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Happy (Belated) Birthday to Me

07:13 17th August 2008 by Oceangybe
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Words by: Hugh

Lat: 08 degrees 40.5 minutes S
Long: 115 degrees 26.2 minutes E

Hello faithful Oceangybe Blog readers, once again I find myself in front of the computer after much too long a break from an update.

So, where to start? Geez, well there have been many events and experiences that have caused me to pause contemplate the different facets of this adventure and probe there impact on me more deeply. In fact, I have a total of 5 incomplete blogs on the go at the moment, all waiting for the right combination of time, literary inspiration and flat surf. I fear this combination is unlikely to occur any time soon. But wait, since you’re reading this, there must have been some symbiotic collusion to bring forth these words…. Well, that, or the constant probing and a challenge/ultimatum from my fellow crew to get on with it already! So it is finally time to complete at least one.

Rightl well, yes, it is true, I recently celebrated my 30th (!) birthday here in Indonesia. Firstly I would like to congratulate Cessie Goddard, the matriarch of the Robertson Family, for being the first to wish me a happy birthday. Thanks Cessie! I’m very much looking forward to meeting you at Pezulu in December. To the rest of my family and friends who took the time to send their wishes, Thank You! Home is where your friends and family are, so it feels great to know that everyone halfway around the world spared a moment to connect. Also of note was the effort put forth by the rest of the Khulula crew, Ryan, Bryson and Steph (3rd mate/cook/deckhand/official photographer in Indonesia) for pulling out all the stops on August 4th, to make it a spectacular day… followed by a rather raucous night. I’ll spare you all the details, but sufficed to say, it involved multiple Bintang’s, 1 kg of flour, a birthday cake and lots of rowdiness.

“How does it feel to be 30?” Sure, I heard that question more than a few times; you tend to on these ‘significant’ days. It feels awesome. Mostly because it feels so very long ago that I was 28. That’s what truly stood out about this August 4th; how long ago the previous one was. As I reflected on my 29th year, I thought of how very far we’ve come, and how long it has been. Last year this day found us anchored in the Marquesa’s Islands of the South Pacific, still in shock and elated at the completion of our first ocean passage. And since then, all of the Society Islands, the Cooks, Tonga, New Zealand and the friends and adventures there… I could go on.

So what? Yes, we’re fortunate enough to have traveled to many different places and had some wonderful experiences.

It is often said that time speeds up as you grow older. We have often ruminated over this very concept aboard Khulula, and it is one of very reasons we all chose to leave our secure jobs and steady lives to embark this adventure. Our observation is that routine speeds up the passage of time. This was no more evident than back in the city where the 9 – 5 routine was only punctuated by weekends escaping the city for short adventures. Months would pass in the blink of an eye and at the end of the summer, my only memories would be of the great weekend trips, and the work days would be blended into one. And this was not that I didn’t enjoy the work, just that the time would fly by in the city. Day’s do seem to slip away from us here in the tropics too, especially since the daylight only lasts for 12 hours, but as you’re living them, not in your memory. It was a full moon last night, reminding us that the last full moon we saw (28 days ago) was while anchored off the island of Savu, which seems like eon’s ago!

On flip side, we do experience the speeding up of time here on Khulula while passage making. Day’s blend into each other as the routine of sail, eat, sleep, sail, eat sleep along with a general fatigue sets in. Why? We’ve observed that in the routine of passages the demarcation of days is gone, making them all blend into one. Your memory creates your impression of time. Memories delineate the passage of time… fill up you memory with lots of different memories and the perception is of a long time and lots done.

So, want to slow things down a bit? Sail around the world! Ha, no, don’t do that! But fill your days, and make the most of the routine. Do more!