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Moitessier, Bernard – The Long Way - Crushed pine needles and yoga



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A description of the experience

Moitessier, Bernard – The Long Way

Joshua is half way to the Horn. For five days in a row I have done my yoga exercises completely naked in the cockpit, before the meridian sight. I feel the sun entering into me, giving me its power. When there is no sun, or toward the end of the afternoon, I keep a sweater and wool trousers on, and the power comes from the air I breathe.

Physical and mental balance after five months at sea still comes as a surprise, when I look at the long, long curve on the llttle globe. Certainly I knew it was possible when I left.

Anything is possible. . .it's a matter of attitude and instinctive adaptation. But I never thought it possible to attain such fullness of body and mind after five months in a closed system, with a stomach ulcer I have been dragging around for the last ten years.

I am not able to check my weight, because the westerly swell, in evidence despite the fair weather, throws the scales' readings off. Still, I have probably gained a couple of pounds since Tasmania. I have seldom felt so healthy. My ulcer has not bothered me since the middle of the Indian Ocean, and my appetite is excellent.

While many crews were decimated by sickness and scurvy during the long exploration voyages of past centuries, others (Captain Cook's in particular) used to come back in fairly good shape despite months and months at sea, often under extremely hard conditions.

Cook avoided vitamin deficiency by making his men drink a kind of 'beer' every day, made on board out of crushed pine needles.

The source of the experience

Moitessier, Bernard

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