Not Much To Look At
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Not Much To Look At

Not Much To Look At

Not Much To Look At

There isn’t much to look at on this plotting sheet. There is, however, a great deal to see.

Firstly, my track is fairly constant at East by North and secondly, I crossed the International Dare Line at 0430 UTC+12 4 May at 46 57S by my reckoning.

The latter means I am back in the Western Hemisphere and with the sun now well North of the equator, it feels like home turf. Doesn’t look much different mind you, but it certainly feels much closer to home. Curiously enough, I get a Groundhog Day-ish do-over of yesterday/today if that makes sense. If that’s not enough time travel for you, my clocks now move backwards. Instead of advancing against UTC, I will be retreating. My next clock change will be to UTC-11 as upon crossing 180 degrees longitude, ship time jumped from UTC+12 to UTC-12. If only I had DeLorean…

The former rather less conspicuous aspect of what you are looking at and hopefully seeing represents almost three days of fighting tooth and nail against strong to gale force NNE and N winds and 12-15 foot seas and waves that would want me very far south of where I am. We have been beam reaching in winds gusting to 40 knots and getting hammered relentlessly by the breaking and cresting swell, opposing secondary swell, and wind waves. It has been neither comfortable, fun, or entirely safe. Safe as in spinnaker poles lashed to stanchion bases bursting their lashings and careening madly about the deck when we were struck on the port side by a breaking wave. The poles are lashed behind the bulwarks no less so the wave impact was indirect.

This is mind-numbing work and last night around 0200 local, my frustration hit an all time high. I had just returned to the cabin after getting on deck to see 36 knots on the anemometer. I needed to reel us in a bit as we were slamming to windward, falling off the building seas, and nose-diving into type troughs at 7+ knots. Too much to ask with so far yet to go. I put 4 reefs into the Solent and watched our progress for an hour or so. I had been up and down all night prior trying to keep Seaburban on her feet and moving. Satisfied, I went below cold, wet, and hungry. 10 minutes later, the wind fell light and and we were underpowered, wallowing, and once again at the mercy of the cresting waves.

It was too much.

I bellowed for Sir Salty in French over and over again. He stirred not an inch and I felt the weight of the entire circumnavigation bearing down on my shoulders. It seemed I could bear no more and the only thing on my mind was what new profanities I could hurl at Salty to rouse him and sent the lout topside to do his part. I sought inspiration in his sleeping, sightless gaze and found none.

What I did find shocked me back to reality. I found a blade of grass. More accurately, my oldest and perhaps best-friend found it. Dr. Michael Lyon spied it while we were stuck on one of the numberless 405 Freeway on ramps in Orange County California.

Doc had instantly recognized that blade as different than all the rest. It helps if you have a photographic memory to do that sort of thing. Doc does. He flung the door open and raced down the middle of the on ramp with a hundred car horns blaring at us while we held up traffic. He returned with a single blade and as we sped away and into rush-hour traffic, Doc lectured me on the anti-oxidant and cleansing properties of this particular grass that enabled it to thrive in one of the least-favourable environments on the globe for grasses- A Los Angeles Freeway. Doc took the blade back to his lab to figure if he could extract some of the properties to enhance some nutraceuticals he was planning to formulate.

If that tiny blade could thrive while trampled by traffic and suffocated by air borne poisons, what more could I endure? What more is there in my tank that I haven’t even come close to tapping? Made infinitely more capable than a blade of grass, how much more am I capable of?

I stopped my profane rant at Sir Salty and thought about Doc. What joy that blade brought to his heart. My heart swelled and tears rolled down my cheeks as I relived those moments passes some two and one half decades ago. My frustration vanished replaced by resolve. Even Sir Salty seemed relieved at the transformation.

There is all that and more on the plotting sheet. Not much too look at, but a great deal to see.

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

 

26 Comments
  • Claude
    Posted at 20:39h, 29 March Reply

    In weather like today having a fellow partner would make the difference of the world.

    Heavy weather conditions are great only when you have enough energy to enjoy it. I wish you the time of your life.

  • Tony Yanca
    Posted at 02:58h, 06 April Reply

    Hi Bert, I came across your voyage on goodnewsnetwork.org looking for more positive and up-beat news in the world today. As we continue to try to isolate ourselves looking to conquer this extremely serious virus, you’re essentially isolated fighting the elements of Ocean Blue. I’m a surfer in Southern California and I’m always intrigued by extremely passionate individuals who take on these adventures, especially when it involves the ocean. I’m currently listening to some Reggae and enjoying a Pale Ale from our local brewery 🙂 Our Family is healthy and I’ll be working from home tomorrow, but will continue to follow your voyage rooting you on the whole way through. I wish you safe passage and pray that you will utilize all that you’ve learned to help you endure the many obstacles that come your way. You will make complete this voyage and I look forward to your future posts. Take care of yourself.

    Cheers,

  • John T.Rice
    Posted at 04:06h, 06 April Reply

    Be safe..pulling for you!

  • Susan Conway Gray
    Posted at 05:56h, 06 April Reply

    Bert,
    What an incredible journey you have set up for yourself!
    I find your reflection on the coronavirus to be incredibly insightful.
    Self isolation as a time to reflect on what we want to become, what legacy we choose to leave behind.
    To many that level of self introspection will appear daunting and even impossible.
    To truly examine our minds, behaviors, and motivations while holding them into the light through the prism of our souls is an exercise most would not have the courage to do.
    But I hope some will take up that challenge.
    Good luck to you!

  • David
    Posted at 21:30h, 06 April Reply

    Que incrível seu isolamento, optou pelo mais extremado.
    Admiro sua coragem, você está bem conectado com a força que vem de Deus.
    Que Ele proteja você por todo a jornada.
    Deus o abençoe.

  • Barbara Rhyneer
    Posted at 00:25h, 07 April Reply

    Enjoy your solitude!
    -human of the Great Lakes/Lake Superior/transplant from Alaska

  • Elizabeth Higgs
    Posted at 14:37h, 07 April Reply

    Sending luck and love from Southern Oregon and the mighty Rogue River.

  • Len MacDonald
    Posted at 13:22h, 08 April Reply

    Just now picking up on your adventure. Thanks for all the work taking time to give a glimpse into your challenges and triumphs. I’m looking forward to each new post.

    Fair winds.

  • Fernando Solorzano
    Posted at 23:49h, 13 April Reply

    Came across your article and what an adventurer. Lots of time to think about things and catch up with inner self. I can’t imagine, light pollution is non-existent and I bet a great view of the stars and milky way?

    All the best from Tracy California.

  • Robert Schell
    Posted at 00:08h, 14 April Reply

    Captain Bert ter Hart,
    You are truly an inspiration to us all. I look forward to reading your posts and following your journey. Hold fast, and Godspeed.

  • Zach M
    Posted at 06:29h, 14 April Reply

    Thank you for inspiring adventure! I learned of your story this evening and look forward to following your travels and sharing your story with my daughter in hopes she too will be motivated to explore.

    Safe travels.

  • Mary Bertin
    Posted at 09:56h, 14 April Reply

    Just learned tonight of your incredible courageous journey. I look forward to your next blog post to know if you are ok from the bad weather in your way. I’m a former scuba diver and perpetual ocean 🌊 lover. Now a stay at home Mom to a severely disabled 13 year old son recovering from a major surgery. Reading about your adventure has momentarily lifted me out of the daily difficulties of my life. Imagining you sailing ⛵️ once again soon on a beautiful day of calm sea. I’m pulling for you from Round Rock, TX.

  • Dale Bloom
    Posted at 12:10h, 14 April Reply

    Wow, I am speechless! Saw this on the Yahoo Finance website.
    I will be rooting for you and your audacious goal!
    I admire your clairvoyant timing of the trip, brilliant.
    Your description of the 21’ sea swells reminds me how under qualified I am to be even ballast onboard.
    God speed as you round the next 3 capes.
    I now will read more of your adventures in your blog, and take in the cape pictures, trying to piece together your route, I am woefully challenged to where all these capes are located.

  • Stewart
    Posted at 13:16h, 14 April Reply

    Glad to know you are making great progress Bert. Wishing calms seas and fair winds!

  • Cari Gillette
    Posted at 13:26h, 14 April Reply

    Praying to the Creator of the universe, Who has a special interest in us humans He placed on earth, to keep you safe and draw you closer to Him.

  • Daryl R Heiser
    Posted at 21:55h, 14 April Reply

    Read about your journey today on AOL about the safest man on earth…You!! Wow. what an epic adventure. I wish you sincere safety in navigating the weather you are currently facing. Stay strong. You are an inspiration to all of us sheltered in place during COVID 19. Your words of encouragement during periods of isolation are so helpful . I hope everyone gets to read about your adventure. Be well, and may God’s Blessings and Guidance be with you on your journey home.

  • Edward Bamberger
    Posted at 03:26h, 15 April Reply

    Just found your blog, wish I had seen it earlier. Good luck finishing your journey.

  • Bob Morton
    Posted at 14:12h, 15 April Reply

    …..there is always a way

  • Chris Lazzarino
    Posted at 15:07h, 15 April Reply

    Eagerly waiting word of your safe emergence from those terrible storms. The maps are truly frightening. Be safe!!

  • Phil Purkett
    Posted at 04:34h, 17 April Reply

    I pray God be with you and strengthen you sir! #nofear13:6 Hebrews 13:6

  • Gary Peterson
    Posted at 02:43h, 18 April Reply

    Thank you for the BOAT BREAD recipe – it’s great bread and easy to make, Very delicious! Hang in there!

  • James Norwood
    Posted at 04:33h, 19 April Reply

    I too wish I had followed your journey much sooner. I am sure that you were well prepared for this epic journey. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 still lurks in the shadows. Fortunately for us mere mortals it seems that due to new found evidence that humidity and temperature has an affect on this menace to man. Hope your worst weather is about to be over with and that the Pacific is much nicer to you. Hang in there Bert!

  • Gerry Peterson
    Posted at 15:40h, 26 April Reply

    Run Forrest Run…

    You are all by yourself but you are not alone. We await each update on your progress.

    Just one but certainly not done.

    Good luck on your journey Bert!

    .

  • Darrell Wells
    Posted at 21:03h, 28 April Reply

    AYE BERT, YOU ARE AT LAST, HOMEWARD BOUND ..!! FARE THEE WELL.

    https://youtu.be/MaQYQnrPgSM

    In the quiet misty morning
    When the moon has gone to bed,
    When the sparrows stop their singing
    And the sky is clear and red,
    When the summer’s ceased its gleaming
    When the corn is past its prime,
    When adventure’s lost its meaning –
    I’ll be homeward bound in time
    Bind me not to the pasture
    Chain me not to the plow
    Set me free to find my calling
    And I’ll return to you somehow
    If you find it’s me you’re missing
    If you’re hoping I’ll return,
    To your thoughts I’ll soon be listening,

    And in the road I’ll stop and turn
    Then the wind will set me racing
    As my journey nears its end
    And the path I’ll be retracing
    When I’m homeward bound again
    Bind me not to the pasture
    Chain me not to the plow
    Set me free to find my calling
    And I’ll return to you somehow
    (softly)
    In the quiet misty morning
    When the moon has gone to bed,
    When the sparrows stop their singing
    I’ll be homeward bound again.

  • Martin Gonzalez
    Posted at 04:31h, 14 May Reply

    Best of luck…!!

  • Douglas Lock
    Posted at 15:49h, 15 May Reply

    What you are doing is amazing. I read your blog daily and live through your adventure vicariously. God’s speed.
    from AD6H, ex-Estevan resident of many years ago.

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