I sailed in the Southern Ocean from Sydney to Rio De Janeiro during the Young Endeavour's World Voyage in 2015.

We sailed for 2 months with only two stop offs throughout the journey. This gave us plenty of time at sea and while there were high winds and higher seas the thing I remember most was how repetitive the day became after a month a sea. This was not a bad thing in my eyes. Apart from missing my girlfriend I enjoyed the repetitiveness of the days and the feelings of isolation and discovering unseen things. It was like the little boat with our small crew were the only thing in the world, floating on an endless ocean into uncharted waters. There was still plenty to do and a lot of time to read books about past sailors who would have experienced similar feelings.

The daily, persistent expanse of nothing but water and weather reminded me of an Iron Maiden song called The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I knew the song was based on an old poem so Kenny the Sailmaster printed me out the poem of the same name. The poem is about a mariner who makes the sea angry and is stuck in the middle of the ocean until death saves him. The day I started reading it a fog fell upon the boat that didn't lift for three days. I have never felt more inside a story than I did then as we bobbed along through thick fog in the middle of a painted ocean with no wind and no sun. It was like the ocean had swallowed up our boat in the middle of nowhere and dropped us into the poem. I will never forget the connection I had with the poem and the sea. 

By

Reece Barrell-Smith

Reece Barrell-Smith