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Craving a Sailing Adventure Story

Randall Reeves had been in port in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for about a month, when we started losing our minds.

We didn’t realize how dependent we’d become not just on Reeves’ regular blogs, but, more to the point, on his adventure itself. Our addiction was subtle, and did not fully rear its head until Reeves had been in Halifax for weeks on end. We found ourselves wanting to see photos of waves, deep-ocean blues, and, with any luck, some shots of icebergs.

To our lasting relief, Randall Reeves is on the move again. “Eight months following wind and sea succeeded by one month tethered ashore,” Reeves posted on July 2. “Neither seems real; in both cases, time has flown. This morning, Mo tugs gently at her anchor. She is happy enough here, as am I, but she knows we must move on. Much has been accomplished but not yet the goal. The whole of the north lies between us and a return.”

Randall Reeves and Moli left Halifax with the aluminum cruising cutter Dutch, whose crew snapped this photo of him.
© 2019 Randall Reeves

Confronting our dependence on another sailor’s adventures has made us aware of a strange condition — let’s call it cyber-sailor syndrome. While it’s likely a normal condition suffered by those who spend more time on their devices than they spend under sail (which is most of us who have to hustle to afford to live on the West Coast), it’s not necessarily linked to a lack of sailing. Our entire staff was lucky enough to fully realize the four-day Independence weekend and hit the water in a big way. Once we had dried off, cracked a beer and settled in for the evening, we were just as eager (maybe even more so) to catch up on Other People’s Adventures, even with a full day of sailing under our belts.

“I didn’t wish to press on in the dark; so, we anchored for a short night of sleep,” Reeves wrote on his blog this morning. “Cape Broyle Harbor. Admiral’s Cove. 60 feet. Mud. July 6.”
© 2019 Randall Reeves

Reeves arrived in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on Saturday. As he explained in this month’s Sightings, the eastern-most tip of Canada was his original first-stop destination. Upon his approach to St. John’s, Reeves was on the lookout for ice. “Over coffee, I set myself for a long shift in the pilot house. We were entering an area where icebergs could be found. And though the latest ice report was a far cry from the one we saw before our Halifax arrival–now there were fewer bergs per square degree than fingers on one hand — I still wanted to be cautious.”

“Would we see our first ice today?” Reeves asked on his blog. “Lack of visibility seemed to answer this in the negative. But would radar pick it up? That answer appeared to come in the early afternoon by an unmoving target to the northwest. First ice of the Figure 8 seen . . . if not by eye.”
© 2019 Randall Reeves

The short leg from Halifax to St. John’s  was marked by light, pleasant winds and warm temperatures, but plagued by a few mechanical issues, including his recalcitrant alternator, and what he initially perceived as problems with his AIS; as it turns out, Reeves said, lots of fishing boats like to “go dark.” It’s not clear how long Reeves will be in St. John’s. He said that he’d like to be at Lancaster Sound, the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage by the first week of August.

We eagerly await what’s next, as in we’ll be glued to our screens. Mind you, we have no desire to follow in Reeves’ footsteps; you won’t find any of us doing a singlehanded non-stop circumnavigation any time soon (or ever), but how we love to read about people who do. This “syndrome” is, of course, not uncommon — the percentage of adventurers out adventuring is minuscule compared to the people reading about them.

But still, we marvel at the gravitational pull toward people like Randall Reeves (the same could be said for more “attainable” adventures, like SV Delos). Even though his adventure is way out of our league, we still find that it inspires the imagination for our own smaller-scale escapades. Things that seemed impossible now seem doable.

We wanted to ask you, Latitude Nation, if you ‘suffer’ from, or are blessed with, some form of cyber-sailor syndrome. Do you find yourself anxious, even jonesing for the next blog post or video? Have adventures inspired you to try something that you previously thought insane? (Or, is there a downside to this so-called syndrome?)

Please comment below, or write us here.


  1. PJ Landresse 5 years ago

    These days most sailors who do any reading tend to have at least some amount of Cyber-Sailor syndrome. Before the internet I guess it would have been called Print-Sailor syndrome. It is much like the reading of mysteries and/or adventure stories, be they fiction or real… A good thing that comes from reading the nonfiction stories is that one often can learn something helpful that applies whether it’s day or long distance sailing.

    Noticed that Randall’s boat seems to have Stainless rails at the top of his life lines. A truly good and helpful thing for both comfort and safety! Friends of mine did that on their cruising boat many years ago; they were subsequently out for around 20 years. Raising my current boat’s stanchions (they are now much above tripping height) and installing a solid rail at the top was one of the first changes made to her. The old top cables became middle lines to compensate for the new height.

    That change made things ever so much more comfortable and safe: for short cruises as well as when doing the Bash, and then a couple of years later when returning on the 24th Ha-Ha.

  2. Christine Watson 5 years ago

    I am currently land bound after decades at sea, and while this malaise is temporary, I depend on those out there doing it to keep me hydrated. I own no TV, or Netflix, or any of that. I pick and choose from youtube. I follow many, but the one that stands out at the top for me is Sailing Uma. Second in line is White Spot Pirates. The only downside is that they are living it NOW, while I sit here trying to wait patiently for my turn.

  3. Robert Larson 5 years ago

    Cyber-sailor syndrome . . . I have it! I also have a 37’ Gulfstar that my wife and I sail on the Bay (and sometimes out) on a regular basis. I suppose I can’t get enough of the water whether palpable or virtual.

    These two different experiences merged for me earlier this year when I joined one of my favorite virtual skippers for a real life passage of the Pacific from Panama City to Hiva Oa. We have viewed KnotVikings on YouTube for a couple of years and I responded to an email that they were looking for crew. When 2019 started I had no thoughts of an ocean passage, but in mid-April I was on a flight from SFO to Panama City. A few days later sv Yemaya started the 39 day passage! I even celebrated my seventieth birthday about ten days into the voyage.

    I follow, when I have time, a number of YouTube sailing channels, and one other that has his own style is Patrick Laine.

  4. Sheila Mckinnon 5 years ago

    I enjoy following Jeanne Socrates, sv Nereida. She will soon be completing her solo circumnavigation as the oldest person and woman!
    I no longer have a sailor to sail the seas with. My travels were not extensive but were filled with adventures and being very new to sailing I not only learned valuable lessons but grew to truly love every aspect of the fun but also the work involved.
    So now I enjoy reading of those with the ocean in their veins and the horizon in their eyes!

  5. Susan Grover 5 years ago

    I enjoyed 12 years living aboard and sailing the west coast of Mexico, with my husband who wrote Living, Really Living.
    I sold our Secondwind, but still enjoy the sea and all nature. Others blogs are like reading a good literary series.
    I look forward to each post.

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