Alex, our skipper, asked me an interesting question yesterday. He asked, "Why do you do this, why do you sail?" He said that for him, his earliest memories were always thinking about the oceans and the clipper ships coming to and from . He said he was inspired by the early Roman and Greek explorers and this was the basis for his love of the water. He also said that he recently new found respect and admiration for the Whalers. While in the in the two months ago Alex saw the outer limits of these whaling vessels territory and was on the actual island where embarked on his whaling journey that would be the basis for Moby Dick. Two months later, while standing in the he really saw the other bookend to what he saw in the Pacific. I thought a bit about his question and although I sailed as a young man in , it wasn´t until my Uncle Joe Melick gave me copies of Patrick O´Brien´s Master and Commander and The Far Side of the World books that I really gained an interest in sailing and particularly racing. Although certainly a romantic vision of life on board a British Man of War, I found it fascinating that O´Brien used all of the correct nautical terminology for these ships. Most of the time I found myself with two books on my lap -- an O´Brien book and a copy of the Guide to Ships and the Sea. Aside from the idealistic thought of life at sea, I loved the idea of pushing hard to reach a destination or a chase and I think that somehow manifested itself into the reasons why I would voluntarily spend 3 weeks away from my wife and family to do what I love. I owe a lot to my Uncle Joe for giving me those 2 books so long ago.
On a sad note, Ashley let me know this morning she was unable to break away from work to join me in at the finish. A sober reminder to me of the commitments I have myself at IBM and at home and am eager to return and get back to the real life.