My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.
Of all the days of the year designated for celebrating something – Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc, surely we should also be celebrating some of the intangibles that make life worth living and celebrating as human beings. The spirit of adventure is one of these great virtues – and by adventure I mean much more than travel in exotic realms. I mean more the courage, belief, energy and resilience required for any journey – of the feet or the heart.
And if there’s any day of the year on which the spirit of adventure should be celebrated it is surely August 30th – the day Sir Ernest Shackleton returned to rescue his men marooned on Elephant Island in Antarctica after almost two years isolated and stranded on the ice after their ship sank. “We intend to keep August 30th as a festival for the rest of our lives” wrote one of the party. Their’s was not an adventure of conquest over peoples nor to convert anyone nor for more trade with exotic realms. After the Endurance was crushed in the ice and eventually sank, these 28 men lived on the sea ice and made two extraordinary voyages in small open boats across the roughest ocean in the world. (see my earlier posts, search Shackleton) They survived due to their skills and moral courage – what their leader, Sir Ernest Shackleton was describing when he said, “optimism is true moral courage”.
So, in recognition of the extraordinary courage and resilience of all adventurers, I propose we celebrate August 30th as a day to celebrate past achievements and to encourage all people to live their dreams and never to give up their determination to live rich, fulfilled lives.