I went on deck to jibe and heard a song coming from somewhere beneath me. It sounded like psychedelic rock. I thought perhaps my emergency radio had turned on in the toss about of the sail change.
I bent my ear towards the cabin and just as I did two dolphins jumped out of the water with a twist and a turn and a splash. I looked beyond, and in every direction, in every wave, in every edge, with every heartbeat, I saw dolphins. I saw their bodies moving near the surface. I saw their fins. I saw their rocks. I saw their rolls. Their coupled dances. Their solo jigs. Their acrobatic dangles. I saw them. I saw straight into the souls of their eyes. I saw them. I saw them everywhere.
It was cosmic. As if winged angels were rising up out of the sea.
Their psychedelic song grew loud and soft as they swam near to far. It must be the same song of folklore that lured so many sea-bleached sailors into the abyss. It must be.
I’ve seen dolphins before, but never like this. Never alone at sea. Never with a serenade.
These past few days I’ve felt really alone. It causes ups and downs. Sometimes I can barely move, sometimes all I do is dance, sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I want somebody to come save me, sometimes I wanna figure it all out by myself. Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes.
For three days the wind has moved soft and slow and gentle. I have been on the very edge of the high with next to no air, but I’m almost to the trade winds now.
The nights of light air provide little sleep. The sails whip backwards with any slight movement of a wave the wrong direction and I have to wake and adjust lines or change direction often. I know that the nights in the trade winds will provide the same dreamless state of sleep, but only for a different reason.
By Monday the wind and the waves will ripen into the same cacophony that greeted me my first few nights at sea. This time up to 10 ft. waves will be off of my stern. And the sky is going to be a swirl of squalls.
I am not ready for the return of giants, so I don’t mind sailing slowly towards them.
At night I stare at the moon and Venus and try to shake the shadows of next week from my mind. I am already in the fishes belly and I must either succumb or transform. ‘Cause I’m way past the point of no return.
Jospeh Campbell says that the story of Jonah and the whale is metaphorically a battle between the unconscious (heart) and the conscious (mind). The water and the creatures of it represent the unconscious. In Jonah’s story he had to be swallowed by the darkness of the unconscious in order to transcend. Renewal with the powers of nature (or God), “which are the powers of our life, and from which our minds remove us,” is the reward of such a journey into the dark.
I see it as a journey towards harmony, a rekindling between the heart and the mind. A spiritual ascension, if you will.
And I suppose in search of the same harmony, I have found myself here at sea.
I can handle next week. Juniper can handle it too. She took the same weather over her bow and now she can take it off her stern. We’ve been here before, not long ago, it was just in another direction.
Well, what can I say. I was running her hard yesterday to get out of the high and into some wind. We were four hours deep and she just putted to a stop while still in gear.
I discovered a transmission leak and air in my fuel line which has kept me looking at the engine for a few days. Mostly because I have to use books and manuals and then send pictures to my mechanically-minded friends and say, “ I’m about to take this off, that’s the correct part, right?” Then I wait a few hours for them to respond.
I got the transmission grooving at least until I get to Hawaii and I tracked down the source of the air leak.
Tomorrow I’m gonna change out a filter, bleed the engine, and try to start her again.
Socket wrenches are my best friends right now.