Grand Central Station
1999
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Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

It has been a whirlwind 11 days or so since I arrived back in civilization July 18th. Nothing however has seemed so out of place as this, the anchorage at Sidney Spit just a few miles North of Victoria and the first stop on my way back to Gabriola.

Wall to wall boats. And I took this picture before the crowds arrived in earnest, the jetski’s started up, and the baby started wailing on the catamaran that picked up the empty mooring buoy closest to me. Nothing like getting away from it all on a boat.

It was a shock seeing so many boats all going nowhere at the same time. In fact, its been a shock just beining on the boat and going nowhere. There is zero movement on board, it is deathly quiet at night save for the ticking of the ship’s clock, and no reason to get up every 95 minutes even though I still can’t sleep longer than 120 at a stretch.

And I have to say its all strangely anti-social. There are no dinghy loads of visitors or guests bombing around the ancorage visiting neighbours or making acquaintances. I hear the word bubble over and over again as if it is some kind of offensive weapon. I am certainly in one and I find it more isolating and lonely than any I experienced 1000’s of miles away from any of the boats that I could easily swim to now.

It is a strange new world indeed and I feel a bit like a small child, groping his way to the washroom after lights out in a seldom visited Aunt’s turn of the century musty Victorian three-story haunted house. You’ve been here before, it should all be old hat, but its not.

I smile and wave at the cat with the wailing baby. No response. I hold up a granola bar and try to somehow sign that I’ve got more than I can eat in a month and perhaps they could use a few just now. No response. I suppose they figure me for a lunatic and I beat a hasty retreat before they call the local gendarme that just so happens to be cruising the anchorage in a RIB.

Down below, I find myself smiling and face to face with Sir Salty who seems  not to be bothered in the least by the racket next door. I smooth a whisker that seems to have a mind of its own and whisper to no one in particular “It’s good to be home.”

Follow my tracks in real-time:
https://bit.ly/svseaburban

 

16 Comments
  • BT
    Posted at 10:41h, 02 July Reply

    Bert, you are amazing! Following you progress and posts with great admiration for you courage and wishing / willing you success. You are on the downhill run now. All the best from an Aussie follower BT ( 2 degrees of separation from your Uncle Joe).

  • Sandi Lyon
    Posted at 03:20h, 06 July Reply

    That looks about right. When it’s hot out in the ocean, its foggy and wet on the Wet Coast. That means you’re on the right track, heading the right direction. Finally. Woohoo.

  • Anita Kuntz
    Posted at 00:10h, 08 July Reply

    Following you journey and am truly amazed.

  • Suzan Persons
    Posted at 15:43h, 09 July Reply

    What an amazing journey!!

  • Karin Hill
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 July Reply

    Been following you for a couple of months now. What an amazing journey! Your blog is insightful and humorous. Almost home. Safe travels!

  • MountainJack
    Posted at 19:52h, 14 July Reply

    Has to be an amazing feeling to be so near home, Bert.

    Have spent months at sea “steaming”, not sailing, gaining my sea legs with the constant motion just became second nature. Getting back to a stable platform at dockside or over on the beach left me wobbly for a day or two. Cannot imagine how you’ll feel after a year of hardly ever being stable. There is that other thing having been on your own for that long; the familiarity of constant aloneness , the feeling of approach avoidance, being forced back into humanity. Might feel as though you could just extend a little bit more and savor the experience just a little longer…naw, probably not.

    Welcome back home, Bert. You’ve completed one heck of a feat.

  • Arthur Oliver
    Posted at 04:33h, 15 July Reply

    Getting oh so close. What’s the ETA?

  • estelle C whiddon
    Posted at 02:58h, 16 July Reply

    Bert, your homecoming Saturday will be a joyous occasion! I have followed the voyage daily and hope your arrival home brings much joy.

  • Peter Jungschaffer
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 July Reply

    This has been so great. Thank you!!!

  • BT
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 July Reply

    Hi Bert, you are just a few hours away from home. We are cheering for your most successful journey. We are especially amazed at the sailing conditions below Australia and New Zealand, as we can have some very big polar blasts hit us at this time of the year. Cannot imagine what it was like to sail through that type of weather. Can only take of hats off to you I amazement. Hope that you make it to Oz for a visit. What a wonderful achievement you have accomplished. /bt

  • Antonio Corbelletta
    Posted at 16:15h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations! What an adventure! Well done. I have enjoyed tracking your voyage everyday just wish I would have know about it earlier, from the beginning.

  • Suzan
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 July Reply

    Yeahhhhhhhhh Bert!!! You have done it!!!
    Happy Homecoming – And stay safe!!!
    It isn’t the same world that you left!!
    I’m going to miss reading your travels and your adventures!! But thrilled that you’re home (almost) safe and sound!!
    Next trip around the world, hope that you’ll stop along the way and post your photos of the locals and the ports!!

  • Raegan Elford
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    Soldier who has logged more sea time than this Navy sailor.
    What an incredible accomplishment (the journey vice logging more sea time than I)
    BZ

  • Marianne Scott
    Posted at 18:25h, 19 July Reply

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I guess we will have to put up a plaque commemorating your voyage on the Victoria Harbour wall.

    Hope to see you this week.

    Marianne Scott

  • Tom Cory
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 July Reply

    Congradulations Bert from Annapolis MD. A Great Adventure.

  • Mark
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 July Reply

    I don’t think that anyone that attended Estevan Junior High could have imagined that this was in the future for one of it’s students. I checked in at different legs of the journey and was fascinated every time. Congrats!

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