Sunday. Another wonderful day in this city – home to hippies, techies, fog and rolling hills. I walked so many kilometres up and down the streets that I seem to have known it for years. Sunday is the day when you should slow down, rest and get ready for the week to come but I didn’t give myself peace. Not even today. The boatyard where my boat is housed allows me to enter even on non-working days, so I spent the day putting the boat in order.
Now I need very little more to get it ready – I just have to fix a problem with the satellite communication apparatus, throw a couple of coats of anti-vegetative paint to avoid vegetation forming on the surface and then its ready to set off.
I look forward to immersing myself again in the ocean that is so familiar to me. This time around, though, I have to admit that I didn’t take much care over my physical preparation, but I do count on my body’s muscle memory to take me to my destination. The only thought, at the moment, is about the weather conditions, which are not ideal for reaching the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – centred at 34N 140W, about 700 nautical miles from San Francisco. The wind, in fact, blows steadily from the north and the hypothesis of a sailboat towing me offshore, beyond the gale alley (an area near the coast lashed by very strong winds that would take me off my ideal course) will almost inevitably have to happen.
Yet this poses another problem, in fact, it is not an easy journey to undertake.
This last week I acted as if it was the last of my life and, regardless of my fear of being pedantic and pushy with people, I knocked at every marina, every yachting club to talk to anyone I could about my plans to save the world from plastic. For me, very reserved by nature, it was not easy. But this bold approach on the look-out for opportunities, seems to be paying off. There are many people willing to help me out. The week that is about to begin will be very important and I have the feeling that it will bring me answers.
This morning, while reading an article in the New York Times celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, I tried to put myself in Aldrin and Armstrong’s boots in the decisive moments before landing the space module on the moon. I could not stop myself simply smiling and optimistically saying to myself – if these Americans managed to land on the moon 50 years ago, I will certainly be able to find some of their country folk willing to take me 700 miles off San Francisco.