One Man, One Boat, 4000 Miles!!!

Tropic 4 Cancer Trans Atlantic challenge is an expedition to sail single-handed 4000 miles across the Atlantic, from the western seaboard of Africa to Antigua. The route follows a defined course along the Tropic of Cancer, which is a circle of latitude running around the Earth at approximately 23 degrees north, and which marks the most northerly position at which the sun may appear directly overhead. Find Out More

Day 29 – Bubble & Pipsqueaks

Posted on December 1st, 2013

imageAs I approach civilisation, I’m already seeing more signs of life with aircraft and ships. And the fantastic sight of the Frigate bird. These are not the most beautiful of creatures, but they look great to me!! They range far out to sea for food, then return to Barbuda, the sister island of Antigua, where there is a huge colony of them. It means that I’m getting close!!

Soon this little Hakapa shaped bubble that I’ve been living in will nudge up against normal, everyday reality. I’ve been in the bubble pretty much since leaving the UK nearly 2 months ago, and it’s been quite pressurised.

This project, driven by the desire to do something positive, has been a year in the planning, and encompasses a concept dreamt up mid ocean 8 years ago, and a lifelong ambition. Those are big rocks to carry, and it will be with some relief that I’m able to put that burden aside.

And when i arrive in Antigua, the bubble will pop and in will rush all the noise and energy of my two children, who will be there to greet me. I can’t wait!! I’ve missed the family a massive amount, although a couple of squabbles down the track that will no doubt change!!

Most of what happened in the bubble will disappear, like the bubble itself. That’s not a bad thing, as it is not normal life, and I couldn’t and wouldn’t choose to live like this! Yes, memories will remain, and these updates will serve as a record of what went on. But they too are not reflective of who I am in everyday life. I am normally far more reserved with my thoughts, and whilst far from being introvert, normally choose not to share my life quite so openly!!

It maybe too early to fully assess what impact this journey has had on me. Life changing? Probably not. Life defining? Maybe. Life enhancing? Absolutely! I’ve always appreciated and understood what I have in my life, and I will value these even more. I may also be able to be less reserved with some of my emotions. This does not mean I’m going to run around with my heart on my sleeve, whoohooing and boohooing everywhere – I’m British and I’m a bloke, so that’s just not going to happen!

But I may give myself the time and space to process emotions more. This will be true of both good and bad. I know that I don’t spend much time kicking through the debris of things that haven’t worked out – I’ve never seen the point – either rebuild or move on!! But I now understand better that some things do need proper reconciliation (or ‘closure’ to use the clumsy but apt Americanism).

I think I will also have learnt to enjoy achievements better. In the past I’ve been so eager to rush onto the next challenge, that I’ve normally not celebrated what I’ve just achieved. I will definitely celebrate this journey properly, and before planning anything else!!! Although I have been thinking about a little trip to……….!!!

Hopefully the next update will be to say that I’ve arrived. Not prepared to say exactly when that might be, but Monday seems likely!!


Today’s thank you goes to; Yvonne & Terry Willcocks, Nick Collinson, Longparish Ladies (for their Tea Party), Patrick & Fiona Angier, Margaret & Mike Shaw, Darren Shaw, Sue Wall and Caroline, Matt, Emily, Archie & Jemima Baugh. Thank you all so much for your very kind donations!!