I was thirteen the first time I slept shivering in a snow shelter. I was sixteen on my first ice dive. Nineteen when I first became an expat. As long as I can remember I’ve been putting myself in challenging circumstances. It has always felt like I was practicing for some big physically, emotionally, and technically demanding event in my life. When I was younger I thought that my calling was in the marines or air force. My wise parents persuaded me to postpone for university. I got drawn into the challenge of studying physics and mathematics, searching for how the universe works, and was whisked away to Ireland for a year of study. I realized in my study and travel that I didn’t particularly want to shoot or drop ordinance on anyone, a paradigm shift that left me feeling unguided. I became a physics and math teacher in the international school systems and found adventure living in Russia, Colombia, Chile, and the myriad of countries in between.
I’ve lived in South America for seven years. I speak Spanish and understand the culture. I’ve climbed airless peaks of the Andes and dove the hidden reefs off tiny islets in the Caribbean. And to tell the truth, it’s been too easy. I’ve always wanted more, like these were the opening acts. I’m ready for the main attraction. My friend Darlene once said, “Even in the wilds of Patagonia, you’re still in someone’s back yard.” The ocean really is the last uncharted frontier, a place where mortals can test their strength, skill, cunning, and luck. I know that the boat and all the resources put into it could be lost in this pursuit. I’m aware that this could be ruinous. I will always have a profession and trade that I love to fall back upon. It’s time to go to sea.