FROM 2-2. Equator-Dutch Harbor

noon 1237.47 16450.27 28 days at sea

Dtd 2867 so dmg 101 and dmg overall 2952 out of 5819nm. All approximate…

At about this time in any long journey – for me, in a marathon, it kicks in around 25 k – one becomes conscious of distance travelled, which focuses the mind on distance yet to go and, for me anyway, there’s always a tendency to anxiety and depression. I’ve never started a marathon, let alone anything like this, knowing absolutely that I would finish it and there’s always that corrosive doubt travelling in company – what if…Then, in a marathon, perhaps around 37-38 km, certainty takes over and while the body slowly eats itself, there’s an end and an achievement in sight and the pain is diminished. We’re not anywhere near there yet on this gig.

As you may have gathered from my last, the downer is upon me. Everything is now so finely balanced and the feather brush of an sparrow’s wing one side or the other could make the difference. So it’s grind it out, metre by metre and keep grinding.

Have just finished ‘ Frozen in Time ‘ for the second time. Fascinating book – the victorian ideals of adventure, imperialism and self sacrifice examined through a 20th century analysis of what went so desperately wrong. And there’s an untold story behind it that I did not notice first time around. The victorians were pioneers in so many ways, some of them, like imperialism, no longer recognised as acceptable. But they were industrial pioneers as well and the hidden story seems to me to be that of Stephan Goldner who supplied the canned food for Franklin and many other Admiralty ventures. He must have been an interesting man, honest or dishonest, principled or unprincipled. How must he have felt under the criticism he must have endured? Was he stubbornly convinced in the face of the evidence, that he was right – canned foods do preserve the properties of the fresh version – or didn’t he care as long as he made a profit? How did he get started, did he go on to found an industrial giant or did he die in poverty after the danger of lead poisoning perhaps killed his business? I’d love to know more about him and will follow up when I can get back on line. There’s a project lurking in there somewhere.

And I think there’s a burst on ‘adventuring’ germinating somewhere as well. Time for daily Con – I feel a need for the Alchemist today – I need gold! Dr Steve, extract the elixir!

On which – real gold to talk to Leroy half an hour ago. Perspective all over again. Onya mate – keep kicking the can for us! That’s an Oz expression – hope it doesn’t offend any one else.

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