Take Me 2 New Yorkon April 14, 2014
The sea has calmed tonight as we sit and recover from another long days rowing. Quietly taking in the special place we find ourselves. The most central part of the North Atlantic Ocean. Yip, almost dead centre. Not a piece of land within 2500km from us. We even had a swim late this afternoon so that we can tell an even more special story about this place. But it’s not a happy time on board. Actually a sad, demoralized one.
I think it would be right saying people have enjoyed my cavalier, entertaining but more so ‘warts and all‘ reporting over the last decade of even when the warts are embarrassing and ugly, they still have had us ask ourselves more honest questions.
I’m skirting my story this week because it’s not an easy one to write about. It’s personal and very painful. Vasti and I have never been this far from each other in our lives. Figuratively of course even the nearest land I’d guess. We have had small disagreements, as couples have, but this last week fireworks have been flying. We fought tooth and nail, about almost anything imaginable. The amount of sugar we are allowed in our coffee to even more ludicrously, how much sunscreen is enough for each, it has been a sad week. We have not spoken to each other, unless gravely needed, for two days. This pressure, fatigue and emotions have just boiled over, out of our control. And I can only share how I feel but I know Vasti feels the same. The bottom line is that this scenario feels way out of our control. It has just consumed us and our environment.
Vasti is my best friend. The only person on the planet that knows me so well. And I’m avoiding her? On a tiny boat in the middle of the ocean? This doesn’t make sense. Anybody sitting back home and reading this would say the obvious. The expected. Say you are sorry bla bla. And I’d most probably agree with everything. It’s just that this scene is very different from the normal one. Very different.
Personally I think the boat capsize had a tremendous emotional impact on Vasti whereas the equipment failure has had me stressed more than ever. The reel with her in my care is not speakable. It is responsibility I have never had or dreamed I’d have. I can’t make a mistake in judgement. And I can understand the realization of last week weighs heavy on her. It will bring angst with the fear. This week has played itself out to be a tough one for us both.
Vasti and I though did make a pact before leaving Morocco. We promised each other that no matter the excuse or the obstacle, we would never ever let each other down in our quest in completing this incredible world first. It’s day 35 since we last saw land and I know I’m sure as heck going to do my cross safely to see land again. I have faith all will work out for the best. I also have faith that Vasti knows all will work out for the best. We knew it was going to be challenging, just not as relationship challenging!
Tomorrow, early morning I will surprise Vasti with coffee and muesli in bed. Fanatically as possible, I’ll help her get her rowing gear ready so we can row another 130km.
Riaan and Vasti are attempting to be the first in history to row from mainland Africa to New York, USA.