Where the Hell am I & Where is Juniper?

I’m currently back in LA, carrying the sea in my pocket and following the flow of land. The flow of land…. What is the flow of land? Is it the weeds growing in the cracks of concrete, the smoke of a forest on fire, a river of lights, a snake in the grass, the blood of the sun?

In the buildings of earth’s cities, I can’t sit still. I watch the hands of clocks tic and toc, with glazed eyes. I want to break out of this stained fishbowl! I want to live on the fringe and throw the need for money into the wind.

I run into the street and stare up until my eyes unzip the sky, and the world grows almost silent. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. The only sound I can’t shake is the sound of death’s rattle. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. From it, I run and run and run. I run until the pavement turns green. I fly through fields of poppy flowers, I climb limestone mountains, I somersault until I am a rolling stone made of smoky quartz. I eat snow, grass, sunflowers, and pinecones. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch.


Juniper is far away. In Oahu. There is a tundra of ice between us. She sits there listing to starboard and waiting for me to come back and fix her. I can hear her moaning. I am moaning too.

She is half the boat she was when I left San Diego. While the sea made me stronger, it nearly devoured her.

She needs over $5k worth of repairs. All of the water leaks corroded and fried her electrical systems, and now she is a floating firestarter.

I must fix all of the holes where the sea gets in. I must haul her out and put her on the hard in a boatyard. I must repair the crack in the hull that is bringing the ocean into the cabin. I must repair the holes on the deck. I must put in a completely new refrigeration system-compressor, evaporator, and module. I must replace her battery monitor. I must put in some sort of valve on the stern cowl vents to prevent water from coming in through them. I must fix the oil leak on the engine. I must pull and rebed a chain plate, perhaps two. I must sew lee cloths. I must repair Juniper’s rickety heart. I must, I must, I must.

If I don’t, Juniper will sail herself onto the sea floor. There she will release bubbles until she is all out of air. Her turquoise paint will fade away, snails will turn her wood into a honeycomb hideaway, all her metal will rust, and she will become a bottom-dwelling skeleton.

I need Juniper, in the same way that (wo)mankind needs temples and deeper meanings. She is where I go to drink the medicine of immortality, commune with creator, and shake the wings of divinity. Her raised sails- the antidote to my banality.

I am not in love with her as a material object, it is the freedom she provides me that I adore. As a kid, I found that same feeling on a horse. That expansive, empty, floating feeling. I remember breaking a wild horse in, until his body bent towards a synchronized motion with mine. I was only in elementary school. I don’t remember his name, only that he was white, that he hated to go slow, that he loved to canter and gallop, but that he always bucked me to the dirt when it was time to walk or trot. Once so bad, that I am not certain if I ever really got back up. At least not in the way that I had done before.

Falling from the horse taught me to be like the horse. To gallop towards everything. To not let another’s words or will break the motion of my stride. If someone says, “You can’t succeed at that,” I throw their words down and keep my hooves flying fast across the ground, jumping over hurdles, turning left, turning right; until I either succeed or fall flat. Failure is its own success, perhaps the greatest success of all.

I am back here in LA, because I haven’t yet found a way to keep me and Juniper alive at sea. I am here to make money for her repairs and to feed our next adventure. I am here producing a TV show that will air on NBC early next year. The work is fun, the team is awesome, and I feel blessed for the opportunity.

Juniper and I will set sail again in the spring, or whenever the space between work allows. Nature won’t let us leave until around March, and our window will stay open for a while beyond that. We will go somewhere in the South Pacific. Somewhere that humpback whales go. Exactly where, we don’t know… just yet. All we know is that wherever we go, we will go alone.

For us not to go alone, the other person would have to be a world walker with a deep silver heart. Someone with the sky in their eyes. Someone who peruses the spark of a dream like a hunter- with stealth and singular focus. Someone who likes falling off the horse. Someone who doesn’t mind living on a wing and a prayer.

I like not really knowing all of the details, like where exactly I am going to be tomorrow. Being so far into the woods of today, that tomorrow doesn’t matter yet. Tomorrow, next month, the future, is still wet clay on a wheel waiting for me to shape it.

When everything is unknown there is room to change directions and fill the empty spaces with something I couldn’t have thought of yesterday.

Hello empty spaces! Geronimo!


*Check out this newspaper article on Juniper’s crossing.

*I made a Wilderness of Waves instagram that you might enjoy.

* If you like these tales from the sea and are not already receiving them directly to your inbox, just go to wildernessofwaves.com, scroll to the bottom of any page, enter your email address, and click the “sail along” button beneath it. Then go to your email and click on the confirmation email that WordPress sends to you. Voila, now each post will sail straight to your inbox. Subscribing helps me continue this journey.

11 Replies to “Where the Hell am I & Where is Juniper?”

  1. not knowing the seriousness of the crack or hull condition Juniper might be done… it happens. Boats wear out, rigging wears out (secretly inside those crimps) Keels wear out down deep in the glass n hull the bolts may be weak, through hull fittings wear out and can just snap for no reason, many items both seen and unseen may be present beyond your list. You might look into auction boats or even post an add in Cruising World Mag as many folks have beautiful double enders and ketches that are literally abandoned in Fiji, Mexico or Bahamas after they sailed in and the sea put the fear of sirens and crabs picking at them at the bottom so they flew out leaving the fully loaded ready for sea 100k boat alone with no plan. Your engine is older and usually requires full rebuilds on injection system and block when oils leaking and no start situations are occurring. The boat electrics are a task in them selves but if you really want to save Juniper maybe buying an abandoned auction boat in Hawaii to strip for parts is the key. Sea Freeze in Bellingham will make you a deal on compressor systems both new and used might give them a ring. Currently, James G Murphy is hosting a sailboat auction in Everette Wa and many of the boats in the auction might be a worthy donor to to strip and palatalize the long list of new parts you need and air ship to Hawaii before they are eaten by an excavator. Don’t buy one just wait until auction is over and offer to pay for parts on the ones that dont get purchased before they are demoed. Lots of solutions but all take time, energy and money… sometimes you have to shoot the horse. Or if you fix up Juniper, keep it simple stupid. KISS is the best. Manual pumps, ice box (30 gals of frozen water jugs will last 45 days at sea in a deep well cooler, Simple electrics and systems that function both in and out of water. Sealed batteries will work underwater as will tinned wiring and marine switches in case you encounter issues again. Southwest wind power makes an awesome wind generator system that is stern mounted and will keep batteries topped at sea. Might be the calling to lose the failed equipment and adapt to seaworthy set ups. All boats can be save depends on your efforts.
    And lastly, the alternative of being a captain who sails private sailboats from place to place may be the life that keeps you on the sea to move top shelf boats you get paid to sail. Many options for a siren of the sea hope this feed back gives you perspective look foreward to your next posted chapter. DB

    1. Thank you so much David! Haha I hope I don’t have to shoot the horse! I think she will heal with some love. Good point on letting old systems go. I am going to email Sea Freeze now and will think more on the ice box option. It is so easy to get accustomed to the tiniest amount of luxury at sea- like a fridge. I have some charters coming up early spring. Eventually, hopefully, one day, the water will become my entire world. Thanks for all of the tips!

    2. Whoa! Poor Juniper! So sad to read about all of her wounds. She is such a beautiful sailboat. Think it through as I know safety is your number one priority. You don’t want to throw away good money after bad. I do know how much you love your boat and that you had great plans for the future. Juniper certainly got you through the first leg of your travels even with her wounds. You have time to think, thank goodness.

  2. “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young [wo]man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

    Regardless of Juniper’s future, your time at Sea with her will always be a moveable feast. Good luck on the new NBC show. Hope you meet some cool people and have a little fun.

  3. “There are infinite new beginnings. I will return to my roots, back to where I belong, sailing across oceans on my own boat, in my own time, in my own space, navigating by the stars, finding beauty in the simple. This was, after all, where it all began and where it should rightly end. There is nothing else. I’ll call her Carrie Ann and together we’ll sail by the stars. She’ll be my starship, Starship Carrie Ann.” Hannah Lyndsey Brown, from “When Pigs and Horses Fly”

    1. Love this quote! So beautiful, thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to read that book of yours 🙂

  4. You have a good boat and a good way with words that make the reader want more, All the best with the onward journey and repair and refit. I’m sure you don’t care but ‘windless’ is windlass, hope you don’t get too much of the former. I read another blog on WordPress by Attila Vedo, a Hungarian who sailed from Ireland to Australia on a 22 ft boat, my old one. Perhaps you or your readers may want to look in. He has a YouTube channel too, same name. (Mine is mjcooke2) I hope you get to do some video too. Mike

  5. Hi Mike, Thank you so much for sharing his blog and the youtube channels. I am excited to check them out. Also thank you for the spelling corrections…oops! Definitely don’t like those windless days. Thanks for sailing along.

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