Parallels to Setting Sail
A PARALLEL TO A LIFE AT SEA
In May of 2000 my husband and I self-quarantined for 27 days at sea. Not because of a pandemic but because we wanted to sail around French Polynesia and discover lesser known surf breaks. Just like we're doing now in the time of a COVID-19 quarantine, we provisioned our boat with enough food for 45 days at sea in case our voyage took longer than expected. We also carried 150 gallons of fresh water and had solar panels to charge our batteries.
We had no long range radio and had no communication with the outside world. It was the ultimate in social distancing. It was just the two of us so we did six hour watches and when we were off watch we slept alone in the cabin while the other person stayed in the cockpit. The ultimate in isolating.
It was an unusually rough passage and even though we could not contract a communicable disease, we had a low grade seasickness that made us tired and nauseous all the time. This made it difficult to read and do daily activities. We were grateful to have wind that kept us moving and only motored for a few days through the ITCZ. This area was an otherworldly experience-kind of like what we're going through in the world right now.
I definitely think my experience with meditation and discipline I learned as a mountaineer helped me enjoy the long days at sea. Life onboard once we reached the islands inspired us to raise our kids sailing. This lifestyle helped us learn to appreciate a slower pace. We cherished the simple things in life like time with each other, being full time in the elements, being in tune with the rhythm of the tides and weather, and keeping meals and routines simple. I loved this life so much that I have been constantly trying to get back to it ever since. This voyage influenced my passion for making photographs in the ocean and for living a simple but mindful life.
All photographs for this post were taken with Fuji Provia or TMAX 100 and processed 6-10 months after departing on our voyage.
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