N19 13.13 W107 19.86
The offshore water is a brilliant blue. Light penetrates in deep long dancing shafts. The winds have been light but we have still made good time by flying Big Red, our drifter since we left La Cruz. 128 nm in 24 hours, not bad for our first day out, especially considering that we are not in the trade winds yet. This also marks the furthest distance away from land that we have been yet on this passage. The full moon accompanies me on my night shift and makes writing out in the cockpit a good way to pass the time. It's 2 am local time, but we have changed our watches to universal coordinated time (UTC) since this keeps us in tune with the weather updates and radio check-ins.
My father is a true outdoorsman and is happiest in life sitting on the back of a newly broke horse, heading off down an unknown goat path deep in the mountains. While off on these adventures, my father, in his cowboy bliss, will begin to recite one of the many poems from his repertoire. Of the many poems and limericks he has memorized, one is recited most often and reads thus:
The Land of Beyond
Have you ever heard of the Land of Beyond,
That dreams at the gates of the day?
Alluring it lies at the skirts of the skies,
And ever so far away;
Alluring it calls: Oh ye the yoke galls,
And ye of the trail overfond,
With saddle and pack, by paddle and track,
Let's go to the Land of Beyond!
Have you ever stood where the silence is brood,
And the vast horizons begin,
At the dawn of the day to behold faraway
The goal you would strive for and win?
Yet ah! In the night when you gain to the height,
With the vast pool of heaven star-spawned,
Afar and agleam, like a valley of dream,
Still mocks you a Land of Beyond.
Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond
For us who are true to the trail,
A vision to seek, a beckoning peak;
A fairness that will never fail;
A pride in our soul that mocks at a goal,
A manhood that irks at a bond,
And try how we will, unattainable still,
Behold it, our Land of Beyond.
The day we left, while we were sitting in a small café/taco shop, I noticed the familiar title sitting in the book exchange. Re-reading the poem, I knew having this aboard would bring us luck. And my reply:
Well Dad, searching we are, for this Land of Beyond,
This dream you know, and are of so fond.
Farther than most, far far away from our coast,
We're skirting the Skies of Beyond.
By paddle and tack, but this time with no track,
With wind in our sail, and desire that knows no fail,
We are searching for this Land of Beyond
Yes Dad, Alluring it calls,
This time beyond mountains and falls.
Blessed be that moon, it is the day sun at noon
In this vast desert of brine, that is our yoke this time.
Yet still by same yearning we abide,
Although not this time, ye green horse are we astride.
Afar and agleam, our mind still must dream,
Across the vast inky black, under heaven star-spawned
Our courage holds strong, as we seek far and long
For our own, Land of Beyond.
Despite the calms and storms, through which this journey has led,
To the places we've dreamed, our desire has fed.
I sail now where the silence is brood, and the vast horizons begin.
That goal we would seek, like the beckoning peak
Like times gone by, we strive for and win.
For us who are true to the trail, by pack, by saddle or by sail,
We carry pride in our soul, that mocks at our goal,
Led on, by a fairness never to fail.
We are out here seeking like ever before,
Whether it be on this, or a far distant shore.
And try how we will; it may be unattainable still,
But this is our bond, to ever seek our very own Land of Beyond