Liv and Life

Last weekend Matt and I drove to Mentor, Ohio to pick up Liv—my ocean rowing boat. There was snow on the ground as soon as we got into Indiana, and even more as we entered Ohio. We stayed in Cleveland and enjoyed all the spoilings of suburbia—including Red Lobster and shopping in a mall.  On Sunday we met with Roger, a Rotary Club member and friend of Katie’s.  Roger drove Liv around for events and helped Katie with many things, including assisting with customs and the ports in Africa and South America. You could tell he was attached to Liv since he took his time detailing every boat-trailering tip imaginable.  I’m sure Roger had mixed feelings as we wheeled Liv out of the driveway to her new Chicago home. I’m becoming quite attached to Liv myself. I can only imagine how I’ll feel about her after three months at sea.

She needs a lot of work before I leave. There’s a lot of work to do, including repairing a small crack in the bow where she’s been sitting on the front roller of the trailer.  With the help of Mark Carroll of Lincoln Park Boat Club and Grant Crowley of Crowley Yacht Yard—she will be repaired over the winter.  I had Liv in the parking lot across from my west loop loft—but she sticks out like a sore thumb! I am relieved to have her safe and sound at Crowley’s…and I know that’s she’s in good hands.  Along with transporting Liv, my days are full with meeting potential sponsors and even a couple of tv producers.  It seems as though my trip is beginning to catch the public eye and gain momentum. Today I spent a few hours going through the gear that came with Liv.  Waterproof cameras…the laptop and sat phone for correspondence, jetboil propane tanks for all my tasty meals at sea. The toughbook (laptop) needs some repair but Panasonic has promised to get everything updated and up to speed for my departure.  Since my computer and satelite phone will keep me connected to the world, I want everything to be in tip top shape.

Friday I met with Sports Psychologist Dan Kirschenbaum as part of the team of professionals advising me as I prepare for my solo row.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was so tremendously helpful.  As part of our meeting, we discussed the importance of writing about this journey—starting now.  We talked about how important details are in documenting this experience…and that if I can continue writing and sharing throughout the row itself—it will likely be a huge tool for me in coping with the solitary demands. It’s also so nice to “check in” with someone objectively about all of my fears, feelings, and thoughts—and we’ll continue doing this on Fridays.

At this point in my planning, I have one year and less than two months before I leave to row across the Atlantic Ocean. One year from now I’ll be packing my bags for West Africa, shipping Liv off to meet her on other side of the pool I aim to conquer come January 2012. It’s funny because I feel like it was just July and I was at the Chicago Sprints–telling supporters that I had a year and a half before I left.  Time is flying, but I know it will slow down when I’m alone 14 months from now.

This week I have two events with Liv and I do hope that you can come out! Wednesday night is Liv’s homecoming celebration at Clutch Bar from 5 to 7:30.

Thursday Liv will be on display at Lincoln Park Boat Club’s 100 year celebration.  I’m looking forward to showing her off at the Columbia Yacht Club as well!

Many thanks to all who have made this trip possible so far.  Donations continue to come in from all over, from friends of friends, and contacts who have heard about my journey. I am continually amazed and inspired by those that I have met and been in contact with that just want to HELP make this trip happen. This challenge is impossible and absolutely not successful without YOUR support, and I can’t thank you enough!

More soon!

Jenn

8 comments on “Liv and Life

  1. Mindful that donations are welcome, in some circumstances words might just as well be, especially those borrowed from such a masterpiece as Ulysses. Substitute a maiden for an aging King, a rowboat for a sailing vessel, and the two stories are remarkably similar, save only that you WILL touch the Happy Isles 17 months from now . . .

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Ulysses

    It little profits that an idle king,
    By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
    Matched with an agèd wife, I mete and dole
    Unequal laws unto a savage race,
    That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

    I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
    Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
    Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
    That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
    Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
    Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
    For always roaming with a hungry heart
    Much have I seen and known; cities of men
    And manners, climates, councils, governments,
    Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
    And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
    Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
    I am a part of all that I have met;
    Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
    Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
    For ever and for ever when I move.
    How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
    To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
    As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
    Were all too little, and of one to me
    Little remains: but every hour is saved
    From that eternal silence, something more,
    A bringer of new things; and vile it were
    For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
    And this grey spirit yearning in desire
    To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
    Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

    This my son, mine own Telemachus,
    To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—
    Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
    This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
    A rugged people, and through soft degrees
    Subdue them to the useful and the good.
    Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
    Of common duties, decent not to fail
    In offices of tenderness, and pay
    Meet adoration to my household gods,
    When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

    There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
    There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
    Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought
    with me—
    That ever with a frolic welcome took
    The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
    Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
    Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
    Death closes all: but something ere the end,
    Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
    Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
    The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
    The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
    Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
    ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
    Push off, and sitting well in order smite
    The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
    To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
    Of all the western stars, until I die.
    It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
    It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew
    Though much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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