Love is… phenomenal

Have I got your attention?  Charlotte, my daughter, was wondering whether my study would be a ‘kiss and tell’ story. Sadly this isn’t quite my intention. So how about a love story?

‘This is my passion, my drug’… one of our Clipper skippers wrote….most ‘will never see nature unleashed like this… this is what makes us human…these wild ocean vistas get tattooed on your soul’.  Some of us who sail love being at sea with a depth that is unfathomable to others.

The endless expansiveness of sea, sky, multitude of different greys and blues and extraordinary sunsets, sunrises and stars where you wonder about the infinite universe, the wind that is harsh, bracing, or benign, gentle, soft. The sound of the sea caressing the hull – ok – so sometimes back on planet earth there is also the crazy mayhem of crashing and slamming into confused seas. Nevertheless truly awake, can we take in the diversity which brings those moments of being completely tuned into the sea, your boat, friends and team mates?  when there is sense of peace, quiet, focused yet totally lost in that moment -exquisite, sublime, surreal?

Yes for sure on this race there are more conventional love stories – exciting in there own way perhaps – but not for today.  Can we stay curious and open to the many shapes, forms, meanings, realities and interpretations of love?

Now in Seattle we toast those who have wrestled with the extremes, the full spectrum of Mother Nature, to arrive here safely across the North Pacific. They have experienced everything from wind holes to hurricane force winds and phenomenal seas. Previously I had no idea of all the different categories of sea state, from calm, slight, through to rough and at the top of the scale, anything above 14m is called ‘phenomenal’. So when I use this word in future I will be reminded of all that it signifies… something that is way beyond most people’s reality.

Phenomenal can also mean perceptible through the senses. So as I prepare for my next sail I am reflecting on how our senses come first, giving us an infinite source of learning and development, feeding our secondary thinking capacity. Perhaps I will experiment with turning down the thinking and paying more attention to sensing!

A special mention for my sailing heroes the Leg 6 Qingdao team, who arrived first into Seattle – our first first. The toughest race so far. Words superfluous, when their eyes tell the stories, ranging from exhilaration to exhaustion.

‘Winning is a habit’ …so no pressure for those of us that join for Leg 7!

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