Words by: Bryson
Lat: 18 degrees 33 minutes S
Long: 67 degrees 55 minutes E
The small little numbers flashing away on the GPS tell us many things. They give us our boat speed, they tell us which direction we are sailing (heading), they tell us how far we have to go until solid ground again, they show us how far we have sailed from our homes, … Those small constantly changing numbers tie us down to the imaginary lines of latitude and longitude and give us a sense of place in the aqueous world of blue water sailing. Most of decisions are based on those little numbers.
Today, those little numbers had a new story to tell. Today, we passed 70 deg 08′ E of latitude. Nothing too special when taken in isolation, but when compared to our departure point on the OceanGybe Expedition, some 18 months ago, a startling fact began to emerge. Cabo San Lucas, on the southern tip of the Baja peninsular, is located at 109 deg 52′ W. Last year, in order to get to the international date line (180 deg) we traveled 70 deg 08′, and now we have traveled another 109 deg 52′ which combined give us a total traveled distance of 180 deg. The world is 360 deg around, so we are HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD!!!!!!
After approximately 25 000km, 18 months, thousands of hours of boat work, years of planning, untold numbers of squalls, sail repairs, wave dousings, flying fish attacks, mahi mahi dinners, broken parts, disturbed sleeps, black magic demons, baguettes, sunsets, team “chats”, garbage studies, cups of tea, idyllic anchorages, new cultures and lessons learnt, the three of us and trusty Khulula have managed to sail halfway around the world.
Thinking back to when this all started; a cold rainy day on Vancouver Island, where the three of us blindly made a pact to “one day” buy a boat and sail it around the world. We had no real idea of what we were getting into, but we had a dream. We knew nothing of the rigours of offshore sailing, global weather patterns, offshore boat requirements, foreign policies on sailing vessels, anything; in fact, we probably didn’t even have enough money between the three of us to fill the car up with gas with out digging into our student loans.
So we started at the bottom, we asked questions, we bought books, we learnt to sail, we studied charts, but above it all, we believed. We believed we could, and that we would. Such is the power of having three people all committed to making our dream a reality. Our trip would never have become a reality if anyone one of us wasn’t completely behind the idea and committed. We had to trust each other completely to each be making personal sacrifices to ensure the team could go on.
We have had some incredible life altering experiences but it has not all been “sugar, spice and all things nice”. There are been trying times, times when we were not sure if it was possible, a great deal of heartache about leaving loved ones behind and hoping they understand. We have had such an outpouring of generosity and encouragement from complete strangers and friends alike, that we would like to take this moment to thank everyone for playing their small role in helping us get this far.
To our sponsors; Sitka Surfboards, Livity Outernational, Globe, Surfer’s Path, West, The Centre for Water and the Environment, and the Surfrider Foundation, thank you for your help, we appreciate you standing by us and helping us get the word out about the terrible state of our oceans.
To those friends and family; thank you for helping us believe in our dream and going out of your way to help us. We couldn’t have done it without you.
To loved ones; thanks for standing by us even though we may not be the perfect husbands, boyfriends, or romantic attachments. We will make it up a thousand fold when we get back.
To our mother ocean and Khulula; thanks for the lessons and teaching us more about ourselves than we ever could in the city.
And to all those people who have send us e-mails, notes, donations saying we have helped inspire them to follow their dreams; thank you for all your incredibly kind words and giving us the incredible feeling that we have been able to help someone beyond our immediate circles, much like others helped us begin this journey.
And finally, to Ryan and Hugh, thank you for making my dreams become reality. One could never ask anymore from anyone.