My challenge begins… a humungous flight from Utah through Istanbul to Cape Town. This is the first of no doubt many opportunities to reflect upon my life, and my privileged course within it so far.
News of horror, pain and suffering surfaces daily on every front, not least of those struggling with drought in places I cruise over in my palace in the sky. Meanwhile I enjoy another out of sync meal washed down with unneeded wine!
Incredibly, we crossed the North African coast 9 hours ago …and it’s another hour until we will land in Cape Town. Here, in a weeks time, the Clipper Round the World fleet of 11 racing yachts will straggle into the bustling Waterfront, after 18 tough days across the South Atlantic from Uruguay.
I am about to pitch into what they have endured over the last few weeks, since leaving London on Sept 1st, with no real concept of what is about to happen to me. If I really knew what is going to hit me as we head East around Cape Aghulas -Africa’s southernmost point – maybe I would stay out on safari, and then head home for skiing, the office and Pickleball.
Yes, I did five weeks of intense training and now I can haul on the sheets, grind the winches and helm within the few degrees of accuracy needed to keep our speed up, but undoubtedly not well enough for the now experienced crew I will soon be joining!
I have slept a few nights, or should I say a few hours, at 45 degrees in crashing waves, cleaned the heads, tried to bake spuds in an under temperature oven, and learned how I must keep calm if I was to fall overboard …. so I should be ready… right??
Our crew will be 20 ish, split into 2 shifts, some are going all around the world… my hero’s… and some like me are “leggers”, joining for some legs of the journey.
But why? you may ask, and I still do too…I suppose it is because I still can, after a prostate cancer scare and approaching 70 next month, I’d better do it now!
My life has been so lucky and so easy to date, enjoying a certain level of success and comfort; never in the military, enduring and witnessing unimaginable horrors or having to push myself to my limits…. whatever they might turn out to be!
During my 3 trips to Antarctica I was so inspired by the great Southern ocean, it’s beauty, and the bravery of the explorers such as Shackleton and Scott who struggled there. So yes, I signed up … and paid for this, wanting to embrace something similar, and to explore those limits and the oceans as well ….time will tell.
This is also to raise money for my two favourite charities, Fistula and Wheelchairs… so please, help me to help them.
Free Wheel Chair Mission and Fistula Foundation and not to forget the official sponsor UNICEF. Your support for each, or all, will be much appreciated. Perhaps you could consider these for family Xmas presents, or for your annual giving?
The race started in London on Sept 1 …. here is the link to update you on the race so far, and ongoing after I leave Cape Town at 4 pm from The Cape Town Waterfront on November 17 – https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings press on our boat name – Imagine your Korea – in the listing,
Tim Lapage… in Cape Town