Hiro’s Journal / ヒロ日記より 04.18.2019, Day 53

4月18日 日本時間午前7時 53日目天気雨

北緯34度26分 東経143度39分 北東の風21ノット 

波3 M ヘディング304度 船速6ノット

【ダグの情熱と行動にもっとフォーカスを】

今回の航海について、2013年の辛坊さんとの太平洋横断に挑戦したブラインドセーラーが、再チャレンジに挑むということで、どうしても私にメディアからフォーカスされることが多い。 もっと、ダグの情熱や行動力に、 フォーカスしていただきたいと考えています。 皆さんにも以下の3点を読んで頂き、ダグの情熱と行動力が Dream Weaver プロジェクトを推進してきたかが、わかると思います。

1.ダグからの一通のメール クジラとの衝突により、夢を途中で断念せざるを得なくなった私の経験、そして、再びやりたいということをダグが友達から聞き、そのストーリーに感銘を受けて、一緒にやろうではないかというメールを、私に送ってきた。2016年12月のことである。彼が住む東京に行くことになっていたので、その際、お互いの気持ちを確認し、プロジェクトをスタートさせた。「僕にはセーリングの経験はないが視力はある、君は視力はないがセーリングスキルはある、二人でやれば夢は必ず実現できる」ということを彼は言ってくれた。 周りの人の多くは「そんな初心者と行ってまた失敗したらどうするの、お前が使われるんじゃないの、その間の生活はどうやって守るの」等々、ネガティブに思っている人が多かった。 駅まで視覚障害者を誘導したり、一緒に旅行に行くのとは違う。命をかけての挑戦である。よっぽどの情熱がなければできないはずである。ダグにはその情熱が十分すぎるほどあったのです。

2.私が住むサンディエゴでヨットを購入、そしてトレーニングスタート 2017年3月早速タグがサンディエゴに来て、外洋に適したヨットを見て回った。私が住むサンディエゴにヨットを置いた方がトレーニングに際し、私への負担が軽いと判断し、決断、即行動だったのである。このスピードには驚かされた。5月には二人でトレーニングを始め、外洋に、セーリングに行き始めた。サンディエゴのトレーニングとは別に、アメリカ東海岸でセーリングスクールにも行き、アメリカセーリング協会のコースを、次から次へと受講した。時間的に経済的に余裕があるとはいえ、私のトレーニングのために、2~3ヶ月に1回、2~3週間来たことからも、彼のこのプロジェクトに対しての情熱が伝わってくる。

3.実際の航海では彼の役割は8割以上 2月24日サンディエゴ湾を出港し、今日まで多くのことを経験し、いろんな気づきを得ることができ、明日、福島の小名浜に着ける予定である。非常に嬉しい。 この航海中、気象予報士、非常部隊との連絡、ナビゲーション、プロパンの点検、風力発電機、AIS等の修理…、8割以上彼がしてきた。 私の仕事は、デッキやマストに行く際に急がないで安全に、 Dream Weaver に負担がかかっていそうな時、もっと優しく走らせよう、低気圧に入り込んで不安や心配のためにダウンし、ベッドに横になっている時、「一時の辛抱、Dream Weaver が守ってくれる、大丈夫」と声をかけるぐらいだった。 このようなダグの情熱と行動が、世界初ブラインドによる太平洋横断を成功に導きつつあることを、もう一度強調しておきたい。そしてこのようなダグと出会えたことに心から感謝している。 日本に近づくにつれ他船が多くなり、昨晩からほとんど一睡もしていないダグに、到着時皆さん激励お願いします。

With this voyage, as it is my second attempt to cross the pacific, after my failed attempt last time with Shinbo san, there has been a lot of attention on me from the media. I want people to focus more on Doug and his passion and proactive actions. Let me share with you the three things that show Doug’s actions which made this voyage possible.

1. The first email from Doug: Doug heard about my last attempt crossing the pacific through a mutual acquaintance. He emailed me in December of 2016 asking if I’d like to attempt the voyage again. As I was going to visit Tokyo, where Doug lives any way, I decided to meet him to discuss and make sure that we were both on the same page about what this project would entail. Doug said to me, “I can’t sail, but I can see. You can sail, but you can’t see. If we work together, we can make it happen.” Many people were skeptical, that a novice sailor and a blind sailor would attempt this journey together. What if you fail again? How are you going to provide for your family while you are out at sea? Maybe you are being used as a token blind man. Sailing across the pacific is no casual trip, it can be a life threatening experience. Yet, Doug was passionate and believed in our ability.

2. He purchased a boat in San Diego (where I live) and started training: In March of 2017, Doug came to San Diego and started to look for a yacht. He felt that getting a boat in San Diego would make it easier for me when we train and immediately purchased the boat. I was amazed by how quickly he took action once he made a decision. We started training together in May and started sailing together. Outside of training with me, he attended a sailing school and apply to courses through the American Sailing Association. Although he does have time and financial stability, this does not change the fact that he would come to San Diego for two to three weeks every few months for us to train. From this action, I could feel his true commitment to the project.

3. On this voyage, Doug has done 80% of the work. From when we left San Diego on February 24th until now, we have experienced many things, and feel many different emotions of the fact that we will be arriving in Fukushima soon and I am extremely happy. On this voyage, the communication with the weather company, doing the navigation, checking the propane tank, the wind power generator, fixing the AIS, more than 80% was Doug. My role was to remind us to be cautious and safe on the voyage, to make sure we chose routs that don’t put too much stress on Dream Weaver, and when we are in low winds and we start to feel unsure and worries, that I remind us that the Dream Weaver will protect us. I want to emphasize that Doug’s passion and action are what made this historical sail possible. I feel this strongly as we get close to our goal. I am grateful that I was able to meet somebody like Doug. As we get closer to Japan, there are more and more boats in our vicinity. Doug has not slept at all since yesterday in order to keep watch. Please thank and congratulate Doug when we arrive tomorrow.

9 thoughts on “Hiro’s Journal / ヒロ日記より 04.18.2019, Day 53

  1. I love his faith in you to support him as he embarked on his first serious sail across the Pacific as a novice sailor. Doug has blind faith in you! Seriously inspiring. Thanks for explaining what Doug means to you on this voyage. SH :0)

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  2. The journey has been both magical, seemingly frightful, but overall joyful in satisfaction. Both Hiro and Doug are hero’s in their perseverance and determination. It is clear that none of this would have happened without the initial interest, the love and support of Doug Smith onboard and Naomi Smith on dry land, and of course many others, but mostly, Doug and Naomi. My hero’s. Sending love to all…

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  3. Yay for Doug! Congratulations! This was so cool to read about your (Doug) preparation, commitment, courage, curiosity, belief, and sense of adventure! This opportunity seemed to speak directly to you. My favorite thing Hiro told me before you both sailed, was that he refers to you as his “seeing-eye Doug”. I thought that was just perfect! Sounds like you’ll be making landfall tomorrow. That has to bring such gratitude to your hearts! Good sailing, gentlemen! – Romy and Dave

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  4. Team Dream Weaver,
    Land Ho!
    We are always excited and amazed to see the Furuno track growing with each passing day from Harbor island to your current position, and are overjoyed to see you approaching the Japanese shoreline.
    Sounds like Doug must be quite fatigued at this time from being on continuous watch so long, so Hiro be sure to splash him with some of that cold Japanese Pacific water once in a while, and stay sharp as you both will be running mainly on adreline soon.
    We wish we could be there to witness your arrival, but want you guys to know that the ‘G’ dock crowd will be cheering as loud as we can from back in San Diego and hope you can hear us!
    Big hugs all around,
    Rob and Sandrine

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  5. Team Dream Weaver,
    Land Ho!
    We are always excited and amazed to see the Furuno track growing with each passing day from Harbor island to your current position, and are overjoyed to see you approaching the Japanese shoreline.
    Sounds like Doug must be quite fatigued at this time from being on continuous watch so long, so Hiro be sure to splash him with some of that cold Japanese Pacific water once in a while, and stay sharp as you both will be running mainly on adreline soon.
    We wish we could be there to witness your arrival, but want you guys to know that the ‘G’ dock crowd will be cheering as loud as we can from back in San Diego and hope you can hear us!
    Big hugs all around,
    Rob and Sandrine

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  6. Anticipation high here as you approach you destination amid increasing ocean traffic. Thanks, Hiro, for describing Doug’s pivotal role in your marvelous adventure and while meeting Naomi at your San Diego departure, Doug was very busy with last minute chores and we did not get to meet him. It’s apparent you hooked up with a very special person! And thanks, Naomi, for keeping us informed. We will be lifting a Mission Bay celebratory toast to you and Doug upon your arrival.

    Here’s to the Dream Boys!

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  7. Thank you to Doug for helping my friend Hiro accomplish this enormous task .I missed the send off here in San Diego sadly but I cant wait to buy big sushi meal for dear and very inspirational friends. Scott Miller

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  8. To Doug, Having been a sighted guide for blind sailors for 20+ years and also being fortunate to meet Hiro back in 2006 during the Blind Sailing World Championship Regatta in Newport, RI, where he was on Team Japan, I to was immediately attracted to his many unique and infectious attributes as well as his sailing abilities. I have also been fortunate to sail with him in San Diego and my home port of Rockport, MA , making life time memories for me and my family. I to have been inspired by his courage, persistence, positive outlook and his faith in himself, family, friends and others. He is and will remain one of my lifetime HERO’S. Thank you so much for facilitating his dream and all it has taken to make it happen. You have successfully shown how partnering and team work can overcome and prevail in reaching a goal and fulfilling a dream. I hope our paths will cross, so I can thank you personally for what you have contributed towards Hiro’s dream.

    My very best to a fellow sighted guide,
    Bill Rapp, Sighted Guide, Boston Blind Sailing

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