Race 6 - Day 21
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Crew Diary - The Amazing Clipper Crew
In my first blog post, I wrote about my inspiration for travelling around the world. I wrote about wanting to experience the cosmological nature of our planet and of the diversity of people and the flora and fauna.
I still feel that way but would like to impart another sentiment that is giving me some trouble and occupying perhaps too much mental effort as we travel across the surface of our planet.
I miss my wife. I miss my daughters. I miss my life.
Sailing across an ocean gives you a lot of time for reflection. The majesty of the environment is awe inspiring. The Milky Way is not a wash of lighter night sky but billions of small pin-pricks of light from the stars that form our arm of our galaxy. The power of the huge volumes of water to pick up and twist, slow or drive a 35 tonne yacht is immense. The very nature of our planet and the wind, currents and our sun are massive forces to behold. It is a privilege to be able to experience these elements first hand, but what these elements also do is promote philosophical thought and discussion and a certain amount of self reflection.
I miss my life. It feels right to say that my life “was” a good life, but I sincerely hope that it “is” (still) a good life. Clipper Crew often discuss life changing experiences and I am delighted that this event has had such a profound impact on those individuals. For me, I am very proud to say that the Clipper experience has had a life affirming impact on me.
I love being in the middle of an ocean on a 70 foot sailing vessel. It is, as I have already said, a privilege I have been able to experience. However, for me, it puts everything else into perspective. My place is at home beside my family.
My wife is wonderfully supportive of my adventure but I know she misses me and I regret taking away her best friend from her.
My eldest daughter announced her engagement to a wonderful man, six months before the race start and they are busy planning their wedding for September 2020. I regret that I am not there to share in their joy as they plan and prepare. I also regret that my wife has been left to feel that joy alone, I know that we would enjoy talking about the cake, the venue, the dress, the suits, the table decorations and the COST!
My youngest daughter is looking to progress her career and I miss being able to listen to her thoughts and deliberations. She has also started a new relationship since I set sail and I wish to witness that growing as time passes. I was fortunate to be able to meet him when I returned home for Christmas following a minor injury, that had me miss Legs 3 and 4, and I can see the happiness their growing relationship brings to them both.
When my children were young I worked away from home a lot and have realised that I missed a lot of their growth into individuals as well as leaving too much of the responsibility for everything else to my wonderful wife. I now find myself in a similar situation as my family embarks on our next phase of growth and experience.
I should be home to witness all of the things I am missing.
As I look over the things I have seen and experienced, during the 3 legs I have completed (nearly), I realise that the list is long and wonderful. I have seen huge seas in the Southern Ocean, two equator crossings, dolphins galore, the odd pod of pilot whales, a turtle, too many flying fish, sunsets to break your heart, sunrises to fill your being with warmth and joy, moonsets that I never thought possible, the stars laid out on the darkest of canvases for all to see, a depth of water colour and clarity that put any gem to shame and a horizon that places me, my crew-mates and our boat at the centre of the world.
The complete circumnavigation is no longer achievable, because of the minor injury, and therefore the self imposed pressure to continue to sail around the surface of this planet has dissipated.
I feel a strong tie to my crew-mates, to WTC Logistics and to the Clipper brand and ethos but find myself thinking that perhaps it is time to return to the life I love