At sea on a clear starry night, one likely feels exceptionally small when confronted by the enormity of the universe laid out in front of one’s eyes. It is impossible to describe the relative sizes, except to say that we are tiny.

Similarly, in a storm at sea, one will feel the immediate effects, on the boat, on the sailor, the force of the wind, the violence of massive waves, yet still, one only can experience that which is immediate and nearby, within one’s own horizon.

So when you look at the chart, and see that we have been sailing for 10 days since New Zealand, and that we have another 10 days to go to get to Cape Horn, how do you consider, and understand, that enormity of this Pacific Ocean? Or can you? In the storm that we had, how do you connect to the fact that that storm was hundreds of miles across? And that every little local area, as the area that affected us, will have similar forces of wind and waves?

I cannot comprehend that enormity. Yet I know that I can, and must, respect it. And perhaps this is the best that we can do in other areas of nature. We must respect it, both to defend our tiny physical selves from its enormity, but also to admire it and be amazed by it. We might consider the notion that these powers and forces were here long before we were, and in some sense, we are the intruders, or at the very least, the newest neighbors, for that which has existed for millennia.

The power of an earthquake, or the mass of water flowing down one of the great rivers of the world, the gigantic glaciers, veritable rivers of ice, the incomprehensibly massive oceans of the world – aren’t we lucky to be here to observe and live alongside such amazing and massive forces!