14degrees off the beaten track
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September 26th, 2007 | categorizilation: all categories,The Caribbean

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Distance sailed today:297 NM
Total distance sailed: 297 NM
Midnight GPS position: N 23.20 W074.33
Wind: SE Wind Force 2-3
Sea state: Calm to slight

…self assured and adventurous. Hmmmm. Yes. That’s what I’m looking for in a woman…

…marine eingineer? Perhaps in that line of work I could go and work and live in the Middle East for bit. That’d be interesting…

…perhaps I should fly to Barbados. Get my visa and fly to the US. So much faffing about with this ‘no flying’ caper…

…definitely has to be a New Zealand girl. Mind you, I’ve met a few along the way so far who in the right circumstances…

…must find out more about that community development course in Canada…

…hmmmm…once that pension rebate comes through from Japan, I should be just about right to make it back to New Zealand…

…”Rest doesn’t neccessarily mean sleep, Rob. Just laying there is rest”…wise man, that Joe…

My bow cabin is no place to be at night when the bow is slamming into the swell, sending my innards into states of weightlessness at irregular, totally random intervals. Sleep would not come to me. No matter how much I tried to focus on a tree or a rock or a tomato or a…a anything that would stop my racing thoughts and get me to sleep.

I study my worn wrist watch in the half light of the full moon’s rays that are invading my dark cabin. The logos in which I once placed some kind of security and confidence in are gone. Worn away by constant exposure to the sun and shirt sleves and wind. I find a new pride in the worn-ness of the watch.

Pulling myself back to the reason why I bothered looking at the worn watch, I notice it is only 2030 hours. The watch is set at 24 hour time. A habit I never bothered getting out of once I left Japan. The dim green glow of the backlight shows the seconds indicator making its dutiful progress around the perimeter of the watch face.

Two and a half hours until my night watch begins.

…my name is Rob. I am a middle child…

…should it be a novel or non-fiction…

I try to will myself to sleep. It doesn’t work. My mind flashes back and forth between still to be fulfilled future possibilities. This is it, I tell myself. This is it. Sleep. My mind comes closer to the present and plays out in full colour the dialogue that I will have with Steve when I emerge from the below decks to relieve him of his watch. “You sleep well?” he will ask.

“Now Steve, you are making an assumption. You are assuming I slept at all.” That is how I will answer. I will tell him that I did not sleep at all. How he reacts to that is not part of my mind’s pre-enactment of the dialogue. My mind is happy just to play over and over and over the first bit of dialogue. And then eventually back to the never ending rotation of seemingly random thoughts…

…when will I see my family again? It has been over two years. Will I stay or will I yearn to be back out there…

…primary school teacher, yes, that could be doable…

…how about hotel management…work on a cruise ship…good money working at sea…

…I love land too much though…

…speaking of love…

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    Permanent Link     Comments (6)

Comment by Marija — September 30, 2007 @ 7:17 pm | post a comment

I sit…read…think. :) Good words!

Different places..different people…similar thoughts….

Smiles. ;)

Comment by Mum — September 30, 2007 @ 11:54 pm | post a comment

Did you sleep while on watch? Look forward to the next installment…

Comment by wim harwig — October 1, 2007 @ 5:32 am | post a comment

…self assured and adventurous


Is that all you're looking for, in a woman ?

There's much more …….

I'm sure that in time you'll find out there's much more to explore……

Keep going strong !


Comment by Aunty Les — October 1, 2007 @ 1:17 pm | post a comment

Things seem vastly different from that video clip you sent of sailing a catamaran across the Atlantic!

Comment by Jean — October 1, 2007 @ 2:26 pm | post a comment

Hi Rob,

I love the writing! easy to imagine.

For getting to sleep: I find it's easiest if I can get my thoughts in a line rather than letting them wander – like see if you can remember all the states of the US in alphabetical order, or pray for 10 different things/people, 1 for each finger… Might help :)

See you


Comment by don — October 1, 2007 @ 5:09 pm | post a comment

Hey Rob, how's it going? Very envious of your current position.. . don't forget you are on a really cool mission! I love sailing and although it's often lonely you can just sit back and be happy that you are tiny and this planet is allowing you to admire it. Also don't forget to log your sea miles… I was just looking into getting my day skippers ticket in the UK and they are charging 450 squid just to sail for 5 days and prove that you are a sailor. Yikes!

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