Day five. Somewhere in the South China Sea. Finally, I am actually racing, with my team, on our boat. It has been just over two years since Mike Richman and I had signed up, yet it feels like lifetimes. In one of a number of paradoxes, I feel like I am supposed to be here, destined even to be here, but in fact we are not supposed to be here at all. We had to tack with the prevailing public health and political winds, altering our route and schedule, and will likely continue to have to do so in ways as yet unseen.
As Odysseus experienced when he got on the wrong side of Poseidon, the unplanned became the journey, providing the adventure part of the adventure and of his family. Indeed the toll on them was even greater. To my wife Leslie especially, and to my children, Iain and Ruby, I am forever grateful for their support, forbearance and sacrifice that enabled me to take part in this journey.
In another paradox, as our mere shard of fiberglass plows the wine-dark waves from dawn to dusk, the race is ever-present, informing every decision, none of which is too small to consider with the attention to detail you would find in a Talmudic debate. But as the sun sinks and the moon rises – oh, the moon rises! – the race recedes as surely as the day of the week, and is erased in routine, watch after watch after watch.
Each one of us could easily be erased as well, in this stunning and unforgiving environment. Without all the training, and our various systems of life support, we would disappear like a dewdrop, a flash of lightning, or a bubble on a wave. But here we are, all of us, tuning constantly to the wind, hand to helm, sheet and grinder, driving forward, all elements ideally working in concert, relentlessly pushing on to the end.