Contribution from crew member Dwight Leeper:
Today is our last day at sea. It has been two weeks, three days without sight of land and having seen only two other vessels. We are excited to be sure. But we have already grown nostalgic and why, is anyone’s guess. There have been hardships and difficulties, rough weather and declining food stores. Our venerable vessel seems to have needed repair most every day. But with the easy days upon us now as we approach St. Lucia, the difficult days seem to be fading away. Life is like that.
I returned to the “Why I go to sea” reflection, written many weeks ago. My thoughts then have stood up well, I think, yet something is missing. So, I’ve taken up my (digital) pen again, asking why? Sam mentioned that Mallory asserted “because it’s there” as his reason before assaulting Everest. But there must be something else that takes us from our loved ones and friends, from the comforts of home, the Amazon deliveries and entertainment in abundance piped in by our cable provider.
First, I think a passage like this is perhaps, a micro life. It is entirely new and different life from our macro, replete with beginning and end, great highs and abundant lows, just like life, but compressed into a few weeks. One is for a short time, a different person who looks back on and ahead to our macro life with new eyes. And in that there is something else. Rene Daumel, a mountaineer, said, “You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother…it is because what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above.” We conduct ourselves in our macro lives by what we have learned from our micro lives.
We have about 74 miles to go now. We anticipate seeing the mountains of St. Lucia, perhaps 12 or 13 miles out. I hope we are able to see the lights in darkness, to shout “Land Ho”, record the date and time and to shout to all who would listen, “Yes, we did what we came to do”.