Dolphin Dance

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.

Engine Blues….

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.

12 Replies to “Dolphin Dance”

  1. Gotta love those dolphins! Text me on the in reach, want to talk about Hawaii agriculture customs agents.

  2. I am awakened by your words. I savor every single entry and look forward to the next one. You are one heck of a writer. Thank you

  3. Olivia, I treasure you stories. You are one of the bravest people I’ve ever known. My prayers for you continue. ????

  4. I am enjoying following you on your journey. I am praying for your safety and for a wonderful experience.

  5. Good morning Olivia
    All of us on H dock think of you often your boat neighbors are sending positive vibes your way
    We know you have challenges of the sea that you will overcome, you should let us know how far out you are, so glad the dolphins came to encourage you on your journey very special. Richard and I hope you have a good day and even though you are physically alone you have many friends riding along in spirit.

  6. I am amazed each day by you and your beautiful writing. I know you are going to have a safe journey to your final destination and I am cheering you on each day. Also, I will be cheering you on when you write that BOOK which I am sure everyone wants. And then, the movie, which we all want to see. But, for now, stay strong and do all your chores and please eat something. Say hi to the dolphins ….I swam with them once upon a time.

  7. Your words are magic- such evocative descriptions, that I feel as though I am there with you. And I have no idea how you pull it off with all the fatigue, tossing about, and busyness.
    Good luck with the engine!

  8. I’m so glad I’m able to share your journey of sailing with you, please know you are the Master of your Fate. Trade winds here you come! Enjoy

  9. You’ve got this! With friends and family giving you loads of encouragement, support and prayers and keeping a close watch on your every mile. You are blessed.
    Love mom and dad

  10. Gosh it truly is like reading a suspense novel .. diesel .. sail change, highs lows (in weather and in spirit). I’ve been to a sweat lodge I became one with the dirt. That was only 4 hours. I just can’t imagine a sweat lodge for 30 days. What a rainbow of emotions.

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