has boats, skippers, crew and sails. It is obvious and big. As you open up your first doll you find weather, sea state, foul weather gear, fatigue and smiles. You knew about it all, but for some reason you had to experience it in real time to really know it.
Your next doll laughs at breakfast, sore fingers and a blocked toilets. These are blessings or curses and they come with boat life. You are happy or sad when they happen depending on which one and it is the gift that keeps giving.
As we open up our next one we find fantastic sunsets, rock climbing up to your bed, and listening to the atonal symphony which is your ship mates snoring. These are small, but important aspects of the race and are beautiful as they can be irritating and for some reason you miss them in some messed up way when you are off the boat.
We keep opening our small race dolls to find fantastical dreams about talking foxes, memories of those at home and a sore shoulder. These are contemplation's and realisations. They show how your imagination can go bananas when you have little to no artificial stimuli, only the content of your own imagination. You start thinking deeply about your relations with those at home only to realise that reality is still a sore shoulder.
We keep going for the core to find a sense of completion, tiredness which sometimes oscillates towards happiness. As we open up our last doll you find nothing but the empty inside of a whole chain of insides. The emptiness symbolizes the space where you put your own meaning. Behind anything related to the boat, the race or sailing itself. This is where you start to fill in the content of your own race – That race of your life. Sometimes it is filled in at sea, sometimes it starts filling in later, but the space has been prepared for you.
My content is slowly filling in one shore shoulder at a time, one happy moment with my fellow crew members and one small memory of those at home to whom I send my love.