‘A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn’t.
But we do be afraid of the sea, and we do only be drownded now and again.’
John Millington Synge – ‘The Aran Islands’ (1907)
The weather continues to do its changeable thing out here in Japan and Gulliver and I continue to wait for the right opportunity to push out east. Fellow ocean rower Charlie Martell slipped out from Choshi Marina yesterday morning in Gulliver’s sister boat ‘Blossom’ on his North Pacific rowing bid, but we stayed on land and waited. I am glad, too – after a cracking start yesterday Charlie and Blossom have had a rough second day in big swells, confined to the cabin on the sea anchor and feeling rather sick. Do head over to Pacific2012 and send them a hello and good wishes. Charlie and I shared beers and pizza in Choshi on a couple of nights and swapped tales of the sea, our hopes and fears for the journey ahead. Charlie has already seen whales, so I am happy he has been welcomed by the waves and look forward to following on soon.
After standing down last Sunday I headed away from the coast with friends to decompress – the emotion of getting ready to go and calling it off at last minute with the storm forecast was exhausting. Midweek and we headed back to Choshi to wait for a chance to go. As predicted, the storm raged and impressed us all with the raw power with which it battered the coast, hurling spume and spray ashore and turning the seascape to hues of wild grey. I love watching the ocean on days like that, preferably from ashore, tucked up and safe. With no stable window presenting itself for a while longer yet, I have come back away from the coast again to stay with the aforementioned friends. Tari, Tracy, Kelly, Kaz and Mike – thank you. Currently Lee predicts the 14 – 17th May is offering a good stable window and the most comfortable departure opportunity. We are keen to choose the optimum gap in the weather so that I can settle in to sealife quickly, safely and as comfortably as possible.
Mostly I am calm about being on land still, knowing that it is the safest option and that these things can’t be rushed. Yet the impatient Tigger-like side of me is bouncing to get started, raring to go. My head is ready, Gulliver is ready. Space away from the boat and the sea is a good thing – I can distract myself with bikes and resting. There will be little opportunity for either once we get started.
Thanks for all the messages of support from all corners of the globe. It is wonderful and humbling to know that this journey is a shared one. With that in mind, if you could all face east and blow with all your might, the Tigger in me would be super happy.
For now, all best from out here.
Sarah and Gulliver x
PS Thanks to everyone who has donated to the charities lately. We have smashed £10,000 already. I wonder if we could hit £11,000 before I go next week? To donate your pennies and pounds please click here
PPS Thanks to John Bartlett for sending me the Synge quote. I have now downloaded ‘The Aran Islands’ to read on the boat