inspired: sailing around the world

donderdag 23 mei 2013


Me, getting ready for a day of sailing // Deep Water // Maiden Voyage
From the ages of sixteen through eighteen I went sailing during my summer vacations. These weren't the sporty kind of trips where you live on your boat all week and eat beans straight from the can. I opted for the relaxing holiday variation: sail for a couple of hours during the day, then return home to a game of volleyball, a barbeque and a warm bed to sleep in. I never learned how to sail properly, but I do remember the rush you get when the wind changes. The noise of your sails flapping, the screaming instructions to one another, the scrambling around tightening ropes, the water spraying into your face. I loved it. For one week. Imagine doing it for months on end. Alone.
 
In 1969 nine men enter into the first non-stop, single-handed, around the world yacht race organized by the Sunday Times. One competitor, Donald Crowhurst, finds himself alone at sea, having to choose between facing bankruptcy and public humiliation on the one hand and losing his life on the other. In the process of making this decision he loses his mind. The beautiful documentary "Deep Water" tells his story.   

The first woman to sail around the world is Tania Aebi. When she turns eighteen her father gives her a choice: "I will buy you a college education or a yacht. The only catch: you have to sail this yacht around the world". She chooses sailing and writes a book about her journey called "Maiden Voyage" (the Dutch version is called "Solo"). I read it over 15 years ago and still remember some of the events she describes vividly. Still, after watching "Deep Water" yesterday, I think I might read it again. 

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