Day 2 Ocean Crossings

Our second day of the passage was another good run – 140 nautical miles, thanks to favorable current. Last night was better than the first as the sea state was more kindly and Windy (our windvane) was able to steer through the night, plus our bodies are adjusting to the different rhythms of being at sea.

I’ve been thinking about ocean crossings and their multiple meanings. Last night, as we finished dinner in the cockpit at sunset (another great meal by Devon – spaghetti with marinara sauce, organic homemade sausage from La Paz, steamed fresh zucchini) we discussed some of the meanings of ocean crossings, including what crossing the ocean meant for early colonists in N. America, enslaved people from W. Africa, and 18 – 19th century framings of ocean crossings in Hinduism (which were negative – it was called kala pani, or black water by non-seafaring folks). This morning as we enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast down below (with Windy steering above and Anson (who was on watch) checking course heading every few minutes), we talked of the more personal meanings of crossings as moving across thresholds, from one personal world to another, from one life stage to another, through transitions and passage making. I wondered what personal crossings this ocean crossing might mean for each of us and for us all as a family, and I suggested we all reflect on what they might be. For me, this crossing represents a coming to fruition of something I’ve hoped to do again since I first came this way 35 years ago – though I never thought I’d be so fortunate to share this journey with such a wonderful family. It also represents a particular stage of our family’s life history, with Anson set to go to college in South Hampton when we return and Devon starting High School. There are many other crossings, personal and familial, linked with this passage – some apparent now and some no doubt to emerge as we progress on this voyage.

Meanwhile, we making good way with the asymmetrical spinnaker flying nicely in the relatively light northwesterly we currently have. Devon and I plan to work on the second ratline today, which will entail making two eye splices in a short length of 5/8 inch nylon line and seizing it to the shrouds. Our first ratline is already up and looks pretty good!

What a joy and a privilege it is to be here!

Mark (at 19 deg. 55 minutes N and 113 deg 59 minutes W)

4 thoughts on “Day 2 Ocean Crossings

  1. YAHOO! Little did we know when we set out in 1979 for a year sailing the east coast and bahamas that the sailing bug would be so forceful in your life, Kim. We too are reflecting on how it feels to be shore crew instead of out there- different but right given our 77 yrs lived so far. We had a great 6 years living aboard three different boats right after early retirement at age 54. We were beyond lucky. It is such a pleasure to hear of your daily adventures- we think of you all the time and treasure our once a day position and weather exchanges. Devon’s meals sound so great and thank goodness for Windy! The 4 hour watch schedule seems to be working out okay- great that it allows Anson his much needed night sleep! Much love and many hugs. Do report on sealife sightings as well when you can! Louise


  2. What a joy and privilege to follow your blogs. My stomach and heart did a little flip when I read that you had started the Pacific journey. Marty has shared so that we can track you!

    Wishing you all well and sending love, speedy breezes, and more delicious Devon meals!



  3. Much love to you all from Long Beach ! I love all of your posts, and your image and stories form an inspiring patch in the otherwise bleak landscape of work-emails! Just to offer food for thought on your long dinner chats, I thought I’d paste here the description of some political artists now showing in Los Angeles :
    “…the research of Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani (Forensic Oceanography, Watch the Med) painstakingly reconstructs the traces inadvertently left by migrant vessels in the Mediterranean, namely boats that have disappeared— or boats that have been disappeared, whether by neglect or by rescues gone awry—but whose trajectories can nevertheless be ascertained by gathering and reframing data from a multitude of sensors. These maps too are witnesses, testifying to the criminal regimes that force people into dangerous journeys and that seek to curtail, control and interrupt their crossings.

    The exhibition suggests that, these days, claiming to be human and to have rights is linked powerfully to migration. Movement, therefore, is essential to this assertion. These claims are not only made at the border, or in the camp, or at the train station, or at the asylum hearing: the journey itself is a way of exercising and realizing the right and the claim to recognition. This is not without its paradoxes: in the Bogovda camp in Serbia, in response to the question, “Why did you make the journey?” a 16-year-old Afghan refugee replied “in search of equality and rights.” Call it “liberté, égalité, fraternité” or “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” these are the very foundations of the modern nation states to which they seek refuge—the foundations which, at the moment, are frequently denied.

    Maps, obviously, are not the only ways to represent and propel journeys. The exhibition also assembles images and documents of bodies in motion across borders. Some contributions, such as the videos by Drone Media Studio, are shot from overhead; others, such as the work of Maria Kourkouta, are filmed on the ground; others still, including the work of Tomas van Houtryve, come from deep within the landscape of real-time social media. Most of the material comes from right now, honoring the urgency of the present situation. This, however, can be misleading. As the exhibition also demonstrates, people have been making these trips for a long time, often along the very routes that are now so intensely contested, as bi’bak collective show in their study of the Gastarbeiterroute. Then, there are the hard facts—the names—of those who lost their lives in these journeys; those who drowned at sea, were stabbed in the streets of London, or died stowing away on trucks or ferries. These other histories, and the claims embedded within them, link the continents and deserve our respect and recognition. Especially since this exhibition takes place less than 200 miles north of a frontier that, for many years up to the present, has experienced similar trajectories and movement.”


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