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The first picture is the oceanic chart for the North Pacific Ocean. The highlighted circles are my DR noon positions. Opposite each position is a date.

There is nothing on this particular fold but ocean wilderness. Hundreds of thousands of square miles of nothing but blue. Without any reference to latitude or longitude, it could be anywhere within the 70% of the Earth’s surface that is covered by the sea.

The sameness on this chart is no different than the view out of any porthole on the boat. Ocean as far as the eye can see. Nothing but ocean.

Today at noon, I flipped the chart over. Ocean no longer dominates. North America has made a dramatic and sudden appearance. That is the second picture you see.

My noon position today, July 14 2020 is at the very upper left corner. My Point of Departure Oct 28 2019 just SW of Cape Flattery is the highlighted triangle. The next bit of land I saw after departure was a glimpse of the Andes Mountains in Patagonia some 80 miles from Cape Horn.

With the flip of this chart, I am suddenly and undoubtedly on the homestretch. Just. Like. That.

I knew what was in the other but I refused any indulgent musings on being close, or almost there, or just around the corner. When the view outside the portholes changes to something other than sea and sky, maybe. But not now. Not after having come so far.

Now, it is unavoidable. Now I must factor in tides and traffic lines. Fish boats and fickle sea breezes. Now is the homestretch. Muttering the word aloud a week ago seemed blasphemous and likely to tempt the Gods into stirring up some new torment. Now, it echoes with ice cream.

Sometime July 17 I will cross my outbound track from Victoria. Where have the nine months gone? Was it really me Oct 28 2019 excitedly highlighting that first noon position on this very chart? Is it the same me doing the same thing now?

I guess I’ll know when I get home. ETA Victoria, July 18 2020: 266 days out.

Follow my tracks in real-time: