It seems only fitting to kick the New Year off refreshed and jet setting half way around the globe to continue my dream of sailing around the world. On September 14th 2016, I made landfall into Bundaberg, Australia direct via Fiji, completing my single-handed voyage across the Pacific. This last trip proved to be one of the most challenging as I knowingly headed off into a frontal system that never seemed to let up, and kept me pinned almost the entire 14 days of the voyage. With little to no sleep due to unrelenting squalls, shifty winds, and opposing currents I was ready for a break.
After 3 months back in the United States, I spent time with friends and family relieving them of their worries, hosted a talk about my voyage in my hometown Cincinnati, and even explored options of crabbing out of San Francisco for the season. While I enjoyed my time in the U.S., too much time on dry land has beckoned me back to Antares where I will outfit her with new sails and standing rigging to prepare for the voyage through the Indian Ocean and into the Red Sea in late 2017.
After spending 2.5 years on my Alberg 30, I was unsure whether I wanted to continue living and sailing aboard, but found bouts of inspiration from various books, podcasts, and friends as I drove over 10,000 miles exploring parts of the U.S. I have never seen. I went canyoneering in Zion, hiked the Grand Canyon, and even surfed the exposed coast of Nor Cal & Southern Oregon for the first time, but a sailing life seems to be where my heart is (hopefully my girlfriend understands).
When I am surrounded with others like me and see them with a happy crew aboard their much larger and faster vessels, the boat envy can kick in after a while. Luckily for me I came across a podcast (59 North) featuring Webb Chiles a few weeks ago I was driving down to San Francisco from Portland as the snow and sleet beat across the highway near Weed, CA so was forced to pullover for the evening as the storm passed. It was a revelation for me to reconnect with this part of the world and hear Webb discuss some of his thoughts on expensive racing yachts and what it means to be out there alone. I have had a lot of doubt lately whether this life was for me or if I should consider working for a while to upgrade to something bigger and faster. While this would most definitely be more comfortable and allow a bit more cabin room for guests, it is not going to change me or the way I sail around the world so have decided to stick it out with Antares and do my best to keep her sea worthy.
After completing my 3rd haul-out in Fiji back in August and dry docking Antares in Australia she will be as good as new in a couple weeks and ready to tackle another 15,000 miles this next year as I make my run into the Med. I have been following a number of vessels that have successfully made it the past couple years without trouble and currently a vessel named Hope is transiting the passage from Sri Lanka who I will be following for advice.
As I work and cruise the New South Wales coast of Australia, I will be adding the final touches to my book I have been writing the past six months (Titled: Under the Scorpion’s Eye) and looking for a publisher to release sometime in 2017. As always you can follow my journey at www.lifelineexplorers.com.
Happy New Year and don’t forget to dream.
Tin Can Bay Marina, Queensland, Australia.
S/V Antares II