It’s 3:30 a.m. and we are about to cross the equator. The mermen don’t wanna rise from their slumber to celebrate. They have dashed my visions of a party with champagne and a ukulele sing-along. Visions of a party with someone wearing my flamingo costume and the rest of us in my wet floral dresses. Visions of a party where we shave somebodies head and make King Neptune beards with the hair. Alas this will have to wait for the next time I cross.
I’m just out here in the cockpit eating a spoonful of almond butter and honey, while I wait for it.
Ten minutes to go.
I’m not out here in the cockpit alone. There are eyes everywhere. Eyes in the sea. Eyes in the sky. Eyes in the clouds. Eyes in the squalls that pass me by.
Those squalls coming and going with their eyes and their shadows. Turning me inside out. Turning the world into a swirl. Always. My heart- pomp pomp. Pomp pomp. Then the rain. Pomp. Pomp. Oh the rain. Water above. Water below. Pomp. Pomp.
We just crossed. It is 4:15 a.m. and it all happened so fast. I was chucking stuff overboard for King Neptune in haste. His bread. His wine. All the things I wanted to leave behind in the northern hemisphere – my addiction to loving addicts, the parts of me that taste bitter to other tongues including my own, my feelings of unworthiness, my self-loathing, the obsessive thoughts that invade my brain like an army of martians, my rust, my smoke, my tangled roots, my gray, my thunderheads, my fog.
I did not think crossing it would be so rapid, like that. Like a blip. I thought time was going to slow down. Drip seconds like resin falling from a pine tree. Crystallize me in a chunk of amber and let me hang there suspended for an hour, maybe more.
As soon as I was on the other side the wind perked up. Had I not given King Neptune enough? Was he still thirsty? I should have saved him more wine. I should have given him a lock of my hair and some of my toenails, maybe even an eyelash or two.
Yesterday I had a thirst that I couldn’t quench. My mouth a desert all day. Sand whipping around inside. Into and down all my pipes. Bones piled up to the moon. Vultures circling, looking for more blood to consume. Maybe it was just the anticipation of the equator crossing?
Anyway, now here we are, in this new hemisphere. I’ve been here before, but never by water. Over here, East is still a figment. Like Puff the magic dragon or Big Foot. Something I can only hold in my imagination, not with my eyes or compass or heading. It’s all west or north or south.
I got a message from Eddie Bob. He said the variation between magnetic and true is zero where we are. I’ll be damned. Sometimes we feel like we’re in the twilight zone. Or a Tarkovsky flick. That one that takes place in Outer Space, Solaris.
After receiving his message, we took out every compass onboard, little handheld ones, ones on the phone, etc. They all read the same as the one on the binnacle. No deviation unless they all deviate. Then we discovered that it is the chart plotter that is misreading course over ground on both true and magnetic settings. Last nights placement of the Southern Cross in the sky is still mystery. It was off our starboard beam, which means we were going east of south, yet we made no easting.
I scratch my head. I furl my brow. I throw all my instruments overboard. I pull the stars out of the sky and rearrange them in an order that makes sense.
Everything turned silver and pink at sunrise. And that makes sense. I wish it turned me that color silver and that color pink too.
We caught two more fish. They didn’t escape but we set them free. A baby tuna and a baby mahi. Each time Josh said, “Let him go. And let him grow.” I like this phrase. We could apply this to people too. Especially ourselves.
Hey moonbeam, just let it go and let yourself grow!
Crossing oceans and cruising has definitely forced me to grow and set parts of me free.
Have you been thinking about getting freed in the ocean? If you answer yes to 7 or more or the below, you might have the heart of a cruiser….
1- You love the sea more than the land
2- You are ok with showering once in a blue moon
3- You like pouring every single penny you earn into an inanimate object
4- You are ok loving said inanimate object more anything else in life, because she will quickly become your wife. She will need constant attention and repair and without it, she will create drama. But in return she will give you a whole ocean of freedom.
5- You dig staring down God’s throat
6- You have no problem eating canned food and cabbage for weeks at a time
7- You don’t mind dangling a hook in the water for days and not catching a big fish
8- You like waking at all hours of the night and day and having the sky rain on you when you do
9- You are ok being at the mercy of the wind and the currents and sailing in a direction different from your destination
10- Your not in a hurry and don’t have a schedule
11- You love being trapped in confined spaces- think of a prison, but a fancy one that lets you always see a 360 degree view of the sky
12- You like McGuyvering your world together
13- You don’t mind forgetting what day of the week it is and disconnecting from the rest of the world
14-The smell of smoke doesn’t phase you
15- You love problem solving and physics and mechanics and electricity and carpentry and team work
16- You love love love love love camping
17- You are perfectly comfortable unexpectedly swallowing the sea
18- Your down to get wet and wild
***Dear Barry, don’t worry, I’m still going to Ahe. There was threat of mutiny after the electrical fire. They said the ship had to turn around to Hawaii or go straight to Tahiti. Tahiti was the lesser of two evils. I will go to Ahe with your seeds for the pearl farmer in late August or September. Stay tuned.
***Want to know where we are? We have a tracker. Donate any amount you feel to receive the password for this adventure. Check the “Contribute” page or “Tracker” page via the main menu on Wildernesofwaves.com both will lead you there. It automatically sends a message to you with my satellite email in copy when you donate. If you donated and can’t find the email, look in your junk mail for a message from Olivia & Juniper Or Olivia.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you still can’t find it, message me on my satellite email – email@example.com and I can send it your way.
****If you are reading this and would like to receive the posts straight to your Inbox, put your email in at the bottom of any page on the blog and click “Sail Along” then go to your email and confirm that you would like to follow.
***Special request for anybody reading from California. I am in the July and August isssue of Latitude 38. Hoping someone can scoop me a few copies of both months issues. Forever grateful if you can. X