WHAT’S IT’S ALL ABOUT
This project started with me building Yrvind Ten 2.85 meters long 1.9 meters beam for a record attempt. To be the first to sail around the world in a boat less than ten feet long. It was really against my convictions, but I begun it for love of money. After three years my convictions proved to be stronger than my love of money. I cut up Yrvind Ten, drove the pieces to the dump and started on a longer, but much smaller boat, Exlex 5.7 meters long with only 1 meter beam.
The building of Yrvind Ten had been a difficult design project. It had forced me to start from first principles. Thanks to first principles thinking I had been able to find many good solutions to old problems.
During building of Yrvind Ten – it was really procrastinating – to empirically verify my many good ideas on fine days in sheltered water, I built Exlex, longer than Yrvind Ten but actually very much smaller.
I had counted on money from a book that was going to pay for the ocean-going version but unfortunately my publisher refused the manuscript. In desperation I made her a bit longer – the boat, not my publisher – and decided that a voyage to the antipode would suffice as a test-sail.
It was not a well-thought-out plan. Consequently I ran into a lot of problems. As if that was not enough, during the building I came up with new smarter solutions that interfered with what already was done. Often I was able to backtrack and correct, but not without making the boat unnecessarily heavy and tender. “Never change a drawing” is vise advice, unfortunately it impedes progress.
Suddenly, completely unexpected, seven years had passed while I happily, leisurely, full of joy had been messing with my boats and spent all my money.
Now with the boat almost complete I am overwhelmed by an irresistible urge to sail the true, eternal, endless, blue, wet, deep ocean, to feel the rhythm of the waves, the wind on my body and to see the stars wandering across the black sky.
These are deep fundamental emotions that I am not able to feel on land. Civilization has removed me from my childhood’s nature on the island I grow up on. The world has changed, but the endless, blue, wet, deep ocean is still the same as when I was young. I am fine in my workshop, but outside its walls I am nostalgic for things past.
When I am leaving Dingle, Ireland in early June, I will have the endless, eternal ocean in front of me. June is the ideal time to start, summer has just begun, the days are long, the sea is blue, soon I bee down in the tropics and crossing the equator. This will give me plenty of time to adapt my body and mind to the nautical environment. After five month at sea, in November I will bee rounding the Cape of Good Hoop and heading east in the Indian Ocean. Luckily the sun is has then moved to the southern hemisphere and will be blessing me with another summer.
In the Southern Ocean there will be storms and icebergs, but by then I will have adapted. I will be strong and at one with the sea and I will be able to marvel at the enormous energy that nature displays and how wonderfully my little boat copes with it all.
Finally as autumn sets in – March in NZ – if all has gone well, landfall will be near.
When I arrive in New Zealand I have verified that my next design is superior, to handle heavy weather, to give me more health and pleasure, than bigger, boring, wasteful, expensive unsafe boats.