I write this at 2:00 a.m. knowing that tomorrow… well, we leave tomorrow. Throughout these posts I’ve tried my best to stay away from the negatives and while they do exist and I attempt to report on them (“negatives” mostly being the unexpected financial hits) I do whatever I can (if not for my own sanity) to find the positives and move ahead. I’ve been trying to do that for the past 31 years and, to some degree, it’s worked.
This morning I simply can’t. Bare with me… The pressures of mounting such an expedition/documentary are indescribable; their strength and persistence are far greater than anyone one or ten people can handle 24/7. This project has been in production for the past 18 months and while I’ve surrounded myself with the very best crew and ground support I could find, the pressures are inexorable. First the sleep is attacked; if I fall asleep before three a.m. I’m up again at six… and I’m not even on watch yet. The finances are a complete disaster, I’ve all but gone through my personal savings. I expected this, but still… The huge unexpected hits (new hull insurance rate for the Arctic, completely new water maker system etc) are one thing; one knows that something of this nature is going to gush cash, that’s a given.
What is now weighing so heavily on me are the crew. In each case they were hand picked and I’ve come to love them like family (and if you’ve been reading these blogs hopefully you’ll see the joke) and it’s because of this that I question why I’m asking four other lives to travel with me on a trip that has such a heightened aspect of danger. My fears don’t rest in things that go bump in the night, they lurk & haunt in areas of our simply not making it back. Yes we’re heading off-shore as prepared as we can be and with the utmost in safety, training and med gear, but the feeling that I hold four other lives in the palm of my hand is as unsettling as anything I’ve experienced to date, not to mention that three of the five lives are family… so I won’t. Just because I’m willing to undertake a project which holds a very strong element of the unthinkable… what gives me the right to take four others into the same scenario.? … I’m tired and I’ve lost the flame.
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