Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 6 : Mind Games

Today was one of those days that you imagine ocean sailing is like. The sky is blue with nice little scattered clouds, a flat horizon all round with nothing to be seen on the ocean anywhere apart from birds wheeling across the swells, its warm and the sea is blue, the waves are benign and not falling on top of each other , splashing onto the boat rather than crashing, the wind is steady and not too strong, the boats motion is easy and more gentle..

I had lots of sleep last night, in many small pieces, and had dreams which I now forget except for one about walking in a shopping mall. Perhaps in my mind, a shopping mall is about as far away from being alone in a yacht in the south pacific as one could get. So I awoke refreshed, having needed to alter nothing with the sail plan overnight as we edged our way north east along the Kermadec Trench with the Kermadec Islands 60 miles away to the North West. After breakfast and coffee, I went out all wrapped up in my wet weather gear, harness and tether and prepared to let out more sail and get the boat moving at a speed closer to what she is capable of in 15 knots - around 6knots and we were doing 5. But then I thought about how pleasant it was having breakfast at 5 knots, how relaxing it was not to have the boat straining and creaking at every wave, heeling further over so that at times water was over the windows on the hull, and big splashes landing on the Dodger and splashing into the cockpit every so often. I thought about the joy of sailing, the importance of the journey not just the destination, and calculated I could save a day every five by pushing hard but then the sailing would be grim. So Ive had a reset of my thinking - this is not a race - but if it was, you win by getting there - I am not in a hurry and I don t need to hammer the boat. So I left the sails as they were, started reading a book and had a beautiful day at sea.

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