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It’s been an incredible few days of exploration, but not all in the medium I was initially expecting. Savusavu Fiji made for a great home harbor for a few days. We explored town and stocked up at the incredible local market. We actually took the opportunity to run to the top of the hill overlooking town to get some much needed elevation under our feet. And the night before setting off, we soaked in the most stunning sunset that lasted for hours, the perfect bookend to our stay. We then raised the sails and moved onward to Lautoka, a more working class city more suitable for the provisioning necessary for the sailing ahead, stocking up not just for the trip through the South Pacific and thereafter the Marshall Islands, but enough for the entire passage up to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The sail along the northern shore of Fiji’s largest island, Vita Levu was picturesque and easy; the view from the helm framed with mountains, neighboring islands, and a killer breakfast front and center (sailing’s not the only skill set Captain Clemens excels at). But truth be told, the following days and new destination brought on some new emotions. It’s easy to purely appreciate where you are when it’s beautiful, but when you find yourself in a fairly industrial harbor “stranded” in your boat with no way to get to shore, the mind starts to wander. I started questioning whether my need to truly explore the places we visit is met by the Infinity Expedition. There’s a huge amount of planning that’s going into the Northwest Passage expedition and as such there is less time and effort to spend on day trips for the majority of the crew. I was inspired to set up my own hike up Mt. Batilamu in Koroyacitu National Park, which was physically and emotionally rewarding as I was accompanied up and down the 2000 ft of elevation by Melisa, a guide from the small village at the entrance of the park. We then relocated for a few days to more remote islands, allowing us opportunities for nearby snorkeling along the reef and a scenery upgrade. Yesterday I went for my first ocean scuba dive after getting certified at the beginning of October; Clemens wins the patience award for literally holding my hand through the process. Today I kayaked out to the most perfect spit of sand peeking out only for a couple hours at low tide and was the one woman audience for the local wedding that ensued there. But in the space between, it occurred to me that the objective of this trip was not just to explore the far off lands on the remote South Pacific islands and that my satisfaction does not need to come purely from life on a sailboat. My intent in leaving my job and joining Infinity was also to explore the big “what’s next” question for this gift of a life I have in my hands. So in that sense, this trip is providing me with exactly the level of exploration I was hoping for 🙂 I have however decided that after another 4-day ocean crossing to Vanuatu later this week and a few weeks to thoroughly explore that fascinating island nation, I will start the journey home (with a week on the north island of New Zealand on the way) to spend the holidays with my family. From there my journey will take on a more familiar look as I’ll be ski-bumming the Western US and Canada a little after the beginning of 2018. There’s lots of other ideas materializing for the next year and beyond; for now I’m equally excited for the right now and all the opportunities and intentions that lie ahead!

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