The Sunnyside

I don’t remember the last time I showered. Does jumping into the sea count? 

Sorry to tell you that, but it’s the truth. I tell you all my truths. As if you were my diary. Now you know everything. What’s on the surface of my skin. What’s beneath my skin. What’s crawling inside my skin but shouldn’t be there. All the areas where I entirely lack skin. Skinless. So many places. Yet in others I have very thick skin like big ole callouses. It would be grand if the skin could just be smooth and even all over. 

Anyway, today I regretted having told you everything. Making my heart a sitting duck and whatnot. Letting you know that I’m completely and utterly a beautiful disaster. Spoon-feeding you every head and limb of my exquisite corpse.

By now, it’s no secret that I am just as mutable and emotional as the sea.

I regretted you knowing all of this for most of the day, then the moon rose and I thought, who the hell cares? You can chew my words up and swallow if you like them and if not just spit them out. And if you love them you can turn them into flower essence and rock them on all your skin and skinless places. 

Speaking of skin, on land I feel like a fish in a frying pan, so I’m always in the sea. I’ve made the anchorage off of Diamond Head my office. That view there ain’t too shabby. I sit out there working on this new film project and there is a constant breeze and my wind-chimes dance around and I feel free.

I’m a rambler. I like movement beneath my feet. I think that’s why the constant flow at anchorage is so soothing for me. 

I also like my life being infused with the need for survival. That’s probably why I foolishly tried to row my dinghy upwind when it was blowin’ 20 plus knots. Lord, I almost got sucked over to Lanai. Teaches me to try and row in a big blow. It sure was exciting though. A story always accompanies anything worth calling an adventure.

When I anchor out, all of my mermaid friends swim, or paddle, or ride a blow-up turtles out to visit me.

The other day a man asked me, “How do you capture a mermaid?” And I said, “You sing her a song.” So I sing and the mermaids come. I sing for them when I need something more than myself. When I feel too alone.  

I already know how crazy that can get. Me and myself. Wild times. Wild, wild times. Wild, wild, wild, times. Like jumping off of a high dive into the deep end of a pool made of clouds.

I feel blessed to be in Hawaii during this time. I don’t think there is anywhere else that I can go. A French couple came in from French Polynesia yesterday. They said, “Don’t sail there now, don’t sail anywhere but the United States now.”

Because of COVID, I’ve heard that cruisers in French Polynesia can’t even get off their boats to swim. They have to wake up in the wee hours just to catch a fish without being seen. There goes Tahiti for now. My window to get there is closing. Now, I’m considering Tabuaeran aka Fanning Island.

My friend said that he is not allowed to sail in California these days. And I know of others who have been fined for surfing and spearfishing there.  At least I can still sail here! I sail circles around this island until I get dizzy and fall down. Sometimes I take friends, sometimes I go alone. Sometimes I go fast, sometimes I go slow. Sometimes I see whales, sometimes I see rainbows.

Recently, the governor of Hawaii decided that no more than two people are allowed to be on boats and that all boats are required to stay 20 feet from each other. Nobody appears to be paying attention to this rule. I watch as parties of people come and go.

I surf a lot too. Just the other day I was surfing at low tide and got a sea urchin stuck in my right foot. It hurt, hurt real good, but every time I took a step I could feel the reflected beauty of its existence. May everything that hurts me reflect only the beauty of its existence. 

When I am not anchoring, I am repairing. Still. So many repairs. I forgot to tell you that a pirate stole my solar panels the weekend before I returned to Hawaii. Anyway, I got new ones. The same kind. The same everything, but they don’t stay up like they used to. Before I sailed to Hawaii it took me 3 days and two brains to defy gravity and get those things to stay up with just the tiny hinges they rest upon. But now I can’t figure out the magic recipe. So I use sticks to prop them up. Anyway, they are Renogy panels and they are gems and if you want some for yourself, I can get you a little discount.

I have been repairing all of my topside leaks too, by rebedding chainplates and deck prisms. Now, only angels can enter my boat.   

Oh and my wheel break was broken on one side and there are no parts on the island, so my friend and I got creative. It took us 8 hours, a sandwich, and two beers, to figure out what worked best. In the end we screwed some pieces of metal onto the brackets to fill in the gap. And now that thing works better than it ever did. 

Along the way we scratched my compass. I figured out that by using toothpaste, a soft cloth, and some elbow grease, you can make those compass scratches completely disappear. My compass is all shiny and perfect again. Why can’t toothpaste do the same for my cavities?!

During that repair we watched a bunch of cops invade the dock adjacent to me. Turns out they were pulling a body from a boat. So sad. I don’t know what happened. Was it a trip to the grocery store that did him in? Trips anywhere are dangerous these days. I tremble every time I go to the laundromat. All unnatural spaces feel so icky.

I’ve been doing things on the boat that don’t feel natural. Like going up Juniper’s mast. My neighbor, Tom, taught me how to climb up there all on my own by using a three-purchase block set up. I don’t know the exact height of the mast, but I need 50.50 ft. for bridge clearance, and my life, in my own hands -way up at the top- is kind of terrifying. I guess self-trust is something I’m forever working on.

I had a dream at the end of last year that explains this fact: 

December 16, 2019

I am in a boat with four others. A massive rogue wave comes out of nowhere and it’s coming from straight off our beam. I think that I’m going to die. I yell “What do I do, tell me what to do!”  A woman on the boat says, “Trust me, just hold tight it will be alright.” And I listen and do just that and everything is fine. It looked so scary from afar, but was of no consequence once I calmed down and let it pass. 

It’s important to trust myself over anyone else. To not get too panicked to sit still and hear my own thoughts. To not seek water from stones.

Sailing and fixing and fixating on Juniper, forces me to trust myself. Did you know that I didn’t even know how to use a power tool until I bought Juniper? Now I know how to use power drills and circular saws and drum sanders and lathes, etc.

The other day a man watched me come in from a solo sail, then stepped onboard and looked on as I fixed an oil leak. He said, “I’ve never seen a woman do so much stuff that a man does.” I said, “I don’t do it because I want to, I do it because I love sailing so much, that I have to.”

Next I’m gonna tackle some electrical repairs. And hopefully I don’t get electrified…fried…fried…fried. 

If I do, just call me fire heart. Even if I’m all cockeyed and slack-jawed. And smile as you watch electrical storms spring from my mind in attempts to lasso the dropping sun. 

Oh the sun! What if the sky was sideways? It sure wouldn’t effect the round sun. What if there was a flower on the moon? The man on the moon would pick it and stick it behind his ear. What if sea flowed upwards towards heaven? I would sail straight to Venus.

Anyway, keep on the sunnyside, no matter where you are.



* My friend Danny and I made a remote country cover-band. He is in the redwoods and you know where I am. Check out our John Prine & Iris Dement cover here.

*If you want to score a deal on some Renogy solar panels, follow this link and use the code: JUNIPER

* If you like these salt covered tales and are not already receiving them directly to your inbox, just go to, 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 to continue this journey. X 

6 Replies to “The Sunnyside”

  1. Sweet Olivia, I simply adore you! Most people stop being “precious” when they grow up. You on the other hand get more and more precious with time. I miss you! Sending you a tender hug today across the miles…

  2. Dr. Ramona, your words always make me cry. Each day I rise with a strength you have helped me to capture. I never would have had the courage to cross that ocean without your guidance and encouragement and prayers along the way. You taught me how to harness self-love, how to let go of that which does not serve me, and how to always walk in the light by holding HIS hand above anybody else’s. You are an angel on this earth and you shine brighter than anything hanging in the sky. Love you always and forever!

  3. rawgod, thank you so much! I always love your comments and am so so so grateful that you are on this journey with me!

  4. I always enjoy your words. They seem so honest and colourful yet cut to the heart of the matter. I know the YouTube sailing vlog market is saturated but your song and the other video are a welcome addition to your other media presence. Please consider doing more. With love and best wishes.

  5. “ Just the other day I was surfing at low tide and got a sea urchin stuck in my right foot. It hurt, hurt real good, but every time I took a step I could feel the reflected beauty of its existence. May everything that hurts me reflect only the beauty of its existence.” Gratitude is the wing and anchor to my life, and these set of words call to me. I simply love your writing. Your words and sentiments feel like home, you’re like a sweet little bluebird perched in my minds-eye. Thank you for sharing the beautiful aches and terrifying sinews that stitch more than the bones and muscles of such a soul as you. ~A

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