Friday, February 10, 2012
THE WORLD IS SUCH A WILD PLACE
I just finished reading two more Tristan Jones books www.tristanjones.org and it reminded me that we really grow detached from mother natural sitting in our comfortable homes watching TV and surfing the internet. I had takeout Chinese for dinner last night - how about you? My life is predictable and comfortable and if you’re reading this yours is probably the same.
Tristan Jones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tristan_Jones has had many incredible real life sailing adventures before his death in 1995, and it seems to me that there is still plenty of empty, wild ocean out there for those that seek solitude or real adventure. Leading the life of a small boat skipper perpetually sailing the oceans of the world is more than a skill. It embodies many factors like courage, inquisitiveness, resourcefulness but most of all I think it means adapting to your environment rather than trying to master it.
Every once in a while something comes along and amazes me. Yesterday it was the new NASA high def. video taken from the space station streaking by above the earths surface at night. The news focused on the lights of cities and the aurora borealis on the northern horizon. What I noticed was the blackness of the ocean in comparison which is 2/3 of the globe. The other thing that impressed upon me about a year ago was a video shot by an experienced Canadian crew on their small custom aluminum sailing yacht heading across the Pacific to Australia and they were tuned in to monstrous following waves and this boat was just flying with a wall of water behind it. The video went on forever and I was transfixed as the yacht literally surfed uninterrupted in the storm for hours on end. I didn't think humans were capable of that kind of sailing for sustained periods and I was moved by the vastness and bleak wildness of the ocean as they video taped from the stern. Yes we’ve all seen catamarans airborne and Coast Guard rescue boats standing on end cresting some wave ... but imagine traveling so fast that a mono hull sailboat exceeds it’s displacement speed and becomes a surfboard for an all day ride in the southern Pacific in the middle of nowhere.
Yes it’s wild out there. Reading Tristan Jones reminded me that things haven’t changed much in a hundred years when you’re a thousand miles out to sea in a small boat. Instead of observing nature you are part of nature and the line between fate and survival is a fine one. Tristan Jones and others has proved that humans deep down in their core are instinctual animals hotwired for adventure and survival of amazing yet somewhat irrational exploits. For one to survive on the seas for a lifetime in a small boat you have to have Zen with the ocean and you have to be at peace with fate that can come with any bout of bad luck in the wild earth we live on.