Feel the fear and do it anyway
When I first contemplated crossing the Tasman Sea in 2013, I had weeks of sleepless nights. I had read every book possible on sailing disasters and despite the long list of extra spares, tools and equipment to counteract every possible scenario, I felt uneasy until the day I departed. As soon as I cleared customs and cast off the dock-lines, fear quickly turned to excitement as I realised the great adventure that lay ahead. While I had sailed thousands of nautical miles prior to this, I have barely been out of sight of land.
What I discovered in November 2013 was the magic that comes with completing ocean passages. From the deadline driven pressure of the preparation and planning to the sheer wonder that unfolds hone you head to onto the open sea, under the brightest night stars you will ever seas on your own private circular piece of ocean. Your life quickly transforms into planning you next meal, lots of relaxation and sleep, studying what the weather is doing next and the daily tasks and schedule that comes with managing a yacht and crew offshore.
The colours and textures that are created by the sky, sea, wind and sun create a stunning natural kaleidoscope of endless combinations. Whales, dolphins, turtles, fish and sea birds add to the awe that comes with time on the ocean and away from land.
Its only once you get away from land that you realise how comfortable being at sea really is. Without land, reefs, rocks, shipping lanes, commercial trawlers and other recreational vessels to worry about, heading offshore and out of sight of anyone or anything for days on end is a feeling of both isolation and empowerment. Offshore blue water sailing in the right conditions is an addictive thing to do. The more you do, the more you realise you can do. Whether its 200m deep or 5,000 metres deep, or you are 10nm or 500nm from the nearest coastline, the view and the conditions are just the same in 10-20 knots. With todays weather forecasting tools, there is no sound reason for ending up in harms way with good planning and seamanship.