New York City is surrounded by wilderness--REAL wilderness, not the "urban jungle" or cut-throat work culture of high finance on Wall Street. The waters that surround New York and connect it to far away places offer a vast, undeveloped environment beyond the control of humankind. And what better way to experience this expanse than by sail boat?
Docked until June 25 at the North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, and at other times this week at Liberty Landing Marina across the Hudson in Jersey City, are a dozen 70-foot racing yachts preparing to embark on the eighth and final leg--the 2,000 miles from New York to Derry-Londonderry--of a year-long race around the world. The Clipper Race is a 40,000 nautical mile race created by Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world. Knox-Johnson recognized that more people have climbed Mount Everest than sailed around the world and was motivated to change this. With the aim of opening adventure sailing to a wider audience, the race invites everyday people to participate and is now in its eleventh season.
A friend, Catherine North, is crew member for Sanya Serenity one of the twelve boats in the race. While some crew members participate in only one of the eight legs, Catherine is on board for the full ride. I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with her during her stopover in New York and to learn more about her breathtaking adventure, an adventure she describes as teaching her even more about herself than it has taught her about sailing.
The race started last July in Liverpool, with with stopovers in Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, China, Seattle, and--now--New York. And along the way, the fleet made two Equator crossings, traveled along the Tradewinds, through the Doldrums, across the Atlantic and the South Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, amid 80-foot swells and 70 mile-per-hour winds, through the South and East China Seas, across the International Date Line, across the Pacific, through the Panama Canal and the Caribbean, and on to New York, before heading along the Gulf Stream and Labrador Current on the final leg across the Atlantic.
If you have a chance, check out the Clipper Race fleet in our nearby harbor (open tours are available until the 23rd). And even if you aren't able to see the fleet, invite your imagination to carry you across the city's nearby water, out through the harbor and on towards distant lands.
About this Blog
Hi! I'm Nancy Kopans, founder of Urban Edge Forest Therapy. Join me on an adventure to discover creative ways to connect with nature in your daily life, ways that are inspired by urban surroundings that can reveal unexpected beauty, with the potential to ignite a sense of wonder.