(Full size image available in my SmugMug gallery)
I've been totting up the list of casualties on the crossing from San Francisco to Hawaii - things that need to be replaced, repaired, or added before I set out on Stage Two next May.
It's a long list, and the sponsorship blues are setting in already. This morning I found myself yearning to be back out on the ocean. Then this afternoon I had a LONG brainstorming session with a friend to come up with some initial targets for sponsorship, and am now feeling more positive and energized about the prospect - well, marginally, anyway!
I realized that there is no point in running away from hard work - it is all a means to an important end, so I'll just have to buckle down and tackle it the same way I tackled the million-stroke row itself: one stroke at a time.
I've attached my spreadsheet as the picture to this blog. Hopefully you can Save As and read it if you are interested. And if you feel like making a donation or even signing up to a regular subscription to help out, please do!! Donate buttons are on the right ---->
The message for the next stage is going to be all about Green Energy, and using my row to help educate youngsters about taking responsibility - for their own futures and for the future of the planet. A vitally important message!
Today (Saturday) is Coastal Cleanup Day in California. Details available here.
If you don't live in California, or not even near a beach, that doesn't let you off the hook! Maybe you can go a short walk around your neighbourhood and pick up any trash that you see lying around. Even if you live miles from the ocean, trash blows into storm drains which lead to streams which lead to rivers which lead to the ocean....
So if we all do our little bit, we really can make the world a better (or at least cleaner) place!
I flew back to the mainland US yesterday, to a relatively chilly San Francisco, then headed north to Bolinas for a couple of nights. 99 days to make this journey east to west, 5 hours west to east.
And an incredible "small world" moment. My mother found herself on the same flight as Lt Stephen Baxter, the pilot of the USCG helicopter that airlifted a reluctant me from my boat last year. He and I have stayed in email contact since then, and I knew he had been in Oahu to help out after the tragic death of four of his colleagues in a helicopter crash. But for him and Mum to actually find each other on a huge plane... it was nearly as incredible as the meeting of the JUNK and the Brocade in mid-Pacific.
As I wake up this morning to a foggy day, Hawaii seems a long way away, metaphorically as well as geographically. But to bring back a ray of sunshine, Mum has been busy uploading some pics to SmugMug - check out these photos of my arrival in Waikiki on Sept 1, courtesy of photographer Phil Uhl.
Finally, a huge thank you to the Thompson sisters, Remi and Jamie, who helped me clean my boat and get her ready for storage in Hawaii before I left. And to Gary and Mike for managing the logistics of moving the Brocade around the island.
Also a swift but equally big THANK YOU to Ian Tuller who has loaned me his beautiful Mini Cooper convertible for the duration of my stay in the Bay Area. We had real fun on the bends on the way to Bolinas!
It struck me that my Pacific row is the perfect metaphor for how we as individuals are empowered to have a positive effect on the environment. We are so bombarded with bad news that it is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless, that there is nothing we can do that will be more than a drop in the ocean, so to speak.
My journey from San Francisco to Hawaii took me approximately a million oarstrokes. I could have stood under the Golden Gate Bridge and told myself that one oarstroke would make no difference. But you put enough small actions together, and they add up to something truly significant. So by taking one stroke at a time, I have slowly but surely made my way across 2,600 miles of ocean to Hawaii.
Likewise, right now we are killing the earth by a thousand million cuts. We can turn this situation around, but people need to believe that their every single action counts. Every time they refuse a plastic bag and use a re-usable one instead, every time they buy organic, every time they walk instead of using the car, they are making a positive decision that will help save the earth.
And similarly, if you have a dream, if you want to change your life but can't see how to get from where you are to where you want to be, just take the first tiny little action that will put you on that path. Pick up the phone and make that call, go online and look for that new job, decide that today you will limit yourself to just the one cookie. You will rarely achieve a goal in a single quantum leap. More likely you will need to make many, many incremental steps towards your goal. Always keep your goal in mind, but don't focus on it. Focus instead on the present moment, and make sure that your moments are taking you in the right direction, and little by little you will get there.
One stroke at a time.
[photo by Phil Uhl]