People have asked if it was hard to be gone from the US on election year and I have to say that I've really enjoyed being out of the US for this cycle. I don't hear a thing about the election unless I search the information out myself. No TV hyping the mini-drama of the day. No dire warnings of death and destruction of life as we know it if you don't vote for person X. I've been glad to be gone and although it requires some planning (and I almost screwed it up), it was easy to vote absentee.
That is--it was easy to be away until today. We're on passage between Tahiti and the Tuamotus and I was sitting in our sunny cockpit having a sandwich (on baguette of course) with Carol when I realized that TODAY was election day. I'm surrounded by ocean, with a single sideband as my only news source, and suddenly I felt very far from home. I love and I hate the festival of election night. I normally have a plan for where I'm going to watch the news come in, I make popcorn and I stay up until the election is called even if that means the wee hours of the morning. When Obama won in 2008 I was in France in a hotel room without a TV but at least I had internet access and I could refresh 10 different news sites waiting for more information to pop up.
Tonight, in between tack planning, horizon scans, radar scans and charting, I spent my watch flipping through AM radio channels on the SSB trying frantically to find a station that came in clearly that is news. After struggling through the French international news on the SSB and still not being 100% sure what the status of the election was, the American stations started coming in clearly and I heard that CBS had called the election.
And once I had the result, rather than listening to the pundits discuss the results, or people try to guess who the next cycle's candidates will be, I happily had the option to turn off the radio and go back to watching the stars.