We could do a Donald Crowhurst. The thought's been at the back of our minds for some time now, as the deadline for departure hurtles towards us and the TO DO list on the bathroom door only gets longer.
|Amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst|
When yachtie Crowhurst set off in the autumn of 1968 to race around the world single handed and non-stop, both he and his trimaran Teignmouth Electron were ill prepared. He made the start line, but as the days at sea turned into weeks he realized his boat was not up to the task.
So he began keeping a second, false log in which he recorded positions which indicated he was making good progress in his circumnavigation. In reality, he had abandoned the race and never left the Atlantic. His plan was to rejoin the other boats as they headed towards the finish. According to Nicolas Tomalin's definitive book on the subject, Crowhurst went mad instead and stepped off the side of his boat. It was found a few weeks later, drifting in calm seas with its sails up, a ghostly Marie Celeste.
|Judy and friends - mostly from the South America gang of 1988|
Our goals are neither as ambitious nor require as much preparation as Crowhurst's. After all how difficult can it be to pedal a tandem across Europe, and then South East Asia and then ... well, who knows?Despite that, the three weeks since Judy and I left work have been frantic.
|On the town in Devonport, Auckland|
Wonderful farewells from colleagues at Martelli McKegg and TV3 have been followed by get togethers with family and friends and there are still more to come. In between, we've sifted through 18 years of household detritus - throwing away some stuff, holding a garage sale of possessions that might be worth something to somebody, and then packing what was left so it could go into storage.
We've both felt our first twinges of sadness - packing up my favourite books was difficult, not knowing when I'll turn their pages again. And Judy had a bad moment as she sorted through her tramping gear - the woolly hats, gloves and gaiters a reminder of the pleasure we've enjoyed walking the hills, mountain passes and river valleys of New Zealand.
The house echoes now as we roam from empty room to empty room, and for the first time the reality of what we are doing is sinking in. Very soon we will be adrift on our own sea, and the months of planning will prove adequate, or they won't. If they don't, we may try the Crowhurst approach.
|Sisters doing it for themselves. Lesley on flute, Judy on violin as they join in a work by Mozart|
|With Neville Johnson|
A song based on Crowhurst's story can be found at: