The crew doubt whether an end really exists, while we reflect on the journey thus far.
Well, it’s close enough to believe it might actually happen now. The crew are throwing around various comments as to the mythical nature of this moment, so long in the offing and so far in distance it has been. Some are still debating whether Ben is a real person. Others are debating whether San Diego really exists at all. All are debating whether it’s as good as I say it is, or will it just be another Pasito Blanco. I tell them to wait, and see, because even I’m debating all of this now. We’ve been on the boat too long.
Last night saw a moderately windy night, but nothing like a recurrence of previous conditions experienced, or what we had expected. This is either a nice surprise, or we’re going to be getting a thrashing later today. Either way, we’ll take it. The slight wind shift we’d been waiting for came just to late for us to avoid the ‘losing tack’ I’d been putting off for the last 2 days. As we got pushed further into the Mexican coastline it had to happen, so we spent a few hours going west in order to set ourselves back up with a good angle again, which we seem to have held onto all night, and the further backing of the wind will hopefully appear even though the heavier sea state didn’t. Typically sailor to try and be selective with that weather they get and what they don’t!
There is much to be done when we arrive in San Diego. The first is at least a 24 hour pause, as we’ve been now been pretty much on the go without a true day off in over 4 months, through the prep, the sailing, the stops, the repairs, and everything else along the way. Then Disco is going to get then biggest and best clean she’s ever had, to try and eradicate the marks of hard living we’ve left her with. The top item on this agenda is to throw away all the tea towels in the galley. It’s hard to differentiate them from engineering rags now, despite regular attempts to clean them. Their condition is obviously now being used as a excuse to not keep tidy or clean the galley. I’m not sure there is any valid excuse for this, however, sometimes it’s better to pick your battles, as they say. The crew had better be prepared for a new set of tea towels and an appropriate form of enforcement for the Pacific though…
I’ve just been on deck driving the bus for a little while, reflecting on the months behind us, and on those to come. As an albatross flew above, I thought it would be nice to have some dolphins as well. The Pacific delivered, and minutes later I had nature’s finest escorts above and below. Thanks Pacific.
This little sail from the UK has seen the involvement of so many different people up to this point. We’ve had 20 people through the boat since departing, and they’ve all played an important part in the story so far. In brief, a little mention to each.
Moris, for being our cross-track error attendant, and the only man any of us have ever seen consume a Snickers bar in one mouthful.
Connor, for his boundless energy, constant GoPro selfies, and dubious windsurf tying-up skills.
Seb, for taking to sailing like a born natural, pitching in with everything, and making sure we didn’t die of starvation or only eat chocolate for 2 months.
Joe, for being our finest ‘helm hooligan’, keeping the kids in order, and being the food police for the Atlantic.
Paul, Disco’s (and possibly the worlds?) finest Frenchman, who selflessly stepped off too soon to run the leviathan that is The Longest Swim, at great cost to his own personal experience of the sailing, and forever to the detriment of the boat without him on it.
Léa, for maintaining the constant French presence that there always has to be on Disco, making the best boat baguettes the world have ever seen, and assuring us all that our story and it’s delivery is in safe hands while we’re traversing the Pacific for months on end.
John (or as I know him, Dad), for holding out the faith that we would actually sail across the Atlantic, coming with us, and making that crossing an even more special experience than I could have hoped for.
Renaud, our energetic Frexican research scientist, for all the enthusiasm, stories of penguins from the far south, and insightful comments on how our lives impact the world around, as well as tireless translation work.
Jonathan (aka Engo), for helping me grapple with the big picture, putting down on paper what The Longest Swim means for many of us, and for all the spreadsheets to date and to come. (But not for fixing the water-maker…)
Anna, for making sure we didn’t go too off the tracks with our average age of 24.something, always being happy, and generally making the boat a nice place to be.
Landon (so many nicknames I can’t even begin to list them…), for being our fastest sailing learner, slowest tea and coffee learner, and helping us with all his experience in social media.
Bart, for being an ever reliable and experienced presence on deck, availing us with his wide and varied insights into filming and business, and intriguing us with stories from around the world.
Andrea, for always being a happy presence on deck, teaching us all how to dramatically state that we don’t speak Spanish, in Spanish, and always finding something to smile at.
Anto, Disco’s tallest ever crew, probably in history of the boat. Always a fount of thoughtfulness and life experience, leaving us all for the wiser, and still the only man (possibly alive?) to have beaten the Engineer at chess.
N.E.A.L. For coming and seeing what we’re about, approving of us taking his son around the world, sharing his own sailing experience with us all, and being what has been described as ‘a cool dad’. Also, thanks for bringing me out new sunglasses!
Phillip, our inspirational yoga instructor, world traveller, engineer. Surprised me when he turned up with a full-size bicycle, but always a good conversation, discussion, leaving us better in mind and soul.
Alex, for diligently keeping watch over our logbook from day one, being the unfailingly reliable presence in all weather conditions, keeping me on my toes by getting me to explain things I don’t know how to explain, and providing us with many varied discussions on areas of life we never knew needed discussed.
Ty, our Lost Aussie. A constant trove of stories and life, but always providing balance and maturity on board, a much needed elbow from time to time, never overwhelmed and only ever half asleep.
Henry, our chief engine room ferret, mast koala and foredeck enthusiast, never shying away from a challenge, a one-man mission to keep the boat running smoothly, and somehow enjoying every second without even trying.
And to Ben, never yet on the boat, but the most important piece of the puzzle, without whom none of this would be taking place. For wanting to do the deed in the first place, having the faith to buy a boat on the other side of the world, keeping good humour throughout the unexpected emails and requirements that so well characterise, ‘boats’, and for his tireless work in getting the project this far, and continue to drive hard to ensure it’s the success he deserves it to be.
Behind the scenes, but an ever important part of my daily life, Jeremy and his team at WRI, keeping us on track, as fast as possible, but always safe, and Dr. Spike and his team at MSOS, for all the advice and support, enabling me to confidently administer injections, painkillers, antibiotics, treat burns, and deal with all the other little people breakages along they way.
For all that have followed, this is just a taste of what’s to come. Things will really get interesting when we’ve got a swimmer in the water as well, in the worlds largest ocean, boat and man battling one of the harshest environments around. Now, that will make for some good stories I think. We’ll check in from time to time to keep you updated on our preparations and progress, so don’t go too far…
Scotty and Disco x
Date: 27th March 2017
Position: 31-43.2N 117-07.7W
Wind: NW 4
Swell: Moderate NW 4-6
Sky: 3/8 cumulus
With the support of our partner Weather Routing Inc.