Anais takes a break from her chores on board to ponder about what's on the horizon and why we're here...

There are more and more visits by our distant relatives - the whales - as we journey onwards and they are a welcome distraction from our busy daily routine. It's one of the unspoken ship's rules to drop grease guns, chipping hammers and carpentry tools at any time, and get one personal minute of wonder holding onto the railing, viewing the spouts. Perhaps this mixed feeling of wishfulness and emotion is because we feel connected to these mammals who were drawn from the land to the ocean - just like us.

I also love these funny moments of confusion when formations of dark blue clouds appear close to the horizon. It makes me wink, rub my eyes and after a second look they appear not to be just mountain shaped clouds but actually land. Greenland this time.

Foreign land approached from sea always has something mysterious, undiscovered feel about it. The chart gives little information about the living conditions on this land. A lighthouse, a town with an unpronounceable name, some mountains, one is 2215m high. Has anybody been at the peak already? Is there a cross on any of the summits? Is somebody sitting behind his window with a cup of tea in the town with the unpronounceable name, watching the ocean, wondering if a ship passes by in this very moment? We won't find out, we are moving on, with 10 knots speed - not faster than a bicycle crossing the oceans.

I start to think about the first settlers that sailed to the new world. Many of them were drawn by rumours about enormous gold reserves at the other side of the ocean. They aimlessly started digging around hoping to find some of these gold clumps that just had to be somewhere. And at least the hole could be used to plant some vegetables. But most of them found nothing. Occasionally the soil contained a strange black smear. The gold seekers had no idea how to make a fortune out of that and just left it where it was.

A few hundred years later this black smear has become the most important resource of industrialised society. The whole world seems to be completely dependent on oil and people often think that there is no way to exist without it. But the driving force behind drilling deeper and deeper for new oilfields in harsher environments - taking massive risks - is just oil companies being really greedy and if we invested in clean technology, soon we would be perfectly able to exist without black gold as well.

I often wonder how we managed to get into this terrible situation. Douglas Adams (author of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) advocates the idea that things started to go wrong when we came down from the trees. But it's not like we can simply climb back up - or go back in time. We have a lot of equipment on the Esperanza but one thing we don't have is a time machine. We are heading for the future with a choice to make. Do we go beyond burning dirty fossil fuels - beyond deadly oil - or will we keep repeating our mistakes?

-- Anais