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Tackle Today: One Hundred Days Between Sea and Sky

March 10, 2020

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≈ Embrace the challenge. ≈

Amyr Klink had this bold endeavor in mind: rowing single-handedly from Lüderitz, southwestern Namibia, to Salvador, Bahia, Northeast Brazil, in a less than 20 feet long wood-and-epoxy hulled boat. No GPS, just him, 3,700 miles of the vast Atlantic Ocean, sea creatures below, and the stars above.

After studying what other famous explorers did before him he got concerned: many have died during the transatlantic trip when their rowing boat turned upside down.

— “It only takes one storm to make my boat turn turtle.”, he thought.

He then decided to touch base with José Carlos Furia, a consulting engineer specialized in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

— “No matter how bad the weather is, Mr. Furia, we have to build a rowing boat that never turns upside down.”

Furia got obsessed with the idea of building a solid, shipwreck-proof rowing boat. Sketch after sketch, it consumed him for months. The problem seemed unsolvable.

Since his first contact with the local fishermen canoes in the small historical city of Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, Amyr felt this strong urge of throwing himself into the seas. A vocation that was reciprocal: the seas also wanted Amyr and they would become a single entity over the next decades of his life.

It was just a matter of time until Furia got hit by a paradoxical epiphany:

— “Amyr, we can’t run from the problem, we have to embrace it. Trying to build a shipwreck-proof rowing boat is impossible, instead, what we have to do is to build one that turns upside down but quickly turns itself back up. You will be turning turtle like crazy from Namibia to Brazil. Embrace the challenge.”

The Sea Gods worked their magic.

In 1984, Amyr Klink finally faced the solitude of the Atlantic Ocean. A hundred days after his departure from Namibia, he dropped anchor in Brazil.

— “How did the fishing go?”, asked a nearby fisherman.
— “I didn’t get anything.”, said Amyr.
— “Oh well. That’s life. Some days you get everything, other days you get nothing. It’s like the tide: It goes out, but always comes back.”

Traders, embrace the challenge. “The ship is safest when it’s in port, but that’s not what ships were built for.” (The Pilgrimage, Paulo Coelho)

Tackle Today: One Hundred Days Between Sea and Sky (Photo by Anjali Mehta on Unsplash)

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