“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
03.01.yc118 Saisio < Okomon Constellation < The Forge
You’ve heard the saying, “It’s seems like only yesterday…”, but for me, not really. It’s been a long time and it feels like it as well. Over six years ago on 01.12.yc111 (December 1st, 2009), my journey to explore all of K-Space began. In all honesty, I never thought I’d finish, which was fine, as my goal was to enjoy the experience, see what there was to see, and meet people along the way. The only real goal was to see how far I could get. I accepted and was prepared for ship losses before I even began. To not lose a ship was never a goal when I started. There were a couple of breaks in there, one of which was for an extended period of time. Taking those timeframes out, my actual time invested in the journey was about three years, which I completed on 26.11.yc117 (November 26th, 2015).
On being caught while exploring, I’ve been asked were there any close calls and if so, why I had not shared them on this blog. There were of course, some very close calls. Mostly in Low Sec, believe it or not. My reasoning for not sharing them was simple, I didn’t want to highlight the negative aspects of New Eden, only the beauty of that which was around us. I also didn’t want it to be known just how easy it could be to catch me and I felt talking about it would only encourage others to try. So, I simply chose to not say anything at all with the hope of flying under the radar for as long as I could, quietly, steadily, day by day.
As I continued to get further and further along without losing a ship, the pressure continued to mount that I could feasibly complete K-Space without any losses. I know others have visited every K-Space system, but I felt sure it had not been done before without suffering any losses. Besides visiting every planet, not losing a ship would add that extra special something and uniqueness about my journey to visit every K-Space system. Not losing a ship and pod didn’t start out as a goal, but it became one towards the end.
With that in mind, one of the funniest encounters I had in Null Sec was when someone asked why they couldn’t find any statistics about me on the kill-boards. I didn’t think it would be difficult to explain, but I found my ability was lacking to convey the concept of no ship losses as well as my neutral and non-aggressive nature. I just laughed at myself trying to explain it and I still don’t think they completely understood that it was possible to not show up on kill-boards. I know New Eden is a dangerous and unforgiving cluster, but I had no idea my ideals would be so alien to others. As a capsuleer, the thought of being alien among my own kind still makes me chuckle today.
Another instance in Null that I thought was fairly funny was when I was in Brave space in the south. They were talking on open coms, (local chat and shame on them!), about setting up a cyno to jump in a freighter. My ears perked up, I had never seen that done before and my explorer’s heart to see something I’ve not seen before overcame my fear of being found. Have you ever had one of those moments, when you are saying over and over to yourself, “Don’t screw this up!”? Well… I warped in cloaked off the station where they were setting up and waited patiently, prepared to try and snap a picture for the event. At the moment it happened, instead of calling up the correct sequence to take the picture, I decloaked instead! Even in near panic, I managed to quickly regain control and warped out. Not that they chased me or anything like that as a matter of fact, they simply verbally “slapped my hand” in open coms and went about their business. Funny to me now, but at the time I was trying to not choke on my heart that was thumping loudly in my throat.
Having done this for no other reason than my own desire to see what was out there and to share some of those experiences through this blog, I did receive some heartfelt congratulations and praise that touched me profoundly. From my bio, you can see that I’m Caldari, but my family bloodline is Achura and even more specifically if you follow my ancestry you’ll find I descend from the Stargazers. Helena Khan and Eurick Dranol honored me by calling me – Stargazer. There are not enough words for me to express my sincere gratitude and how humbling it is. Thank you both so much. I’ve only wanted to honor my ancestors and your words have assured me that I have. To me, there is no higher honor than to be called Stargazer.
I also received another high honor, this one from my corporation, Signal Cartel. Mynxee awarded me the Sagan Star of Distinction for extraordinary accomplishments which demonstrate the true spirit of exploration. I didn’t think it possible to be humbled further after being called Stargazer, but if there were no words before, now I simply find myself speechless. I can only offer my thanks to Mynxee, Johnny Splunk, and all of Signal Cartel who have encouraged me and kept me going. As much as I wanted to honor my ancestors, I equally wished to honor Signal Cartel and our corporate credo.
((OOC: My favorite Facebook quote on EVE Online’s page that summed up my approach to this whole effort and I hope reflected well upon Signal Cartel and our credo. I also wanted to quickly point out to the “Get a life” comments, lol, on average I only spent about an hour a day, after work, as a way to wind down. On weekends, as an early bird type person, I spent a few hours before the family woke up, so rest assured, I do have a life, a wonderful spouse, and a son. My hobby is gaming of which this is one, but my life is my family.))
I can’t possibly talk about or list each experience, both ill and rewarding, I’ve had along the way. Each one has only made me more determined than before to see my task through. There are also way too many to thank for the encouragement, donations, and well wishes. Just know that I do appreciate each and every one that has taken time to read this blog, comment, tweeted, shouted out, and on and on. I know that when I begin to falter, I only have to turn to my friends, my corp, and the community of which I am a part, for support. My heartfelt thanks and love.
Onwards and upwards to Anoikis. Phase III begins.