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November 20, 1998

San Francisco to Hawaii, Second Attempt. Update #60

60. Date: Fri, 20 Nov 98 04:50:29 GMT
Latitude: 19 degrees 57.347 minutes North
Longitude: 154 degrees 28.317 minutes West
Wind ENE, Force 4 - 5

This afternoon, needing to find an e-mail address in one of my address books, I unzipped my wallet for the first time since leaving San Francisco and re-discovered a strange world that once was my life but has since become alien to me; a world of names, addresses, phone numbers, credit cards, library cards, keys, money etc, etc. All the essentials of having a 'life' and being able to operate on dry land, but out on the big blue means absolutely nothing at all. A $20 bill is about as much use out hear as a chocolate fire guard in the home. All soon to change though. In a few day's I'll be once more tied to this black bag like my life depended upon it. I'll be substituting my life-jacket for my wallet -both necessary for survival but in different environments.

Things I will miss from not being out here:

1.Simplicity, time and quiet: having the time to do one thing at a time really well rather than a lot of things badly. Cultivating a 'quietness of mind' necessary to perform 'right action'; action that is executed for the sake of itself -rather than for any result. Letting quality come of its own accord. Having time to read books and write in a journal (never seem to have time on land to do this). Not having to deal with money, paying bills, getting woken up in the wee hours by the blue-legs after unpaid parking fines.
2.The sky at night!
3.Cup of tea and M&M's at 3 am to look forward to. The question I ask myself: 'Do I eat M&M's to get around the world, or do I get around the world to eat M+M's?' The answer is: 'Increasingly seems to be the latter.

Things I will NOT miss from not being out here:

1.Constant rolling motion of the boat. As I write this I am dreaming of just being able to lie/stand/sit/do anything while being still.
2.Dinner a la Moksha; imagine every other meal you have someone periodically running in from the kitchen and throwing a bucket of cold water over you and your food and you have to continue like nothing's happened. This is dinner a la Moksha.
4.Confinement; Not enough room to swing a cat or even put it somewhere if we had one.
5.Lack of privacy; knowing the exact number of pimples on your pedaling partner's posterior does little to make them any more endearing to you after 50 in such a cramped space. It's not natural for two people to be so close. No mater how understanding you are, it's just not natural.

KIT KORNER - CLOTHING & MISC To pedal 2400 miles across an ocean necessitates some hardy garments and and footwear (even if for the last 1/2 of the voyage it has been too warm even for cloths!). We've both been wearing TEVA sports sandals for the past two years-during the overland section of the Expedition across the U.S. and last year down through Central America. I myself am only on my 2nd pair, giving some idea as to their rugged qualities. They seem to do as well on water as on land, allowing a constant draining of our feet- allowing them to be as dry as possible at any given time. (For our 111 day Atlantic crossing we wore special clip-in shoes designed to keep locked onto the pedals that because of their 'shoe-ness' constantly retained water, giving us foot-rot). The Teva's also stick well to the deck making maneuvers around the boat less precarious than in just bare feet. Their only weak point seems to be in the junction of the straps to the sole where both my pairs have eventually worn out at. Otherwise great all-around footwear for our expedition needs.

Hemp seems to be all the rage nowadays, for a bevy of reasons including strength, longevity, reduced environmental impact of production and so on. It was for these reasons that we chose 50/50 cotton/hemp shorts to pedal in (made by CHI PANTS in San Francisco). Comfort is not one of hemp's strong points it has to be said! But then we're not on vacation either. If you're looking for durable clothing that can withstand constant friction and won't have to be replaced for a good 10 years or so -give hemp a try. The technology to increase comfort still has some way to go, but the Chi Pants line of shorts do have the added advantage of having a gusset instead of a central seam run down the front, conducive to any activity that involves full maneuverability of the lower half of ones body (biking, walking, rock-climbing, yoga etc).

Finally on a different note I wanted to mention our use of the PELICAN Heads-UP head-torches which have proved excellent in the marine environment. Waterproof to 500 feet, they are entirely ruggedized, powerful enough for us to use them to work on the underside of Moksha at night if need be and have the added bonus of coming with a handle-bar attachment so we can use them on our bikes too. Not surprisingly though they are a little thirsty on AA batteries though and quite a lump to have on ones head. Otherwise a big thumbs up!

Lewis & Smith,
The Moksha crew

Posted on November 20, 1998 7:58 PM