Archive for March, 2010


Monday, March 29th, 2010

It’s Monday March 29, 2010.  I’m getting ready to head to the gym and start my week’s work on the elliptical and rowing machine.  I’ve been ask how I’m preparing for the trip and right now this is the major thing.  Staying fit is a hech of a lot easer than getting fit!  Its not easy, just easer.  I’ve lost track of the hours spent there and that’s a good thing.  It means it’s a habit.  I spend a lot of time working on flexibility because as I progress in the years it is the key.  A very wise woman once told me, “Tommy, you will be as young as your spine is limber”, words I have never forgot.  That was over half my life ago and I embrace that wisdom more now that ever. For that I use my Teeter Hangup.  It’s an inversion table that lets me hang upside down by my anckles like a bat and that streaches everthing!   Oh, I still have the normal aches and pains of a 64 year old but I just fight not to give into them.  I also use the jump rope in my program.  It is the best heart rate raiser so I sandwich it in between the elliptical and the rowing machine.  I hate treadmills even though sometimes they make a welcome change up.  Now that spring is hear I can take it outside when the eager to just run overtakes me.


As the weather turns, I have other projects at hand:  food prep again, a few minor repairs to the “Thumper” the motor home that will carry me back to Goose Bay, the boat trailer I need to launch the CAP’T LEM again and my kayak.


I’ve decided to retire “The Rubber Parrot” the dinghy and replace it with my faithful kayak.   Oh, have I had some adventures in that baby!  I took to Antarctica with me many years ago and kayaked among the icebergs and penguins.  I sleep in it over night in Tasmania and Australia.  Snorkeled from it in Tonga and shot white water on the Spokane River, (Not one of my smartest moves, I must add, but it sure beat trying it in a canoe).   One of the great discoveries I’ve made about water craft is the closer one sits to the surface of the water the more fun one will have. 

Spring At Last!

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

The sun has crossed the equator and is heading north.  The geese honk and wave on their way north.  Even the hummingbirds are on the move north.  And so I’m, too, drawn by forces I don’t fully understand to shake off the webs of winter and start my way to that irresistible land of adventure, Labrador and the CAP’T LEM. 


I’ve work hard not to let the winter soften me up too much.  My trips to the gym, the never-ending battle with easy food, another birthday (my 64th) all remind me adventure is not free.  I’ve spent many hours contemplating the lessons learned in 3388 nautical miles sailed form Two Harbors Minnesota last April and many hours of an over active imagination visualizing the thousands of miles yet to come before the journeys end.


With the coming of spring, so comes the time for action and an awakening of the ArcticSoloSail website and updates of the plans to rejoin the CAP’T LEM.  If I leave Port Angeles in mid-May I can be back to Goose Bay-Happy Valley Labrador by mid-June with time to re-outfit, repair and be on my way once again.  I’ll miss the company of Josh and Tiny to be sure.  Both are off pursuing their own adventures.  There’s a 4000-mile drive just to get back to the boat!  But what is that to a sailor?


More and more I’m convinced of the “mile ahead” theory as the only way to travel.  Many I met along the way will recall me saying “the voyage is only one mile long… the mile that is in front of me!”   It was what brought me thus far and only when I lost sight of that did I ever find myself in trouble.  I’ve regain that vision and am vowing to keep it at the forefront every step of the way.


The journey thus far has been one of such beauty and humility.  Beauty in the things I saw and humility in the kindness and well wishes of those I’ve met and those who were so willing to go out of their way to help me along on mine.  I’m humbled by the fact that not one inch of the trip have I made by myself, there are so many who have helped.  Perhaps that is the purpose of a solo voyage, to come to the understanding of just how connected we all are.  I’ve been following Jessica Watson’s wonderful voyage closely and my prayer for her, among many, is she finds that same sense connectedness with those following her daring adventure.  From her writings,  I think she has.


So with these thoughts, I open once again the blog of the great adventure known as ArcticSoloSail.