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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Winter Resolutions

by Nikki Henderson 27 Aug 2022 05:40 UTC
My partner and I recently went cycling in Slovenia. This was a view from our tent the morning after a stormy night, when everything was calm, still, quiet just as it is at sea the day after heavy weather © Nikki Henderson

Late summer is upon us, and the hints of Autumn are revealing themselves: the smell of recent rain on warm earth, the slightly cooler weather, the light sprinkling of brown leaves on the floor, and the blinding glow of the sun now lower in the sky.

It's in typically British fashion that I start this month's editorial by remarking on the weather. But it feels so apt to take the time to appreciate the timing of what is going on at 59 North and how it is mirrored in nature. The Fall marks the end of the year's cycle: the growth phase decelerates; the living world prepares to hibernate, to pause and reflect in the stillness of winter before the excitement of spring arrives and the cycle begins again.

In a few days, Mia, Emma, myself and six women will meet in Marstrand and sail Icebear's last passage as part of the 59 North family. In Portsmouth, we will put her to bed and hand her over to her new owners for a small refit before she heads South. Winter will be a quiet period for us all. Falken will at some point splash back into the Solent, and come January we will begin to gear up for her first season in the Spring.

It's been nearly six months since I last sailed - on Icebear too. Slightly too long. I'm longing to get back out to sea again. Listening to a podcast I recorded with Mia, Andy, and August back in April I heard myself say, "I'm obsessed with sailing." It's true. I am. Or at least, I'm obsessed with being in the wild. And is there any place wilder than the ocean? Can you separate the two - sailing and being at sea? I'm not sure if it would be the same on a power boat or a cruise ship. As the quote states above - it is the wilderness and the mystery that I long for. The unexpected. I cannot imagine a world, even with Starlink offering global internet coverage, where slipping from shore and heading out to the ocean would not be considered to be anything but a voyage of discovery - at least with ones self, if not with nature. But what do you think?

You will notice a theme of this months' newsletter: savouring the present moment. It's something I am resolved to trying to do more of this winter. I'm kicking this off whilst at sea these next two weeks, and then with a reflective week's coastal walking in Scotland after that. I'm going to use writing to help focus me, and will look forward to sharing some of this with you via social media and the Quarterdeck. Hopefully it will not only help me make the most of every day, but also transport some of that peace and wilderness back to all of you on dry land.

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