Heading steadily east …

Currently in a hotel in LA en-route to Seattle tomorrow to see my lovely S&S34 “Gitano” ; )  Spend a few days giving her some love then shaping up like I might run over to France to launch my proto mini #433 to do a fourth Mini Fastent Race in June and my 1,000-nautical miles solo qualification for the Transat 650 ’13.

The final decision in a few days…While I’d love to do the solo transpac and pacific cup the absolute priority bar none is to qualify for the Transat 650 – however still a chance to bring her to Florida later summer for the winter training/refit option – we’ll see…

(Below) picture taken by Jacques Vincent with Tanguy de Lamotte from behind us aboard my first mini #348 “Netcarrier” on afterburner just after rounding Fastnet Rock when we finished 5th of of 84 minis in both the 2003 & ’04 Mini Fastnets !!

…And below that – my first 1,000-nm solo qualification aboard #348 ~ ‘What is a warm-blooded Hawaiian doing at 52-degrees north latitude off the coast of Ireland, solo, on a 21ft boat,  freezing to death in the middle of summer…?!’  Having fun @ ‘Fight Club’!

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Triple Crown

James Cameron just completed a solo ‘test-dive’ to 8000-meters: before his world record breaking descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench which lies at: 14,764 feet deep = 16,000 pounds per square inch pressure or 2.304 million pounds per square foot or 1,089 atmospheres. That will compress you to less than one inch square – ‘unprotected’!

National Geographic: “Squeezed into a submersible as futuristic as anything in his movies, James Cameron intends to descend solo to the ocean’s deepest point within weeks, the Canadian filmmaker and explorer announced Thursday.

Just Tuesday, during testing off Papua New Guinea, Cameron dived deeper than any other human has on a solo mission. Now he aims to become the first human to visit the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep in more than 50 years—and to return with animals, images, and data that were unthinkable in 1960.”

FACT: If Mount Everest were dropped into the Mariana Trench, its peak would still be more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) underwater. Learn more about this crescent-shaped scar in the Earth’s crust.

James Cameron: “Sitting down there at 27000′ feet, alone in the dark, with no comms, no contact whatsoever with the world so far above, and nothing but the ingenuity of the engineering to get me back… it’s simultaneously scary and exhilarating. It’s the precipice we put ourselves on by choice, to test ourselves and our machines. I configured the cameras to get a good shot of the weights coming off and hitting the seafloor in 3D, but I can’t say I spent an undue amount of time on the lighting. I wanted to see those babies jettisoned as quick as possible. It’s a good feeling when 350kg comes off, with the characteristic “SHOONK” as the weight carriages run down the slide-rails.”

Lloyd Borrett – “I’m surprised at how little media coverage this magnificent challenge is getting, especially here in Australia. After all, it’s Australian designed, built in Sydney with a lot of Aussies involved. But more than that, it’s a true adventure story, that combines man’s need to explore and learn more, with technology, science and innovation.”

Meanwhile, Felix Baumgartner of Project ‘Stratos Red Bull’ – successfully jumped from 71, 580 feet on the edge of space in the first test jump leading up to this summer’s 120,000 foot record attempt. He has one more test flight/jump from 90,000 feet coming up…

And not forgetting my mentor and co-skipper – Australian Jon Sanders, who holds the absolute ‘horizontal’ ‘World Distance Record’ of 71,023-nautical miles nonstop solo – all that remains is the 100,000-nautical mile barrier!

– BJ Caldwell

Kony 2012

 

While Linda and I support most things ocean related – the situation ashore in many of the world’s countries – mostly where dictatorships prevail, such as the slaughter of the citizens in Syria etc is unbelievable.  Makes our freedoms seem even more precious and never something to take for granted. Something I aspire to do everyday anyway, as I’ve already lived more than my share of dreams.

The the video thats gone viral (above) with over 30-million hits got me to thinking.  Becoming the ‘1st-under-21’ solo around the world and cruising the South Pacific at the same age as the kids in the video – contrasts sharply with their vast subjugation and abuses of those 30,000 children just in Uganda alone.

I’ve ALWAYS said terra-firma is more dangerous than the sea.  It’s just not something as well understand because more people spend 99% of their time ashore.  But something made famous and understood seems far less sinister thus – having been so blessed while I was young, I have no choice but to share the video above and hope you do the same – it is the least we can do.  Because I am a hopeless romantic and would like to believe their vision is possible and we can change the world for the better one “Like” at a time.  2012 is the test – then, ‘who will be next on the ‘hit-list’…?

I’ve shared the letter below before but I’d like to do it again for those of you that haven’t read it – shows how fortunate I was growing up and how “Where you are born and live – can, but shouldn’t determine whether you ‘live’ or die…

‘Thoughts on Heading Home’

‘I wish I were with you, sharing the laughter and domestic doings of what I have come to think of as my second home. All of it was good, in every sense of the word. And in this life, nothing good is lost. It stays part of a person, becomes part of their character. So part of you goes everywhere with me. And part of me is yours forever.’

 – “The Shell Seekers”

“We have had an idealistic, lazy, exciting, sometimes very scary life for the past few years, and have experienced more in this short time than some experience in a whole lifetime. I hate to give it up even for a little while. We have been so lucky to have been able to live our dream and I can’t even put into words the faces, places, smiles, sunsets, friendships, unbelievable highs and sometime even, you can believe it, very low, lows.

Overpowering, sweet fragrant scents that drift from a distant island out to sea to greet your arrival. White sand beaches so bright and soft, the texture of flour, gifts of love, flowers, food, treasures from a serene and happy people, content in their day-to-day life, so simple by our standards.

How can I willingly give this up so soon? We’ve only just begun; so many more water logged miles to cross. Passages, three hours on and off, sleepily scanning the horizon for huge ships that, basking with confidence, could smash our little home. Passages, eating funny, sleeping funny, watching the miles click off, bored, impatiently waiting for it to be over. Lonely night watches, thoughts drifting to home, family, remembered things of times long ago and not so long ago, not wanting it to see another light at night but looking so hard, trying to focus tired eyes.

Finally, as the passage is almost complete, not wanting it to be over, having enjoyed the complete solitude of being totally alone at sea. Coming to grips with that sea, loving it, respecting it, fearing its unpredictable nature. Worrying about cyclones that also threaten to destroy our volatile little shell of a home.

A new found, unexpected joy in an unpretentious life. Trying hard to grow up and act like a big girl by learning to live with your family twenty-four hours a day, every day, while maintaining your sense of humor on a thirty-two foot boat.

Realizing that your best friend is also your husband. Respecting, and having complete faith in his ability to get us in safely. Being truly amazed at his skill in dealing with day to day problems of keeping everything on board in working order.

Being here in a most beautiful, exotic place, described as having “fantastic cocaine-white beaches”. Still largely untouched, stunningly beautiful, a tropical paradise of the first degree. Talcum powder soft beaches, gentle turquoise waters, towering Norfolk pines contrast with curving palms, gum trees, ferns, wild orchards and other flowers to create an environment of exotic richness. Wild, free, green and red parrots, darting through the sky, screeching their disapproval at our intrusion. Not having to share a secluded beach with anyone else, the gift of the sun on our bodies.

Not even tiring of doing laundry by hand – in a rushing waterfall with small, tame fish nibbling at my feet. Standing hip deep in a fresh water stream in Wallis Island, with a local lady bathing nearby, another beating her laundry, showing me the proper way it is done, no common language being spoken, their little bit of English and my small bit of French, but being able to communicate anyway, with eyes, hands, gestures.

In the same village, a very poor, somewhat dirty, young, unwed mother, putting flower leis around our necks, she had made herself, giving her a pareo from Hawai`i, she is standing there every time we come to shore to greet us with her small baby on her hip, so curious about us and our life, watching her slowly walking every day to the stream to get fresh drinking water, then gathering wood for her cooking fire.

Taking her to our boat, she in turn taking us shelling. Then a beautiful, dark little girl, whose name escapes me, but her face never will, so shy, with an ever present smile – How can I leave this sometimes primitive life, I found so late and have come to love?

Every Christmas, being lonely, homesick, not being able to find things I crave – a turkey, cranberry sauce, thinking of walking into a “real” market and cooking up a real feast!

So, tomorrow is Brian Jr’s birthday, 13, where did my little boy go? Having had the opportunity of watching him grow from a small boy, to a capable sailor, so anxious to always hoist the anchor and see a new port. Having taken him through four years of his education, with many doubts on my part at the beginning, but realizing early on, it was to be a true bonus of cruising.

Christmas, only nine days away, thinking of family, holiday shopping, Christmas music, crowds and all the mad rush…

Having given BJ the best present of all, the world.

We may be headed back, but a sadder thought of never having come. These are all thoughts of going back, which most cruisers must deal with at some point in time”.

– jan caldwell


Linda for the MOD 34!

Linda Pasquariello has a S&S 34 lined up to race the ‘MOD 34 Race’ (one-design-nonstop-solo around the world race)!  Thus her current solo circumnavigation aboard her Pearson 10m “Yemaya” will transition smoothly into round #2! Amazing, who would have thought that when we met the first time at LAX airport four years ago – we’d be preparing to race each other around the world a few years later!

Linda’s update:

“Just to mix things up a bit, as we only live once.  I have a S&S 34 lined up to be used for the MOD 34 Race,  I aspire to race Bj and anyone else that is interested, non stop round the world on sister ships (S&S 34) to highlight the need to protect our oceans. I would like to raise awareness and money for my two favorite charity’s Sea Shepherd and Oceana. Weather this happens after my current circumnavigation with stops or before, we will have to wait and see. I love my Pearson 10m as she is a fast, roomy, stable boat, fantastic for the tropics with lots of room to stow stuff. But as we all know the S&S34 has been proven again and again for its offshore capabilities, and non stop records. A lot of people comment that we must not like each other very much if we are always sailing on separate boats, but I just want to beat him to the finish line. Now we will start looking for support and sponsorship for this Epic adventure, I hope we have more people join us in this race, as it is a dream a lot of sailors have. What better way to fulfill your dream then by racing with like minded people around the world while raising money for the protectors of our beautiful Oceans and all that lives within.”

– Linda Pasquariello / www.liquidflight.net