There’s a kind of diametrical contrast at play when a group of strangers go to sea together. We all work as a team to move the boat and the adventure forward, yet as the days wear on, our identities as individuals—rather than as teammates—often intensify. We’re here in the middle of the ocean out of our own doing, each with our own personal ambitions that allow us to push onward. The strength of those ambitions can often determine how long we’ll function as team members before retreating into personal cocoons once the fatigue and cabin fever of a long passage set in. After hitchhiking for so many months at sea, I’ve witnessed the entire spectrum of ambition, from a captain terminally ill with cancer and determined to live it up to young people disenchanted with everyday life to people who’ve accomplished so much in this world that sailing around it seemed, somewhat matter-of-factly, like the next logical step. My own ambitions had long brewed, since those summer sailing holidays in my youth that I once shared with my father. Over the years, we’d both secretly dreamed of seeing exotic islands on the horizon and sailing night after night beneath star-filled skies. My ambition, when I set out on this journey, was to accomplish that dream for both of us. However, when I reached the halfway mark of my circumnavigation, the farthest point from home, that ambition was dealt a blow. Soon after sailing westward from Australia on Strega, I received news that my father had died.