It’s the small things

Dec 14

Well, a great surprise this morning ‘an inbox full of mail’. It really makes my day. It takes a while to rally the troops and get the sail mail going but oh it is so nice to wake up to a screen full of mail.

Real newsy stuff about ordinary daily life and a good catch up on the time in between our last contact. It’s been two weeks since I left Fremantle. It feels good, and I definitely know I am a lucky man to have this opportunity to be out here again.

Looking back on the last two weeks I can see that there was an awkward transition from the sudden working life on land to the open ocean solitude and adventure of sailing in the southern ocean. Hard to quantify what a huge leap that was. It is such a dramatically different head space. The elements that make up  this environment, the Southern Ocean, are all so overwhelming and in your face immediately. It takes all your strength and concentration to, at best, meet them at their own level.

Being on your own and coming to grips with that really makes you think about what you’re doing, why am I doing this. For me I seem to have a romantic view of life and throw myself into it with all my heart only to find of course, the romance is there, but so is the reality. The reality is that I am alone, and yet I love to be with people. Some would say it is a control thing and there is a certain amount of truth in that. Control of your own destiny is very rewarding and there is no one out here to blame for where you find yourself.


I have to admit there are some amazing conversations that go on in my head about being out here alone. It’s scary, not the drowning or hurt yourself kind of scary, but how can I keep this together in my head and get the boat to New Zealand to meet Lou. I have all the same insecurities most people have. What will people think, how could I leave my wife. The very idea of surviving out here is a little daunting. Can I make the right decisions, for instance what the hell is for dinner? Am I going in the right direction etc. For a guy who is dyslexic, this question takes on some scary connotations.

But without fail I choose all or nothing. The world is made up of lots of different people and I think I might be a little different. One thing for sure is I am far from perfect, (I’m sure MaryLou can corroborate that).        

The other thing is, what the hell am I going to do with all that time?  For sure I’m not going steer the boat hour after hour and sit in the cockpit while the Southern Ocean dumps cold salty water on me every few seconds.  I spend most of my time down below doing anything that does not require standing up! Lying down is the best way to take the Southern Ocean and preferably with a very good book that takes you away from the madness of the noise and killer motion for at least twelve hours a day.


As in life, it’s the small things that make a day notable and touch our souls. A visit from an albatross the most graceful of god’s creatures. A sunset blazing into the ocean painting the sky with a thousand colours of red and purple. A moon rise at night all orange and blazing right out of the sea, the aurora of the night sky, the streak of a comet meeting its demise after millions of years of roaming the universe, a school of dolphin escorting you gracefully on your way, the tranquility and majesty of a whale surfacing alongside the boat looking at you with an acknowledging glance,  a clear contact on the ham radio with a dear friend I have yet to meet but know so well. The list goes on.

Once again the great part is to write about these feelings and sights and share them with you. Thank you for your thoughtful support and kind comments.

Cheers and fond regards, Glenn.


  1. Glenn, isn’t it interesting that it takes a time where the majestic world is around us, scaring us at times, sharing its beauty and rawness for us to see that we are just so small and humble. And that it sometimes takes experiences like this one you are enduring to not only feel it but to acknowledge and communicate about our little self and all that we are about. The secret is to live those moments when we return to life on shore to remember how insignificant all those big things in our lives really are……or seem. Totally been there :) Thanks for sharing.

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