David Scully with the last communication before the crossing the round the world finish line this afternoon
This is, I hope, the last communication you will receive from me at sea. The micro-depression has released us, and we are again on course for le Stiff light with an ETA sometime this afternoon.
So, have I answered your questions? I think we covered the usual ones. What do you eat? Where do you sleep? Do you anchor for the night? What about going to the head? The only outstanding questions are: would you do it again, and why do it in the first place?
TO answer the first question first, yes, I would. This is my second successful circumnavigation, out of three attempts. The first was as a competitor in the BOC Singlehanded Race. The second was as part of “Tee Race”, which we were forced to abandon. I would do it again because the greatest luxury in life is to concentrate on one thing, and that, here on our little platform, we have been able to do. I would do it again because it is a privilege to experience our planet from this point of view, and to be a part of the great physical scheme that makes our world work. I would do it again because I love the action and the energy of sailing in the deep south.
Why do it? For the record? The record is a worthy goal, but beyond that has no real significance compared to the achievement of the goal. The late Dale Earnhardt, of stock car racing fame, once said something about the real miracle of car racing is not the car performance, but finding 20 guys who you can trust to drive, bumper to bumper, around a track together at 200 mph.
Breaking the record is an incidental consequence of the teamwork it took to achieve it.
When we launched Cheyenne, then Playstation, naval architect Robert Perry described her as possibly the most dangerous boat ever built. Having sailed her for four years and countless record attempts, I would not dispute his point of view, 12 guys and a girl have succeeded in getting her around the planet in a time a few hours in excess of her calculated theoretical potential of 58 days. The skill, resourcefulness, and determination of the all the crew came together to achieve the goal. I am proud to have been a part of that, and that is a good reason to do it.
When we were battering across the Indian Ocean, I had a real feeling of what it might have been like to be on a Clipper ship, halyards padlocked to the cleats in an all-consuming lust for performance. We are the clipper captains of the modern era, testing technology against nature, dancing on the edge of the precipice dividing seamanship and stupidity.
Another reason to do it is to be able to share it with you sailing enthusiasts, who, I hope, have been entertained, and, in some cases, inspired by our adventure. Judging by some of the mail we have received, there are those who have enjoyed a vicarious thrill via these pages. Thank you for your readership and support.
I leave you with a good line for returning adventurers, from T.S. Elliot’s “Four Quartets”.
“At the end of all our wanderings, we return to the place of our very beginning, and see it, as if for the first time.”