“Faye. Faye! Psst. Wrong envelope.”
When not cleaning coffee grounds from the floorboards during last summer’s 7,000-mile shakedown cruise in Moli, I kept myself occupied by shooting passage video.
The exercise was an experiment intended to answer three questions:
In the first case, I used what I already had, a Lifeproofed iPhone 5–which, miracle-of-miracles, was not lost at sea–a flexible, rail-wrapping tripod, and a long selfie stick. The goal was to capture a wide variety of subjects that, once home, could be sorted, categorized, and shipped off to an editor. The biggest issue I faced was memory. The iPhone filled quickly, and only when transferring files to the laptop did I realize that the Apple software there had stopped working.
Regarding the “What is it?” question, I will be satisfied if this introduction sets the record straight and thereby reduces the number of times I am asked when, on the Figure 8, I make my first approach to Panama.
Then there’s “Why?” Why am I pursuing such a daunting voyage, some 40,000 miles, a course that passes Cape Horn twice and transits the Northwest Passage in one year?
It’s a troublesome question worthy of a longer post, but suffice to say I have often sidestepped an answer at dinner parties by pitching back to the table, “Given half a chance, wouldn’t you take on an adventure like the Figure 8?” I have fully expected affirmation. Wasn’t it obvious? But as I laid out details, what became apparent to the landlubbers (no TV, no internet, no fresh food, no bathing, no heat, randomly available sleep) meant the response I got was always a resounding “Not me. No way!”
So then, why?
Ranulf Fiennes wrestles this question for several pages of Mind over Matter, and by way of surrender, ends with Wally Herbert’s remarks:
“And what is the value of the journey? It is as well for those who ask such a question that there are others who feel the answer and never need to ask.”
So, maybe the video will shed some light…