Are you scared yet? #fearisnotareason

I am writing this mid-afternoon on 6 March, but will set it to post later, where it will be too late to take it back.

In less than three hours we will be aboard. A wee part of me has been hoping for some really good reason for the trip to be cancelled. Nothing to do with me, leaves my honour intact, but permits retreat. That's not happened.

People have asked me if I am afraid, and I've said elsewhere on this blog that I am. Three big things frighten me. My own body's failures are never fun, and often humiliating. I hope that my strength and flexibility are up to the job. It's the sickness I'm really not looking forward to. In the next couple of hours I will take my first Pahia bombs, and I am delighted that last night's 30 knot squalls have died away.

Then there's just fear itself. Going up the masts is a big challenge. Meeting some of the crew at dinner (convened via FB) last night, so many of them are experienced on tall ships. They told me that you build up to the top yards, and that the motion on a tall ship is much easier than the whippy mast of a yacht. I hope they are right.

My third big fear is continuing to be honest on the page, of writing how it feels for me, writing about what I learn, and maybe what I still fail to learn at the end of the journey. Even those experienced in these voyages see the Cape to Cape as a big one. So I will blogging and keeping a journal and taking pictures and generally keeping track of myself as we go along. Some blogs may consist of 'f--k, I want to come home,' but others will be whales and ice and new friends and the romance of a tall ship sailing under the Southern Cross.

For those wondering: we leave today or tomorrow and head through the Beagle Channel to the Atlantic coast. From there we sail south east to Antarctica. After some time there we will go north east to South George, completing a big V in the south-western Atlantic. Those first weeks are a combination of day sailing and passages of about four days. 

From South Georgia, in about a month, we change to long passages eastward. If possible we will land at Tristan de Cunha but otherwise it is straight on till morning.

From today I will be sending my blogs to a friend via the sat phone and she will upload them on here. Pictures are prohibitively expensive so words will have to paint the life on Europa. Yes I'm afraid, but excited,wildly excited at the adventure about to begin.

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  1. Sharon Flanagan-Hyde

    Sarah, I celebrate your honesty, your courage, your fear, and your willingness to share all of that with us. I’m sharing your adventure (the child-appropriate parts!) with my five-year-old grandson, who is in love with Antarctica. He is so excited that you’re about to head out to sea. Sending you love and strong energy! ~ Sharon

  2. Honesty takes bravery – of course you’re afraid. Only a fool wouldn’t be. But we all know bravery isn’t the absence of fear. I’m fascinated by your adventure and look forward to sharing it with you, vicariously.

  3. I’ll be waiting for each post! Travel well. Be kind to yourself. Come home.

  4. Yay Sarah! You go girl! Big Hugs and Bon Voyage and Fair Winds and Happy Soul Expansion to you!

  5. You’re v brave. Not just to go through with this adventure, but also to be so honest. My admiration knows no bounds, my friend x

  6. Go for it Sarah. Enjoy the “RUSH”.

  7. Am so looking forward to reading your blog

  8. Louis Friedman

    I understand the apprehension and the fear. Facing a similar situation I was lucky to stumble on Joseph Conrads. Youth…. I hope this helps. Bon Voyage. Louis

  9. Dear Sarah,
    I would be considerably more worried about you if you were not scared — it is only natural. Just bear in mind that almost everyone else will be as well, or they will be scared of things that you can take in your stride.
    You’ll be in my thoughts & prayers all the way and I know that you will come home safe & successful.
    Love from Diana & the Bandits

  10. Hi Sarah, loving your updates and following the ship. It’s so exciting and such a wonderful experience. Good for you Sarah, time on this planet well spent I’d say. & I completely get the romance of being on a tall ship! Make the most! X

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