Today the sea, she whispers. She’s soft and velvet. “Aloha, buttercup,” I say.
Today is not like yesterday, there is nothing ominous in the sky. And I already forgot yesterday anyway. Yesterday is just fog and flames and fangtooth fish. Yesterday is a faded photograph of a distant relative, whose name I can’t remember. Yesterday is yesterday and it already floated away.
I walked away from the dark and stormy night wanting to engrave this phrase onto a golden locket, “Despite it’s chaos, there will always be a stinging place in my heart that longs for the medicine of the sea.” Because I know that without these twists and thorns, there would be no transcendence.
I’ve always preferred the deep end of every pool, anyway.
I look around and see each wave as more than salt and water and circular motions. Each wave is a mirror. And each mirror speaks a truth.
If I do the opposite of what the waves say, I will sink. If I ignore them all together, I will just tread water. But if I listen, the only thing there is to do is rise.
The waves says things to me like, “Once you accept yourself, you can accept everything else, and everything else will accept you.” And, “You are whatever you think you are, and you spend too much time thinking about what you are not.” Or, “Don’t let your instincts get shattered by severance.” Or, “The sun is always there to give you sympathy.” Or, “When you get lost in the doldrums, don’t go fishing for the bottom dwellers.”
I swallow these pearls of truth, but some are really sour, like the last one. So sour. And I cough as I try to choke it down.
I think if I can fully digest them, then I’ll turn into a ripple. And I’ll flow across all the waves towards some hole in the horizon.
Inside that hole there would be something cool. Like a temple. Yea. And frankincense would be burning endlessly inside. Yes. And there would be people inside dancing. Wildly. Hair flapping. Arms flying. Tip. Tap. Tapping. Twirling. Twirling. Twirling. They look like serpents with their movements and from far away I realize they are all spiraling together, like a DNA helix. Yes. Yes. Yes.
If I can swallow the truths and get into that temple, I know I’ll be free like those dancing people. Free just like a dragonfly and a dragonfly can fly any direction she wants to fly.
Keep talking to me waves. Keep talking.
I’m definitely not there yet. Is anybody? Who are those people already in that temple? Maybe they’re dolphins dressed like people. And maybe dolphins became dolphins because they listened to the waves and were able to find the hole in the horizon.
Anywho, enough of that fantasy. I guess you want to know about the fire. So the darn brand-new digital battery monitor was fried. And we knew it. We took it out. Tried to clean it. When that was no use, we taped up some of the wires and put it back in it’s place. All loosey goosey and broken.
I said, “Can’t this cause a fire or something?” But none of us are electricians so nobody really knew.
Anyway fast-forward, past me then breaking the analogue monitor. Fast-forward, past the other nasty squall. Fast-forward past all that to the point where I’m laying in the quarter berth ready to relax.
And then something starts smoking. And I’m yelling “fire” then Josh is yelling “fire” and I yell “Sava” and then Josh yells “Sava” and then they both come running. And one of them was on the shitter at the time. But I won’t say which one.
I immediately cut power to everything by switching off the main DC breaker. If my lead acid batteries wouldn’t have caught fire a year after I bought the boat, then I never would have known to switch that off, but they did, so I knew.
Before I bought the boat, I knew nothing about this type of thing and I still really don’t, but I do know somethings now, at least I knew that.
But finding the source of the short was beyond me. We opened the panel. The smoke billowed out. We poked around.
We didn’t know where it was coming from. I said, “Guys it’s probably that battery monitor.” But nobody was certain.
We discussed switching the panel back on to see the smoke rising from the source. I prayed and heard not to do that. So then we decided to take the battery monitor out and have a look. That thing was more fried than a French fried potato. Parts of it had even melted together. It was as clear as day that it was the culprit.
Josh traced the lines from the monitor and we took out the fuses that they lead to. Then we disconnected anything and everything that the monitor had ever touched.
We’ve been running smoothly since. No smoke. No squalls. No dark nights.
Due to our electrical difficulties, we made a group decision to skip the Tuamotus and go straight to Tahiti. Its what everybody wants. I was originally sailing to Ahe in the Tuamotus to deliver some seeds to an old pearl farmer there. The whole thing sounded so dreamy. But it’s not practical now. Not after yesterday. Tahiti has more resources and Juniper needs a little dockside loving.
We had already made more than enough easting for Tahiti, so as soon as the smoke was squashed, I turned Juniper south and alerted my weather router of the change.
A cloud just passed and it blew cold air all over me. Nobody else felt it. It felt like I was in the French Alps for a second. Though I’ve never been there nor know what that feels like, but it feels like what I imagine the French Alps to feel like. Let’s just say that.
And I learned today that sea turtles can hold their breath underwater for hours. And their heart rate slows to one to two beats per minute.
I wish I could do that. I would go hang upside down inside of sea caves, if I could do that.
I don’t know if you care about this or not, but I might as well tell you that I’ve been wearing the same thing for 10 days now. We all have. Of course I change my undie bundies, but that’s it. I am wearing burnt orange shorts, a black tank top with a 1980s-style knot tied on the left side. I am also wearing a purple piece of dynema wrapped around the top of my head, just the way Rambo would wear his.
Baby, I feel like a salty sea ninja. And I like it!
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