Greetings from 17 degrees North latitude, 83 degrees West Longitude!
More Answers to Questions 6-10…
6. What kinds of personal conflicts have you experienced onboard?
The three of us have gotten along remarkably well. As Bill suggests, we have a “common enemy” (engine problems, etc.) that brings us together. But I don’t think we need a common enemy to get along well. It can be challenging to live in a small space, with little sleep (when at sea), and still be considerate of others, but so far, so good..
7. Have you seen any sea animals yet?
Very few. Many people saw manatees when we were in Key West, but I always seemed to come along just after they swam away. One dolphin paid a visit this morning. We have flying fish now, which are fun to watch. Sometimes they seem to glide endlessly, just above water. We caught two fish that were mackerel-like, but bigger than what I’ve seen in Maine.
8. How old were you when you first went sailing, bought “No Regrets,” and decided to sail around the world?
I learned to sail when I was 13, when I joined the Sea Explorer Scouts (related to the Boy Scouts). My father had been a sailor, and he was very supportive of my sailing (he bought boats that I could use!). When I was in college I crewed on a boat crossing the Atlantic. Later Hallie and I bought our own cruising boat, left our jobs, sold our cars, sold our condo, and for a year we sailed across the Atlantic and back. I thought maybe that would be enough to satisfy my urge to cross oceans, but the idea of sailing around the world has always hung around. I was 59 when Hallie made a comment about my getting too old to do a circumnavigation. That spurred me into action, and my partners and I bought “No Regrets” a few months later (nearly two years ago now), and signed up for the Blue Planet Odyssey.
9. What places do you look forward to visiting most?
I tend to get more excited about the passages (between places) than about the places themselves. I think that is rather unusual; for many sailors the boat is the means of visiting cool places more than a means of crossing an ocean. But I find the Panama Canal intriguing, and the idea that we will cross from one ocean to another via a man-made “ditch” definitely has my interest. The Galapagos Islands are high on my list, due to their abundant and varied wildlife. French Polynesia is up there due to its classically beautiful, romantic allure. Australia has always seemed like a cool place. I’ve been there, but only on a business trip, so I saw the sights of Sydney only.
10. Is the saying, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning” true?
Hmm. It is true enough that the saying sticks around and sailors notice the red skies. But like most weather predictions, it is often wrong. At sea we get weather forecasts via the SSB (single sideband) radio, along with our email (that I’m using now to send these answers to Hallie, so she can post them. The forecasts include both a textual description of the general weather patterns, and charts that show the predicted wind direction and strength. These, too, are often wrong, but they are probably more useful than relying on sayings.
THANKS for the thoughtful questions! Keep them coming!