In many ways it has been just that, an adventure. Single-handed sailing with the little experience that I have, repairing parts I didn’t even know existed until they failed, catching a fish, discovering new places, tackling Greek traffic, to name but a few obvious ones. But also there’s the added adventure of no income for a whole year, not knowing whether the photography project will lead to anything or whether my business will be picking up again once I come back. So in as much as adventure has to do with the unknown, I’m right in the middle of a few.
Manoeuvring in port is perhaps my biggest challenge as a single-handed sailor, as I require one hand on the steering wheel, another on the throttle and a third on the windlass switch for the anchor, all the while balancing on one foot because I need the other to steer the outdrive leg. I surely resemble some awkward harlequin. Other than that I find it all quite manageable, but then again I haven’t had any really bad weather to cope with.
Had to make some, shouldn’t have made all of them. Truth be told I struggled quite a bit to make this first half of my sabbatical turn out the way I envisioned it. Sailing about the Greek islands isn’t exactly the Great Wilderness Experience as such, and the net time I can actually dedicate myself to photography and sailing is curtailed drastically by time in port for repairs, travelling back home every now and then and thus having to be at yet another port in good time. Can’t seem to be able to rid myself of schedules.
Freediving, to be precise. Spearfishing, for even more precision. I love it! There’s an atavistic hunter-thing going on, plus the thrill of having to do it all with only one lungful of air. Not as easy as I thought it would be, often enough downright scary, but a great challenge nevertheless. I’m not getting round to it often enough, though. See “C”.
I’m astounded by the ease with which one makes new friends in an instant when travelling this way – and just how quickly one loses them again. It comes with the terrain, obviously, and I am not yet sure I like these intensive bursts of contact with a built-in expiry date.
Has become a constant crew member, and a valued one at that. Fear of getting into situations I can’t yet handle, bad weather, a slipping anchor or berthing in a port I don’t know. But also fear of running out of money, of not getting enough photographs worth showing or having taken the wrong decisions altogether. Keeps me leapfrogging from one learning experience to the next, though.
From G onwards will follow soon!