Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1000 Days At Sea

Reid Stowe will hit the 1000 days at sea mark on January 16, 2010. Congrats to you for having the grit and determination to see this thru. Reid start the trip with his girlfriend of a few months. They were hit by a ship in the first month and had to deal with repairs. Then the girlfriend was always sea sick and had to be taken off the boat. Turns out she was pregnant. A few months ago, his boat was hit by a rouge wave in the Southern Ocean and he had to scramble to save her. On one of his passages, he steered the boat in such a way that his breadcrumbs formed a giant heart in the middle of the ocean. He has now lost all his on board computer and communication to shore has been limited. He has had quite an adventure and has nurtured a love of the sea and all the things that go with it. He has decided to keep sailing until it stops being fun. Here are some of the highlights from 2009:
The year 2009 began on Day 619 with Reid facing gale winds in the Southern Pacific ocean as he made his way to Cape Horn. He safely rounded the Horn as the best sailors in the world raced right by competing for the Vendee Globe. Shortly after on day 661, as Reid sailed through heavy seas in the South Atlantic, a wave briefly capsized the schooner, leaving Reid safe, but shaken and more cautious than ever. Despite these challenges, he found the inner strength to continue on into the calmer waters of the Atlantic where he drew the shape of a heart with the course that he sailed. It was a creation inspired by Reid’s love of life, the ocean, the divine, and humanity.

Months went by until Day 800 was reached and Reid found himself in a place where he could rest for a while, not sew sails all the time, and engage in painting more. Another hundred days flew by filled with schooner maintenance and spiritual contemplations. Then he had a curious visitor, a blue heron. Most blue herons are shore birds, but one had found its way hundreds of miles from land. The blue heron, it seemed, wanted company and landed on the Anne. A short, but beautiful friendship blossomed between Reid and the heron. However, ten days later it died, and Reid sailed on.

Reid existed in a timeless place. He often said so and we on land knew it must be true since he always made a point of double-checking with us to see if the day or hour he thought he had was correct. On Day 964, Reid broke the record for the longest non-stop solo sea voyage in history. No one past or present, accompanied or alone, has been at sea without stopping or re-supplying for this long. Fortunately, he was able to share his experience with the world almost every day until Day 970 when the last working computer broke down. Now Reid will have to send his blogs in the spoken form through satellite telephone. On the positive side, we are still in regular communication with him, though it is limited due to the high cost of phone minutes.

As 2009 gives rise to 2010, Reid’s goal of staying at sea for 1000 Days is looking like an inevitable reality. Day 1000 falls on Jan. 16, 2010, but Reid will be staying out longer due to the fact that returning to NYC in winter weather makes for tricky sailing. Instead, he will return in the middle of June propelled by calmer winds.

We hope to see you there as Reid makes his return from the ocean back to civilization and we hop that you continue to follow this amazing voyage as Reid voyages beyond 1000 Days at sea.

Check out his site here.

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