There is something very romantic about saying goodbye to the man you love whilst you stand on the shore and watch him disappear off into the horizon. I could have almost been mistaken for being the French Lieutenant's Woman had I not had a ferry to catch to Tenerife with all the other 'WAGs'. The emotions attached are a mix of excitement, pride, wonder, sadness, longing and pure unadulterated fear of what may be.
It is incredibly moving and the memory of the entire experience will stay with me forever, but is the mystery of the journey itself diluted by the wonders of modern technology? It is certainly very different from the days of old when the mariner would disappear for goodness knows how long and return to terra firma with tales of high seas, giant sea monsters and derring-do.
All the ups and downs we've been through raised the question as to whether being able to watch Patience's progress on the Talisker website and communicate with such relative ease is a good thing. Bertie and James' followers are rightly gripped and check the tracker regularly, many have even complained their lives have come to a halt and they're not getting anything done at all - they should try being me and James' wife Anna for a week.
It's truly wonderful to have all the support but the minute the tracker line deviates from a straight path or they haven't covered many nautical miles, speculation begins leading to a rush of enquiries this end...
Having been through those emotionally challenging eight days when Bertie and James lost their oars, capsized and broke their tracking beacon, I do wonder whether it would have been better not to have known. After all, there was absolutely nothing we could do from this end and despite a few bumps and bruises and been fairly shaken up, they thankfully survived to tell the tale and remain determined to finish.
Of course in many ways communication is good as it allows them to share their journey with us, not quite live streaming but not far off and as a result we almost feel as if we are on board with them. This is wonderful when things are going well which finally brings me to my point, over the past week we've had good news....
"Hello this is Patience", said the voice down the satellite phone, "we are now half way home". Waiting for that piece of news felt like forever.
Getting to midway point was a big milestone and it had never crossed my mind that the word patience would mean so much to me, to us ALL, and for so many different reasons. James told me that Robert 'Bertie' Portal was busy swapping the Spanish flag with the Bajan one; meanwhile James was making a celebratory cup of tea in the cabin. What would we British do without our tea eh? Did I mention that James and Anna's dog is called Tetley?
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