What do you mean we’re only half way!?

 En-route Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Before we return to Bora Bora to experience Battle Fortress: South Pacific as a cruiser instead of a “normal tourist” let us take a moment to draw attention to a particular little point of interest that we figured out on our first trip here:

But hey, maybe those numbers aren’t hitting you with quite the magnitude that they hit us. It’s in kilometers even, so how far is that? Aren’t kilometers shorter than miles anyway? (PS- yes, they are. 1 kilometer = .62 miles, but still, that’s a long way!) So let’s avoid the numbers for a second and cut to the skinny: after all this time, we’re only half way there, give or take. Even then we’re assuming “there” is Sydney vice Moscow, Europe, India or any other arbitrary point of land.  So Tiffany attempted a more graphic presentation to provide some perspective on our total distance traveled vs distance left to go in this ocean.

The word “size” takes on completely new dimensions when you are dealing with the Pacific Ocean. We have previously described to you the continent-sized island nations that are in abundance throughout the Pacific, but we haven’t actually described the size of the ocean itself. When we were working in Coast Guard Pacific Command both of us had the phrase “millions of square miles of open ocean” listed under our responsibilities but that number is just to big to get a grip on. Seriously, can you picture in your mind a million square miles of water?

The Pacific Ocean is the largest single body on our planet. You mean body of water, right? No, no we don’t. We mean the largest body of ANYTHING on our planet. North America pales in comparison, the Atlantic Ocean really shouldn’t share the same last name and Asia isn’t much more than, if you’ll excuse the somewhat appropriate pun, a drop in the bucket compared to the vastness of the Pacific. In fact, speaking of continents, we have been told that if you took every single scrap of dry land on Earth and put it into the Pacific, you’d still have room for a second Africa!

One of the things we learned on this journey is that some things cannot be accurately described…or even filmed. How do we describe to you a barren desert larger than anything else on this Earth filled with salt water? How do we show you what it feels like to know you are on a 50 foot ship and that for days, if not weeks, the closest point of land in any direction is two miles straight down? Everest could get dumped into this ocean and no one would ever find it!

This ocean borders our home country. In the past it has protected us and even today she feeds us. We have sailed her for quite a while now, but nowhere near as long as many others have. The Pacific is huge, diverse and amazing…and we’ve only come less than half way across her.

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7 Responses to What do you mean we’re only half way!?

  1. Erica says:

    I think it definitely helps you become more acquainted with exactly how big the world really is. In a world where the internet makes it very small, I think it is important to think about the distances between us.

    People get a crazy look in their eye when we tell them we’re busing to the tip of Argentina. I know it is a long way, but how else am I supposed to appreciate it?

    • Greg says:

      exactly. (though, of course, sailing would also work and then you could just keep goinging to the frozen south! 😉

  2. Pingback: Badass of the Sea « Coast Guard Couple – Tiffany and Greg

  3. william chamberlain says:

    Now this is really cool information and what a wonderful adventure.
    Bill Chamberlain – Toastmaster Group

  4. Tom says:

    I just stumbled upon this. I gather you are sailing. I am in South Korea, refurbishing. Radios for sure of every kind. Getting run down by supertankers and freighters, my god you are all alone and then.

    Yeah the pacific is big. I just did it solo.

    You have a girlfriend etc. the South Pacific, relax.

    It makes you think though. Columbus, Magellan, that was from spell checker.

    Makes you think. Not exactly like the airplane trip.

    Yeah it is big. Everybody does these travel blog things now. You seem to be in love with each other and life.

    I need somebody to crew with me, but here?

    You meet all these people. You are out there all alone. The Japanese cargo container ship. They are so surprised to see you. My tiny sailboat and their huge ship. They come to a full stop. In mid ocean. Drank a lot of Saki and sang Karaoke. They gave me a bunch of canned crab.

    The North Pacific. I’m going south if I can find anybody to crew, but I’ll do it anyway. kind of a different way of looking at the world.

    • Greg says:

      Tom,

      Have to disagree with you about single-handing. This is a topic I where I know Tiffany and I disagree with a lot of people but both of us would never single hand on an extended voyage because at some point you sleep and at that point your boat is sailing without a driver. I’d hate for that Japanese cargo ship to not see you at night and run you over instead of offer you saki (it’s happened, by the way). Though saki & crab meat does sound like good times. It is always funny when a merchant ship sees a recreational cruiser out in the deep water. “wait, you people are doing this for fun!?”

      Single handing is just exhausting and isn’t it supposed to be enjoyable? Staying up 20 hours a day sailing by myself and being sleep deprived for days if not weeks at a time does not sound like a lot of fun to me, especially with all the options out there for crew finding agencies. When you are interested in taking on crew feel free to email us the details of your ship and voyage at gregandtiffany(at)coastguardcouple.com and we’ll see when we can connect!

      have an awesome voyage & thanks for the comment!
      -Greg

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