This blog by Robert was written just prior to the departure from the Galapagos:
Today is a hot day, possibly the hottest so far. People are looking a little red from the sun and a little tired from a lack of sleep during the hot nights. Last night I slept on deck for the first time since 2009 when I was in Kefalonia, Greece. It is still magic to look at the stars that seem so near. The boat's motion rocks you to sleep, but it’s a shame that the generator of the big catamaran next door keeps you awake. Thank heavens for the ear plugs!
Captain Kristian and the crew are being fantastic, keeping us up to speed on their preparations and recruiting us to help when they need it. Last minute preparations are frustrating but the guys are plodding on and resisting the instinct to lose their cool in the hot sun.
Even though I was expecting to have left by now, these first few days that we have had together have proved invaluable in a way. We have been able to get to know each other without having to worry about the sailing issues and watch system. It has given us the opportunity to appreciate everyone’s limitations, language differences and journeys they have taken to get here.
I have been very fortunate to hear everyone's own personal stories, not just when they were diagnosed, but how their lives have brought them to this point. All of our lives, however young or old are equally fascinating with experiences of great joy and achievement along with periods of compromise. Without the pressure of commerce or time or personal commitments, we have had the time to listen to each other and ask questions. To learn, to be patient and empathise with others who at some point I will have to rely on.
This 3,500 mile passage with OOH brings people together physically as well as emotionally. Whether it be on the boat or on the internet, we are supporting each other in the individual way we feel able to. It's strange for me, but it makes me smile. If you have read my first blog, you will understand this when I say that these 8 comrades are getting to know a little bit of the old Rob. Maybe that’s because I've subconsciously jumped in at the deep end or that my crew mates have helped bring out the child that never left me, just felt a little tired. He maybe just needed a little help with the door.
I never thought that being here would be so important to me. At the moment, I feel the need to write and speak about it to you readers. (Hopefully some will understand this rambling). So much so that it's not even my turn to blog.
Getting back into the swing of being on a boat is giving me great pleasure and strength. I do not want to sit around doing nothing. I want to make food for people, talk and joke with people and make my time here even more important. If this manifests as fantastic memories or simply just making the most out of every hour and going to sleep knowing that I have achieved what I could during that day, then so be it.
However, I am angry with myself. From 2008, I have not really been my whole self. As I mentioned before, the results of inactivity are no memories, no sleep and the awful feeling that life is no longer in my control. Like someone who has broken down on the side of the motorway in the rain, helplessly watching others whizz by, carrying on with their lives. People who still have some kind of control in their lives, going on journeys, going to work, travelling to meet loved ones etc. Looking back on it, I've kind of been feeling that way.
Is this time away from home the time to be angry with myself for not seeing this and not totally accepting it? Get it out of my system? Or just to put that in a box, close the lid and forget about it? Who knows :) Either way, it is time to properly look to a future, not to the past. Time to dream of new dreams, not to dwell on reasons why I should not.
With the help of my new Danish friends, I have tried to translate:
Under alle omstaendigheder er det nu tiden til at se fremad og ikke tilbage. Det er tid til at droemme nye droemme, ikke til at gruble over hvorfor jeg ikke skulle.
Report from Bosun Bertram:
As we head out to sea with three weeks of solitude to look forward to, we prepare for any situation that could arise. This morning at 10:00 we ran through the procedures of a Man Over Board-emergency with a fender in the water. The crew did excellent, and our post-exercise evaluation concluded that we are prepared. Hopefully we will never have to use it!
Afterwards we went through the response to an emergency with fire on board, another worst-case scenario when you are all alone at sea. Rarely these exercises are put into action, but should the worst happen, we have only ourselves to count on!
We don't want to exhaust ourselves, and after a full hour of exercises in one day, we spent the rest of the sunny hours of February 22nd relaxing on deck, while we wait for the wind to turn up.
Local time on board is 11:50 and our current position is 1,22.80S , 92,37.84W.