Jan 252012

More and more, recently, I find myself dreaming of the cruising lifestyle. Find a boat, and just set out. Perhaps it’s the first wave of regularity setting in after a couple of weeks of day-sails; maybe the first hardening of the thought that it really is time for me to move on from tall-ships and try something new. Watching the sunset tonight, I fell a bit into contemplation.

Sunset in Hobart, photo by Iain Douglas

I’ve been reading a lovely book by a famous solo sailor, Bernard Moitessier, who was set to win the 1969 “Golden Globe” race to be the first solo non-stop circumnavigator until he decided to ditch the official port-to-port race, and just keep sailing. He’s a beautiful writer, but sometimes I wonder what I find so compelling about the story, whose ending I know, and which lacks a traditional narrative arc. He seems to write about one eternal day full of calms and storms, stars and wind. Reading his words is so much like staring mindlessly into a mercury sea…probably why I like it.

This book must be the fuel feeding my cruising dreams. Through the writing of Moitessier, and others, I can taste the flavor of this lonelier version of my sailor’s life. Rhythms will develop organically in the absence of a time-table, like a cultivated field run rich and wild. The external world leaks into your very self, and no barrier of human relativity is there to distinguish the musings from the material. What new incarnations must boredom and inspiration take in such an environment.

So, with three solid weeks behind me, and just over two months to go before a seat on a plane homeward-bound will be left open for me, I am on the prowl for a new vessel that will prolong my adventure. Budget, timing and sheer nerve are, as always, the limiting factors. I just learned of a yacht that specializes in sailing adventure charters that is here, in Tasmania, at this moment, bound for New Zealand, and looking for crew! What luck! And yet, the timing is just off… Best not to back out of the commitment I’ve made here.

I remind myself about the difference in pace and predictability between my lifestyle and the “traditional” one. I tend to try to plan my life well in advance, but I find time and again that in this world of travelers and mariners, the best opportunities often come at the last minute, only available to those who can drop everything. This adventure yacht seems like such a perfect fit, but I think there is more where that came from. I just need to hold steady, and see what comes.