By Yvon Chouinard
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You spot stuff you by no means might have obvious had you no longer sailed there. yet those are moments, brain you. And this can be just one opinion coming from someone who loves the sea, has spent a large amount of time within the ocean, yet who will get queasy on the very point out of a crossing. Such are my techniques as we lose sight of land, observing Mexico’s Sierra Madre fade within the some distance distance, crossing the Gulf of Tehuantepec, angling out over open ocean towards Islas del Coco off Costa Rica. We batten down the hatches and get ready for what may be the various roughest waters of the total trip. My queasy belly rises to my throat as we reef within the mainsail. I’m considering that Hawai‘i-to-Tahiti crossing, one of many maximum reports of my complete lifestyles, and the way in Papeete over chilly Hinano beers I vowed by no means to do this back. by no means. And shit, examine me now: once more the sufferer of selective reminiscence. What an imbecile. Trolling for fish with a hand line off the again of the Seabear. Off the coast of Mexico. photograph: Jeff Johnson The Seabear anchored between diving and fishing boats in Chatham Bay. Isla de Coco, Costa Rica. photograph: Jeff Johnson IT’S now not AN experience Dave McGuire assesses the wear to the Seabear’s damaged mast. 400 nautical miles wanting Rapa Nui. picture: Jeff Johnson I took the helm for the 6 am watch. in the course of the watch switch, Allen Szydlowski advised me that he and Timmy had reefed the mainsail and decreased the headsail; powerful winds gusted to greater than 30 knots. The boat velocity was once our quickest but. notwithstanding the gusts had dropped a section, he stated to take heed. If we obtained overpowered back, i used to be to wake him up, and we’d soak up extra headsail. I stepped out of the cockpit to take a piss and regarded ahead: the complete starboard rail was once awash. It used to be not anything strange, simply sturdy crusing. yet i spotted the boat pace had dropped a few, the wind had sponsored off, and the headsail was once luffing – the rigging clanging opposed to the mast. The wind attitude had moved ahead, so I altered the path a couple of clicks to starboard – west – to fill the sails once more. At eight am every thing seemed reliable. I went lower than deck to make myself a bowl of cereal. part an hour later, i used to be sitting on the helm back, consuming my cereal and looking front window of the enclosed cockpit. other than tiny patches of sky, all i may see have been the mast and the headsail shadowing the cockpit. The headsail used to be taut, pulling the Seabear ahead as we plowed via white-capped waves. It was once going to be a pleasant day, ultimately a few sunshine. Then I heard a noisy bang. For a cut up moment my view out the window used to be obscured through a flurry of white sails and steel – the sound used to be deafening, like fighter jets. The Seabear had righted herself and stopped. Blue sky and puffy clouds stuffed the cockpit window. all of it occurred so quick: no indications, no lengthy and drawn-out creaking noise. only a loud bang, and in a question of seconds the 70-foot mast was once damaged in part and down at the starboard part. The mainsail, headsail, the entire rigging – every little thing now within the ocean.