The latest from the legendary Webb Chiles. These sort of sentiments are as meaningful as they are rare. Respect.

I’m in the frozen flatlands, which haven’t been seriously cold yet, and will fly to Hilton Head Island and GANNET two weeks from today, where I will prepare her to sail for Panama and San Diego to complete this, my sixth circumnavigation–though I may ease off to Hawaii, then Cape Flattery and down the coast to San Diego. I’d then complete the circle at Hilo, Hawaii. Assuming I can get GANNET through Panama, where she presents special problems, I’ll decide at sea.

If any of your readers are planning to transit the Panama Canal in late February or March and are willing to tie GANNET alongside, or know of anyone who is, I’d welcome the tow. The little boat is negligible drag. There is a contact link to me here.

I expect that 2019 will be one of the more significant years in my life.

GANNET will be forty years old in 2019, and hopefully I will complete my sixth and probably my last circumnavigation, and perhaps the second phase of my life, which began on November 2, 1974, when I pushed EGREGIOUS away from her slip at Harbor Island Marina in San Diego for my first attempt at Cape Horn, a phase I have called ‘being’. No one at that marina now would recall that distant event, although perhaps a few there would know my name.

I am at this moment feeling the distance between my life and yours. I have not lived as you have. Many of you have talents I do not have and which I admire, but we have not lived in the same dimension. For whatever reason I have usually tried to reduce that distance. I don’t believe that since I became an adult I have cared about fitting in—as a child I did, but then I was a child—but I have expended a lot of energy reducing friction. That is one of the things I most love about being at sea: there I don’t have to compromise; I don’t have to adapt; I don’t have to get along: I can just be me. Flat out, unadulterated, uncompromised me.

I have tried to convey that experience to you in words and some photographs. I have had wonderful experiences on land with women. I value my interactions with many of you, some of whom I consider friends, whether we have met in person or not. I am pleased to have been able when speaking to bring audiences to their feet. I am pleased with some of the words I have strung together and will leave behind. But the very best of Webb Chiles has only been experienced by Webb Chiles alone at sea.

I hope it will be again next year.