What I Learned

I certainly enjoyed my Florida presentations and the great audiences I had there!

I learned so much during our circumnavigation. Here’s one of the more esoteric lessons, but with some interesting facts thrown in. The following is an excerpt from Voice of a Voyage: Rediscovering the World During a Ten-year Circumnavigation.

             A circumnavigation is a journey with a defined end—where it began. But that ending is strictly for electronic and paper charts. The impenetrable spirit of the journey is retained forever. For me, the combined experiences, challenges, accomplishments create an immeasurable awareness, an additional sense of the world. This is not the sixth sense defined by humans as instinct or intuition. I think of the additional sense beyond sound, sight, taste, smell, and touch that sharks have. Called the ampullae of Lorenzini, these vesicles and pores sense the electrical charges given off by all living organisms, but at close range only. Sharks use them for the final laser-like attack on their prey.

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Nurse sharks, most at rest and not hunting prey.

             Unlike sharks, prey is not what I use my circumnavigation ampullae for, but it is like a small electrical impulse allowing me to look at close range for what I can distill from this combination of information and experiences melded together from the oceans. These oceans made up of a multitude of drops take me to the core where everything fits, everything belongs. It’s not like categorizing and compartmentalizing my life, which is only an academic exercise. My ampullae convert time and space. It’s not just memories and ten years of images combined with feelings, a mélange neither incongruous nor disparate. It’s a new way of being. It is this that makes me feel like a citizen of the world and of belonging everywhere and nowhere.

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Sailing up the Yemen coast.

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 Me in my sea kayak at a quiet anchorage in the South Pacific.

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