Best wishes from Ocean Planet
As we ply the sea on our fragile boats in the rough ocean, lately I am aware of how fragile my spirits can be. With flayed nerves I listen to every creak and groan on of the boat, for new suspicious noises or reoccurring known ones, hoping that all is well.
When it is bad weather, and it often is down here…. and as the boat leans with every big wave, I grip the edge of the bunk, bulkhead, or tiller and wonder if this the one that won’t stop pushing until the boat is on its side again. It is the worst when you are trying to sleep and there is the sudden crash of water on the side of the boat with no warning. It is usually just a big splash, but every now and then the ocean makes you keenly aware of its awesome power, letting you know that at any time she could bury you with tons of water.
Against these psychological stresses, I am not sure how I would do without the support of all those who I know are wishing me well. The holiday emails and sincere encouragement that we have had lately aboard Ocean Planet make a big difference to me and give me strength.
I can only begin to say how much I appreciate the support of the many that are part of the Ocean Planet dream. On this Christmas Eve I send my THANKS, and best wishes to all of you who are following us in the Vendee Globe.
Often, I am told that I am very brave or courageous to be sailing the Vendee. The truth is that I am no more brave, perhaps less so, than anyone else. Perhaps it is precisely my fear that makes me do this, and the sense that facing those fears and challenges will prove something to myself. For all those that read my stories, the truth is that my jokes and lighthearted approach are really my own messages to myself, for only with humor and a sense of irony can one face the realities of the southern oceans, alone, on a sailboat.
Which reminds me of my favorite answer to my supporters as to WHY I am sailing the Vendee Globe?
So YOU won’t have to.
All the best from Bruce and Ocean Planet
Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet