During the summer of 2008 I posted an entry about two coworkers who were leaving on what I thought was a risky backpacking trip through the Brooks Mountain Range in Alaska's Arctic. I was relieved (if a bit embarrassed) when they both returned safely without having had any real trouble.
That was nothing! Now my friend Shawn is sailing from Long Beach to Australia in a 34-foot yacht. He has posted a couple lengthy sentimental blog entries about the trip, but the real action is going on at his Spot tracking site. At the moment he looks to be a couple hundred miles southwest of Ensenada, with about 9,000 miles in front of him.
I asked him what his longest journey thus far had been. He had sailed the 21 miles to Catalina Island a half-dozen times on days when the weather was nice.
-He has budgeted 9 months for the trip.
-He hasn't decided how he will return from Australia.
-His facebook relationship status is listed as "engaged".
-The yacht came with a bottle of champagne made especially for christening the yacht. That is, the captain and first mate drink some and then shatter the rest against the hull. The bottle reads "not for human consumption".
-The yacht carries, if I remember correctly, about 50 gallons of fresh water when its full.
-The yacht can travel about 300 miles using its fuel and engine if there's not enough wind to move them along.
-Besides the Spot tracker, the ship is equipped with an emergency beacon that will activate if submerged in water. It notifies the nearest Coast Guard, search and rescue, etc.
-There is a crew of three including Shawn.
-Shawn is worried about pirates.
Anyway, if you any of you could send a prayer or some positive energy or whatever his way, I have a feeling that he will use every bit of it.
Our mutual friend Tim on deck of The Enchantress en route to Catalina Island from Long Beach.