Still half asleep I slide feet into boots, put on my jacket, grab my headlamp and climb the ladder out into the night. The sky is clear and the wind from the south is cold. I pull my hood closer around my face and think about the icy places from which this wind has travelled.

It has been four months since we were at sea and yet tonight in the cockpit it’s as if none of it ever happened – the cold days on the road, nights camped in the desert, sunny naps on ancient ruins. Months erased in the way my shoulder finds the same spot under the dodger, the way I stand here wedged and swaying and look out at silver waves.

There are moments like this that fit like old sweaters but this is not one of them.

We just did this, I think, I was just here.

The open sea is quite a place to spend some time, but I feel no desire to go there again right now.


But tonight it’s okay and so sheltered from the wind I allow the months to recede. As the boat sails on, my mind follows the same worn pathways, trips over the same small troubles.

To think we are ever tomorrow born new is a folly. In the quiet moments at night we must marvel instead at this: for all the thousands of miles we travel we here find ourselves somehow the same.