Sunset Moon By Dave Cornthwaite


I woke up this morning on the ceiling. It’s not often that happens, but it’s also not often that you roll out of bed, stagger down a narrow corridor occasionally slamming into a wall due to the inconsistent angle of the floor, and then pop up the stairs to a totally unrestricted view of ginormous waves.

Welcome to life at No. 1 Ocean Drive, home for ten days, the only place on the street. Now and then an albatross comes to say hi, swooping in on the wind with a wing span of near two metres, surfing the swell for a while before disappearing off towards the horizon. We’re over 1000 miles from land in every direction, where does an albatross sleep, exactly?

The horizon, twelve miles away. Our minds have no way to collar down that kind of distance with no permanent perspective. Each momentary landscape, all 450 miles squared of it, is rugged and ever changing. Today enormous waves have been crashing square onto the side of Sea Dragon, drumming the stiffness of water through everything inside. I can see the sea through the upper port window in the galley. Yes, I can see the ocean through the skylight. This is not South London.

Although we’ve not yet had completely clear skies the stars have been bright, as have the planets. Tonight Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter are all clearly visible, yet another reminder of how small we are, drifting on this planet of ours. Slowly, our lunchtime and 6 O Clock sessions are beginning to form a deeper picture of everyone on board. Each member of the crew has had a chance to share with us their passions and expertise, from photography to firefighting, celestial navigation to plastic pollution and adventure to buying businesses, our time at sea has been shaped both by the people we’re with and our individual abilities to adapt to such a foreign situation.

I’ll write more when back on land but for now it is bliss not sending any emails, nor receiving them. I’ve left tweeting duties to others, and the only mention of Facebook was during a social media session I took a couple of days ago. Bizarrely, I haven’t self combusted without my usual daily staples (I’m sure I’ll more than make up for this during Expedition #6 which begins in less than 4 weeks), the rolling seas and life on a small boat has me dreaming of new adventures now the largeness of the world is evident from sunrise to sunset.

Floating out here in a small pod upon a ruthless, unforgiving monster. If the movement of the ocean is the monster breathing, today it’s had a bit of exercise. We hear a storm is thumping 30 foot waves against the northern Californian coast hundreds of miles off to starboard, tonight I might just end up back on the ceiling.