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In a gruelling 6,000-mile journey, Charles Scott, Group finance director of Age UK, has sailed the Pacific to raise money to help improve the lives of older people.
Here is one of his final blog posts on the incredible journey.
Crossing the finish line under the Golden Gate bridge in about 2.5 days, we’re 115 miles ahead of the Singapore team and made very good time through the speed gates, which should earn us another point to pay for all the damage we’ve suffered.
We get docked points for damaged equipment, and as we sail the boat so hard we get fined particularly heavily, but then we’ll probably get max points available this leg for winning the race, first through the gate a couple of weeks ago and maybe win the ocean sprint too.
An end to deprivation, getting woken up after only 3 hours sleep 3 times every 24 hours, permanently cold, wearing wet clothes, sleeping in a wet sleeping bag and getting dressed into more wet clothes, an end to the unremitting grind of 4 hours on 4 hours off every day for a month, no more long boring hours sitting on deck interspersed with intense hard graft as we do a sail change.
And an opportunity to put into practice all those thoughts and plans I’ve been making, to rediscover all those things I didn’t notice before because they were so part of normal life, a re-establishment of what matters and what is important.
Going under that bridge means we’ve done it, only then can we say that we’ve travelled an unimaginable distance, a whole month sailing East, we’ve raced a yacht across the North Pacific. And what’s more, we won.
And I get to look at myself in a mirror, count my cuts and bruises and finally see what this hair growing out of the lower part of my face actually looks like. Its quite frustrating having a proper beard and not being able to see it. Maybe thats a good thing?
I find myself just watching the Pacific, drinking it all in (some of it literally!) trying to remember how beautiful and magnificent it is – very big waves in very strong winds over thousands of miles creates quite a spectacular sea scape.
It’ll be strange mixing with other people too – I haven’t spoken to anybody other than this crew for a month. I can’t wait to be a tourist, and get back into the real world again, buy things, eat what I want, do what I like.
Just to see another boat would be nice – we haven’t seen any evidence of other human existence for weeks. Sailing into San Francisco Bay will be quite emotional.
I feel passionately about the work Age UK does, especially when I think of my mother, who spent her life bringing up 5 children and now lives alone in sheltered accommodation. She is one of over 1 million people aged over 65 who say that they always or often feel lonely.
You can find out more about what motivated Charles to complete this challenge or donate to the cause on Charles Scott's fundraising page.
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