Chris's Journal - November 19, 2002

Another restful sleep in the motor home, parked in a peculiar place-this time the Sydney Ferry terminal on the eve of our departure for the rock, Newfoundland. Prior to our arrival at the dock, our trip was tense: the vehicle crept along wind-swept, ice-drenched roads, being pushed around like a fiberglass kite. On several occasions, I had to venture out into the iced-hell outside to fix something array on the motor home or to help with guiding the beast in the blizzard conditions that surrounded us. It took six hours of driving to reach our destination, and the whole trip I kept obsessing about the reality that people actually live in this winter desert. I could barely stand a minute outside the embrace of the bus before the sleet and snow slashed my body temperature in half. My mind floated to the thought of the mariners out at sea on nights such as this. The coast must be brutal in the winter. Luckily we might have a chance to test our sealegs, david met a family that has offered to let us swab the decks of their fishing troller when it takes to sea again in a week. Talk about character building! I have wanted to work on the high seas since my childhood. Hopefully, dreams do come true.

Our maiden journey aboard the ferry, The Caribou, was safer than expected considering the three sailing wait from the day before. With storm-force waves battering the ships trying to leave other side, the captain decided to stay in the harbor overnight. After boarding the super-ferry I journeyed down into the bowls of the ship to view the vessel. The rusted five-inch-thick chains battening down the semis and their trailers were a vivid reminder of the harsh conditions that pummeled the ships. My mind drifted a decade back to motion sickness plagued ferry crossings during high school sport trips - the garbage can was my only friend during those horrific hours of embarrassment. There are few things more humiliating than loosing the content of your stomach in a public place, surrounded by a group of your peers bent on making the entire ship aware of your sickened state. I must have had my sea legs today. Maybe you can outgrow seasickness? Even as the ship rolled back and forth, view shifting from sea to sky, my stomach held fast holding down the chili from night before.

The six-hour ride allowed me some much-needed escape from the guys. Computer in hand, fingers pecking at black keys, I labored to finish the latest updates. With that work behind me I was free to cruise the promenade deck and test if my legs would be worthy of any future fishing outings. Camera in hand I covered every corner of the ship, glaring out to sea waiting, hoping to get the first glimpse of the rock that still sat over one hundred kilometers north from our position. The crisp air shooting off the Atlantic waters brought new life into my tired cheeks, and a spontaneous smile swelled, building across my face. The worries and stresses of the tour were pushed aside by the wind, forcing me to appreciate simple pleasure of watching the whitecaps break on the side of the ship. However, within minutes my core temperature had slumped enough to send me running back huddle in the warmth of the hull where I hid till we were beached.

With only a week remaining on this three-month journey, my mind couldn't help but hopscotch back-and-forth from the past to the future. Once again, I would have to look outside the confines of this three-month miracle trip to the world of careers and school. A future potentially apart from the friends I held so dearly. Our dream had manifested itself perfectly…actually it had eclipsed perfection; but, like all things, it would not last. In less than three weeks I will be back in Victoria, searching for a way to pay off my debts to Visa; back to pen and server-pad in hand, but also back to stability; back to normalcy, back to those I love at home. Thinking of these huge upheavals moves me, like very few transitions have. The past ninety days, I have given all that I have; expecting nothing in return (except maybe for someone to pay it forward). I know that it is hard for people to empathize at times with what we have done. It seems to far-fetched, too grand, too giving, but I know from meeting the fabulous people I have across this country that more have it with in them than we could dare to think. People are grasping for direction in their lives that will allow them to make a significant difference on this planet, and I hope that now and in my future I am able to help manifest these destinies for these people. Although, burnout is now approaching for most of us, I know that this trip has fundamentally changed all those that have taken part. We will all weather our mid-twenties together knowing that we had no regrets about the path that we have chosen.

November 20, 2002
November 19, 2002
November 1, 2002
Octoer 29, 2002
October 24, 2002
October 20, 3002
October 16, 2002
October 13, 2002
September 28, 2002 (2)
September 28, 2002 (1)
September 7, 2002
September 6, 2002
August 31, 2002
October 21, 2002
October 4, 2002
September 19, 2002
September 8, 2002

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