“Hey Royce, what’s your breaking point for days on a sailboat?”, Staton asked this morning during our first watch.
What a great question, I thought. Here we are, 12 days out from our departure from the Canaries, and I can’t recall at which point I grew tired of answering his stupid questions.
“I don’t know, buddy.” I responded pleasantly, his inquiry interrupting my thoughts of leaping over the rails.
“I think I’m less excited about long passages like this than I was before. I’m bored, when all the days are the same.” I shared.
And as I reflect on this trip, with 1,000 miles to go, I think I reached my “I’m done now” point a few days ago. That was an open question coming into this adventure. How many days at sea before I wanted to reach land, murder myself or others? On my first blue water adventure, when I was into day 3 I felt like I could stay out here for weeks.
Which begs the question: do I want to murder Staton? Also, is there a version of this passage that would extend the “days-at-sea-breaking-point”? I see the appeal of making the passage as short as possible by keeping the sails flying, mourning the loss of speed (RIP Kite), actively trimming the sails, working the crew, etc. BUT, there is a monotony to just sailing that diminishes the experience, in my unsolicited opinion.
What I wouldn’t change is the weather. I’m perfectly fine being too warm, juxtaposed by the borderline hypothermic temperatures off Sweden. So, lower latitude sailing like this, or what I imagine the South Pacific to provide, is definitely a must.
Other areas of improvement would entail hydraulic furling sails allowing us to quickly drop our power and enjoy a half hour of swimming every couple days. A Bimini to provide shade and auto helm would collectively allow us to sit in the cockpit and read, or talk, without the punishment of the sun or Alejandro coming up when he should be falling away. Music! For the love of God and sweet Baby James, music. We should add that to the mix. Fishing. I love the idea of getting a Mahi on the line (dropping sails quickly to land the fish) and enjoying the activity of making sushi rolls.
In short, I want a more varied day if I’m going to be bobbing around out here for weeks on end. I’m not interested in diversifying the experience by working on the vessel. I cringed today, watching Chris rip apart Falken’s circuit board to troubleshoot our lost navigation system. Don’t ask me to splice a line for pleasure or raise a third sail for speed.
I’m not unhappy or disappointed by this trip. Each of these passages has taught me something - there’s no fucking way I’ll even look at a sailboat in the North Sea again, let alone board one, for example. But what is life other than a series of experiences or mishaps, teaching us what we really want. Speaking of, I just spilled my 12th coffee in fewer days. So let’s add mocha-colored cushions to my “must have” list for next passage.
As the sun descends, AGAIN, over the great blue, all of us sitting in the cockpit talking, I’m reminded what I do love. The sound of the waves, the rocking of the boat, the community, the sense of adventure, the absurdity of a massive passage creeping toward it’s goal. Give me more of that, sprinkling in some activities during the day, and some friendly jabs at that hairy Neanderthal, Staton, and I’m happy. Rinse and repeat tomorrow :)
We're the Zimmerman Family!
Home Base | Denver, CO
A family of six that
LOVES to sail !
Follow our crew (Royce, Tara, Avery, Charley, Nora & Ruby)
as we blog our sailing adventures
Set Sail 4.22.23 | Las Palmas - Across the Atlantic - Island of Antigua
Set Sail 9.22.21 | Sweden - Germany -
Set Sail 7.18.19 | Newport, RI -
Martha's Vineyard, MA -
Nantucket, MA -
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