Miles from nowhere Not a soul in sight Oh yeah, but it’s alright - cat stevens
Well you know how my night went. I lied there all snug in my bed with visions of kayaks dancing in my head. . . Well, kayaks and laser hair removal but I’m not going there. . . (in both a literal and figurative sense actually. . .)
So I’ve been watching the little red dot move slowly away from the green silhouette that is Tasmania. Andrew is still very much on the uphill side of his crossing of the Tasman sea. Yesterday his wife wrote;
“While we’re lounging around, sipping our warm tea and maybe having a bowl of ice-cream while reading a novel before bedtime, Andrew is still clocking up the miles out there.
He’ll bunk down around midnight — not much else to do really, other than paddle. He has no books, no mini DVD player, he didn’t even take the ipod this time. So I guess he’ll be singing to himself (it’s a good thing he’s so far from civilization!) He’s cruising along, averaging around 50 km a day, and feeling good.”
That left me thinking. What would my brain do? Not that the ocean is not stimuli enough. In fact today the poor guy had an unplanned capsize! But still, we’re talking about a month here. Even the Ocean can’t hold your complete attention for a month. I mean, even newly weds have to eat. I know what I’d be thinking about. I’d suddenly realize how far from land I was. Nothing big really. Just a passing thought. I’d paddle on day dreaming away for a time. But then it would pop up again. I’d think, “You know, even if I wanted to give this up it would take me days just to get back to land”. I’d probably muse awhile about the size of the planet. I’d play games where I would try to see as far as I could on the top of each wave. But it would come back. . “I couldn’t get off the water if I wanted too”, I’d think and then I’d realize my belly felt a bit heavy. I’d keep paddling while going over and over my estimates of how long it would take to get to solid ground. “Days. . .” I’d think. I’d feel a bit of a churning sensation mixed with a little light headed dizzy thing going on. I’d have to dig out a cracker. I’d try to just concentrate on paddling. One stroke at a time. But it would keep niggling at me. “NO Land, No Land” a little voice would whisper. I’d start feeling like I had to get out of the boat. Just for a moment. I’d feel like I was going to fall over. I’d know there was no reason to feel tippy and yet I would just sense my shoulders suddenly getting heavy. . . “Am I leaning??” I’d think to myself. I’d take a big drink of water. “no land, no land” . . . I’d have to stare at the tip of the bow. Still I’d feel gravity pulling me over. . .
Funny. I had that exact experience once a couple years back. I was just about 2 miles off shore and suddenly my brain decided it was like 200 miles. I just totally lost my balance. I’m sure it didn’t help that I had not eaten anything except a nasty Crispy Creme thing that morning. In the end though, I realized I could roll. I just fell over and side sculled for a bit and came back up. It was like pushing the reset button. I felt great again. Finally when I did get back to the shore, my belly rumbled. I thought, “wow, I could really go for a donut.”