13th -17th June
29 05’474 N 128 01’447W
Milestones-The waterline/ Hatches & rouge waves/MOB take 2 -Injuries /Slow is pro / It’s all shifting / Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs / Story of the clever turd! / Shifting spaces / Into the light.. Breakthrough/ Flicker on! / Shifting goalposts/ Threading the needle/ There’s a Storm a brewing!
The waterline is a term I use differently from most.. While it normally means where the boat above water meets the ocean, for me it’s very different.. it’s actually on of the three key milestones on Expeditions like this.. On the craft, I pack Emergency water for the trip, which also act as ballasts from the craft for the first tough 1/3 of the journey when conditions are the roughest. They make the Impifish sit slightly deeper and more stable in the water, & if my water maker fails I have backup water for a good period without stress.. safety backups for me are everything.
So I pack 50litres of emergency water, which is a lot, always! And once I get to a point where I know I’ve made it through the first two weeks (the hardest part where most shit can go wrong), then I know if my water maker fails, I have just enough water – just over 1 Litre per day for the rest of the trip, to not have to pull the plug on the expedition if my water maker fails.. I can just fall back on the emergency water till the end of the trip, which now should be less than 50days, so I’m covered. And even then, I also have a very small, very energy intensive handheld unit, as a backup to this! Water is the key to survival, & without it your expedition is screwed, so this is the #1 key item to get right to a successful project, always.
With food you can always go onto rations, catch fish.. but water not.
So I’ve finally made it past the Waterline and am safe for the rest of the trip. One key successful milestone ticked.. stoked!
I’ve been in thick wet fog again for the last 2 days with lots of breeze, and 3m seas. It’s cold, wet, nasty, and really unpleasant, besides constantly worrying about having enough power from solar to run systems, getting enough sleep, keeping warm, making water, the ships in the fog.. fixing things constantly, not being able to get the wind you need to keep you on course.. it’s constant stress and trying to calm/control your anxiety levels.
To keep a level head and persevere through it all day while doing 12-15hr shifts is the hardest thing to manage and maintain..
But this afternoon we had a breakthrough .. after being in that horrible wet, cold fog for far too long, just after 5pm, I saw a line up ahead where it looked like it was lifting…
And sure enough, 15 mins later, the line ahead of me was above me and it literally just cleared – 180 degrees ahead of me and to all sides, I came right through it and out of it, like drawing a line in the sand… except it was a line in the sky and ocean.. and looking behind me, there was a clear frontal fog line, like a barrier, like deep dark forest and I had come out into the light from the shadows….
It was like a line in the sand / ocean, right then and there had been drawn and stated.. You have passed through the worst of it my son.. you have proven you are worthy & may now pass!
And from this point in, it’s all started shifting.. the ocean / the air and sea temperature, my mental space and everything with it – another key milestone.
Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs! It’s pretty interesting to watch you move through the phases from the beginning of the trip and watch the shits happen mentally..
1st hierarchy – is Survival.
I’ve been in that for the first 10-12 days. Constant stress & adrenaline, worrying and burning the candle on all ends just to focus on survival.. -Safety -survival / then shelter / food & water – all things sanitary are the first to go out the window when you’re worried about survival.. where you wee / how you wee.. if you wee on yourself in the wind/ waves, all that stuff means nothing.. even your body recognizes the severe state that you’re in. And if you think you need to go for a # 1, as you haven’t been in 3 days, and the weather is gnarly like it has been, your body goes – “Hell No!” Too dangerous to be dropping the kids off out there!
We’ll wait for when it’s warmer and conditions look a little less scary before we go for a swim over the side, and your body just absorbs and holds it in and you don’t need to go.. it’s super fascinating and clever- as it recognizes the danger and severity of the situation, & reacts/adapts accordingly.. & that’s the sort of the clever Turd! Haha
Your body adapts too.. 2-3 weeks in, after shouting at the pain of being sore all over all the time due to the 12-15hr shifts of exercise.. stiff and sore all over. It’s your body telling you to stop, but this period now is ending. It’s staring to do what I call – Level up/ Scale.. it just starts scaling up to what it needs to, in order for this to become its new norm.. and adapt to it! This is my favorite time, to feel and see this shift happen. Your body is incredible.. what it’s capable of, if you prepared to take it to this place..
mentally I’ve now started shifting out of Survival mode and into the transition phase, where I can now manage everything and get into a routine of what/ how things need to be done daily.
Addressed all the major issues. Got to a position out of extreme danger and have all my main systems in order and working, and know I can maintain them and myself in this state for an extended period of time and now need to just focus on getting the job done, not slipping, being vigilant on my safety protocols daily, and focusing on the very key waypoints in order to get me into the better weather and get to the point of moving into the Trades.
That evening, after coming out of the fog, I got treated to my only second sunset I have seen since leaving Santa Cruz 17days ago.. it was like a gift from the gods and I greeted and appreciated it with equal measure of wonder, appreciation and awe!
People talk about Rogue waves, and they are very real.. all the time out here.. they can be small, too.. just double the size of whatever else is the norm at the time & they catch you off guard a lot.. Having the main hatch just a touch open to get some ventilation & bam! Everything is suddenly wet.. you have to be so careful and vigilant all the time.. as one wave, if it hits you right can flood your main cabin/ electronics and game over!
Things got a little windy and wild yesterday, and I got caught just at the wrong moment by a lurching wave square on while making due West across the conditions..
It was pretty bad.. the craft went over sideways, I grabbed on with one hand while still hooked into my harness. I grabbed the side of the craft, and then the foil as it went over 90degrees. Then, as it started to come back upright I fell down, my calf catching the side of the cleat on the rail..then half of me went over board again.. into the water trying to unclog myself at the same time.. when it goes wrong out here it goes wrong very quickly. I thought I had cut myself open pretty bad.. you know that feeling when you don’t want to take up your trousers as you too scared to see how bad it is?
Yip, that feeling.. but it wasn’t as bad as I thought and just left a big mark and bruise, thank goodness. But as I was trying to quickly pull myself back up, I pulled my lat/ bicep… just strained it, but it shows you what can happen so quickly at any time… reminding myself to be more careful, slow down.. slow and steady wins the race.. safety first and slow is pro & will save you on these kinds of expedition, as there is no race to win here.. and No one wins if I don’t get to the other side in one piece.. So slow it down in big breeze. When you rush & push it too much for too long, bad shit happens!
Be the Tortoise & not the hare!
Collateral so far.. besides myself:
1x Shelta Hat gone – overboard in an odd gust that plucked it off my head, even with the string attached
Clothing – I have been in full foul weather sailing gear, 3 layers top and two layers on my bottoms, in boots, gloves and a harness everyday now for almost 3 weeks.. it’s insane and only today for the first time, did I layer down by one layer, as it’s been so wet and cold all the time
Milestones – I have made it to the key waypoint on the chart –
Lat/ Long 30 North & 25West, which means I am starting to escape all the coastal weather and starting to move closer to the Trades.
Water Temp has has increased by 2.1 degrees Celsius. 13th June Water Temp, 17.5 degrees & 16th June Water Temp, 19.3 degrees. And the air temp has also started finally getting warmer
I’ve worked out that when I get too fast and it gets a little wild I break stuff and myself self.. so, learning to try and manage this better and slow it all down…
My indicator is on.. can you see it on the tracker?
Haha it’s me indicating to merge right into the on-ramp for the Tradewinds Super Highway.. I’m almost there. One more week I reckon and I’ll be in it.. I think I can I think I can, I know I can.. I will get there, cause I have to get more west to get into it to get to Hawaii, that’s the goal.. as far West as possible, at Warp speed, Captain!
And as Leven Brown my Routing guy said on his last update this morning .. ‘There’s some weather heading your way, Captain, and it’s going to get a wee bit boisterous,’ so hold onto your hat Bertish, but nothing you haven’t dealt with before .. so until next time.. I’m getting storm ready!
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