A little taste of Freedom

“What are you looking at? He asked.

I found it surprisingly hard to answer this question.

“Nothing”, I replied. And so, after a few moments of contemplation, he joined me and we both stood together and stared……. at nothing.

It’s difficult to explain, to those who have never sailed an ocean passage, how it changes you.

When I bought Dalliance back to the UK in 2016, a friend, who had never sailed before joined me. I dropped him a call to see if he wanted to help me bring Dalliance back across the Atlantic.

“Give me 10 mins” he replied.

Ten minutes later he called me back.

“I’m in”.

It’s quite a feat of tenacity to take 10 minutes to decide whether to commit 6 weeks of your existence to something you have never even tried before.

It was both an eventful and somewhat uneventful trip back (as are most offshore voyages). We had butter flat seas, huge seas, no wind, too much wind, fixed things that failed, failed to fix things that failed and spent an incredible amount time just being.

The last point made there is perhaps the most poignant. Life at sea is peaceful and fraught, relaxing and stressful, satisfying and frustrating, everything and nothing. Whether tough or easy, there is no getting away from it. You have no option but to be in that very moment.

It’s day three of our trip to the States….. it’s 17:00 and only by starting to write this blog have I remembered that the world is in lockdown.

We are not wearing masks, we have no access to the media and so we are not being hounded by relentless news, we are not subject to curfews or lockdowns, we are about as free as one can be.

It’s the time spent staring at the endless 360 degree horizons that I referred to at the beginning of this blog. It took two weeks for my mate to ask me. I guess it would be fair to assume that when staring out to sea, when you are on watch, you would be looking for ships or other hazards on the horizon. But no: for me, it’s probably the closest I ever get to super deep meditation. The changing light in the sea, the ever changing skies, the total lack of land….. anywhere!. Literally nothing matters in that moment other than just being.

I can’t speak for others, but I have really struggled with the draconian measures that we have been subject to lately. I, as have many, have taken the notion of freedom for granted my whole life.

I am currently sat on deck staring at the horizon, a gentle breeze pushing us along at barely faster than walking pace. The kids are playing in the saloon, Liz is reading a book and all is perfectly well in our immediate world, right here, right now.

Right here, right now, we are free.



36610cookie-checkA little taste of Freedom

2 responses so far.

  1. Nette says:

    Ryan you have a new career emerging – writing a book! Keep safe.

  2. Carol says:

    I agree with Nette – you have been hiding your light under a bushel Ryan!!! xx

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