Here it is, ya’ll: the penultimate chapter. Hard to believe I’ve been doing this every two weeks all year long. I’ll save the waxing poetic for the final installment, but I’d like to preemptively thank you all for joining me on this ride, and I hope you’ll stick around for the next one, too.
In this chapter I play around with form more than I have in other chapters. The first three little segments are meant to be imagined as being written on the backs of postcards home, and the bracketed text describes the photograph on the front. And then the final long section is a scene at night, what might be the climax of the book: when I realize that the Captain is just a man, like me, and realize my own future potential unfolding before me over the dark and infinite ocean.
One of the major points of this book is that humanity is capable of doing marvelous, dazzling things if we only focus our minds and hands on them. Feats which only exist in the imagination are quite capable of becoming real through dedication and hard work, and to me, that’s as close to magic as we’re going to get. The character of the Captain is kind of a shaman guide for doing just that. If you couldn’t tell already, he’s my own pseudonym for a close personal friend, mentor, and holder of the world record for longest sea voyage in history, Reid Stowe (Wikipedia page here for those interested). And while what Reid did isn’t always understood by everybody he comes across in real life or on the web (looking at you, SailingAnarchy), that fact makes his accomplishment no less magnificent. And he’s just a guy, like you and me, who worked hard and wrangled his dream into reality. Remember, this book is a work of nonfiction. All this stuff actually happened, in the same world you and I live in. The potential to do great things is within all of us; it’s in our own hands whether we make it happen or not.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy it. Only one chapter left in Going Aloft. But first, read this one here.