Going Aloft, Chapter 9

The one question everyone asks when they hear I’ve sailed the sea is, “Did you encounter any storms out there?” The answer to that, of course, is yes, we did. Yes, it was overwhelming. Yes, I was afraid. But I was also in awe, and in love with where I was and who I was with and what I was doing. A storm at sea is simultaneously beautiful and terrifying- it is the very definition of sublimity, that rare experience I try to chase most in my life. When you’re on a small sailing ship several hundred miles out in the ocean and the weather gets rough, some powerful emotions come into play. I’ve tried to capture them in this chapter.

I think the reason everyone asks this is because it shows them what kind of a person I really am. How did I manage in the face of something which can kill me? Was I nervous? Frightened? Did I laugh in the face of danger, or did I have respect for it? How we deal with opposition and danger defines us as individuals, reveals our true characters. We ask each other questions to get to know each other better, and what better way to get to know someone than in knowing them in the most extreme parts of their life?

Read it here.

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