Going Aloft, Chapter 10

This chapter captures one of my favorite memories of the voyage- the morning after the hellacious storm of the night before. There was this satisfied feeling of having survived something terrifying, of breaking through to the other side of a very tangible and real obstacle. And the sea was as beautiful as I have ever seen it:

“Each… crumbling crest was lining up with the rising sun in such a way that the morning light shone in directly behind it, backlighting it to the most emerald green color I had ever seen. This, combined with the white breaking sea foam and the endlessly deep, true blue of pure pelagic water, lit up my eyes with the heartbreaking beauty, the incomprehensible majesty of the ocean… It was like seeing colors for the first time.”

And to think that our brave captain had seen sights even greater and more sublime than this on his thousand-day voyage. I captured one such vignette in this chapter, of how his wonderful schooner got rolled over in a rogue wave off of Cape Horn. (In the spirit of honesty, he actually told me this story after the voyage had ended, but it’s a true story and I thought it fit better here, narrative-wise, so I did some creative dove-tailing. Call it artistic license. GA is still creative nonfiction, but for this example, the emphasis is on the first word.) Trying to capture his unique voice was one of the hardest things about writing this book. It’s the voice of experience, of an older man who has seen some wonderful things. He rarely says what you’d expect him to, and his language is full of nuance and lost patterns. I tried to do him justice.

Enjoy! Read all about it here.

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