Cape Horn

Video Game Links.

Today, I have just rounded Cape Horn and am slowly heading towards the Cape of Good Hope.
Well, I didn’t get away without breaking, the passage has been as it always is: legendary, with headwinds that blow you down on the reefs and ice monsters that appear at the bow, when the wave crashes on the deck and sweeps everything in its path. I must have left a few pieces of my fingers there, my left hand is seriously burned, I don’t try to look in the mirror so I can’t see how my face -which was so pretty – became.
It’s limping on my left and the right shoulder is giving bad signs of fatigue – but it’s okay, I’m over it.

It was necessary to pass this one, when the sky was blocked by immense black clouds, streaked by lightning that struck the mast, and when instead of the soft silence of the calm sea, there were around me only howls of steel and wood breaking, buried under tons of raging water. Altair was no longer visible, I had lost my compass – and the eagle protecting me had found refuge God knows where – but not with me.
But in this disaster there were tiny little lights, oh, nothing sometimes, fleeting fireflies that said: go that way – and others and others, until they became lighthouses – and there it was – silence returned, I left behind me furious waters thirsty for the blood of madmen.
Now I have a choice: either I go back up North and stay on course – or I stay straight East and risk being broken in the frozen waters of Antarctica – it’s an old dream, to bury myself in Adelie Land, and be surrounded only by sea birds and a few stray animals – and then it would be a atrocious but literary end.

The road to the North is safer – but it is longer – and it is a blow to stay lost without a single breath of wind, in the middle of an immensity of water, for days and days and days.
The straight road to the East is faster – but much more likely to break.
I’m in a good mood – I choose: heading East.

You’re wondering why I’m telling you this?
Obviously, they are literary images.

But not only.
I’ll go on – a bit, you’ll understand – I won’t say everything, I’ll let you understand without me what I don’t say.
It happened a few days ago.
I was – and there it is true – in our big family house in Provence – a family with ties of heart and no blood – . It was 5 o’clock in the morning – my little cousins were sleeping like angels, and thanks to our luminous ruler, for the first time in my life I could hear the sea from my bedroom. And suddenly, noises – creaks, crackles, hurries – the house is old, it makes the sound of an old demon as soon as you move in. A tiny little light coming through the door.
I get up – obviously something was going on, so it’s great, so I go and see. And there, shaggy, immense, asleep as possible, eyes glued to her computer, another cousin – a tall one – who is a skipper in real life. He looks at me and says: “I’m making adjustments on the boat” – while going back to his computer.
As he is my cousin I didn’t take him for a fool – the story deserved that he explained it to me – so we had coffee.

And now I’m learning a “new video game”:
You probably know that there is, at this very moment, the great Vendée Globe marine race. The first ones have just rounded Cape Horn.
And, doubling this real race, there is the same one, in virtual. You’ve got your boat and go ahead, kids, in real weather conditions.

And there’s my cousin skipper in the race on his virtual boat, getting up every hour to check the weather, his course and his settings – he was 2nd in the virtual racers at the end of December.
He shows me the game: here it is – Virtual Regatta

and I thought it was absolutely brilliant – and so fresh for everything I have to invent in the field.

Here is the Horn, a stormy day :

I’ve already said – I’m rambling, I’m starting to go from boar to old parrot – but I’ll say it again: to work, we’ll have to be a little creative.
And while I’m very keen on my competitions, I’ve never said that I want to limit Altair to “classic” competitions.
Can you imagine that?
Putting an Altair year on the Vendée Globe line? Putting on almost continuous sailing shows?
Propose to players to run for Altair? To come and play in the theatre?
And put on terrible shows during the worst parts of the race? – so for Cape Horn – inevitably.

There we blow everything up – everyone thinks we’re crazy – but we’re crazy and we’re having fun – and that makes everyone want to do it.

To finish – whereas normally I had planned a very cranky and grumpy article today, since Cape Horn is not so fun to go through – I would like to thank those here who have been fireflies, lights, lighthouses in my nights of turmoil – and especially for this one -.

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7 Thoughts

  1. I am curious how this wonderfully fantastic adventure is happening!?
    This voyage is perilous! And Grand!

    I wonder if I look like a lighthouse of firefly? Maybe a fool!
    This is a wise fool.
    I am here, reading this tale of woe and adventure!
    This game looks complicated also!

    (I “love” you Barbara!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ” ❤ " the trip, I cheated, of course – I still love the sea and boats. If you want to shut me up one day, put me in front of the sea – and I sit there for hours, just staring at the sea…

      The game, yes, it's downright hard, it's a game for real sailors of the real navy – I'm not interested in it as a player but in the number of people who are able to play it – I always have the idea of Altair's potential audience in mind.

      And… you're certainly not a fool for me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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