Last night I saw so many shooting stars. And a star that moved like a ship and a ship that moved like a star. Perhaps It wasn’t a ship at all, it didn’t transmit AIS and looked like a ghost, all hazy and candlelit, moving along the horizon. It sailed along in a cloud of fog then disappeared.
Today all I see is white, dark blue, and baby blue. The ocean. The sky. The clouds. The crests. I’m drenched in blues.
We have more spray onboard today than ever before. I think if an animal, like a horse was near, it would mistake me for a salt lick and lick me from head to toe, starting with my eyelids. They are so salty that it burns to open or close them, so I perpetually squint.
We are on a close-reach now. Juniper fish tales on the backside of some waves and catches air on the tops of others. Together we defy gravity, ever so briefly. Each time I pray that she descends at the same angle she ascended in.
I was surfing once and someone said to me, “Never turn your back on the ocean.”
Truer words have never been spoken. If I turn my back, the ocean slaps me with her long white fingers. It’s better for me to see the slap coming, then to be shocked by it from behind.
The waves have continued to get me in my quarter berth as well. I never suspect that they will find me there, still they always do. I soothe them, “Yes, yes I’m still here love.”
The ocean is also crawling in across the floorboards. This time in the form of a river that has tidal currents and fish and frogs. We squeeze sponges of it out into the sink all day long. Sink. I hope Juniper does not.
If I could describe these waves today, I would say they are lunar and lonesome but curious. There’s a starkness and a formidable force to them, but I think that’s due to their loneliness. The loneliness is what makes them curious about us too. They want to get all up in and all over Juniper. Find out what we are having for dinner. See what kind of games we’re playing. Figure out who sleeps where.
Wayne wrote that in the Hawaiian language there are over 40 words describing ocean waves and around 20 words to describe waves as they break upon a shore or reef.
I think I must have all of those variations of the ocean inside of me. I break a lot of different ways onto shore and out here I break in the depths too. Sometimes gently, sometimes rambunctiously, sometimes aggressively, sometimes chaotically, sometimes lovingly, sometimes….
I’m just as moody and my contours are just as deep.
Below me now is 16,680 feet.
I realized today that I can both trust and distrust one person at the same time. This can make me break in a lot of bad ways. Mostly because it shades everything one does in a distrustful light, even when one is doing right. I’m currently working on resolving this and breaking on the reef of trust more tenderly.
It’s hard to be tender now. Moving around the boat takes every muscle inside of me. Each time I walk my body is jolted into odd shapes by the waves. It looks like I’m doing an interpretive dance. I’ll call the dance Romancing The Messiah. I do that dance a lot out here.
Out here, there is no island in the distance. Out here, there is no shallow sand to anchor in. Out here, it’s just aquatic white and blue.
*Thanks for all of the fun questions. Here are the answers.
Wayne asks: Does Juniper have a built-in sound system or is it a portable setup? Also, do you and your crew mates share similar tastes or take turns playing the DJ? What’s some of your preferences out on the open seas?
Hi Wayne! I have a built-in system, but it’s old school. We have to use a tape deck converter to plug into it, so I only use that at anchorage or at the dock. Underway we use waterproof portable speakers. We all bring a little something different to the music table but like each other’s style. It’s hard to listen on these long passages because it’s one small communal space and usually someone is sleeping, so we only jam out if everyone is in the cockpit together. I personally prefer just the sounds of the sea on crossings. That way I can stay in alignment with everything on the water. On my trip from San Diego to Hawaii I didn’t listen to music for 23 days.
1) are sailboats usually this slow? I seems like you’re going 5-7 miles an hour tops?
My boat is small and heavy but stable. She is built to cross oceans comfortably but not race across them. The longer the boat or more waterline it has, the faster the boat is. Also I have a full keel, which allows her to track well and cut waves, but is a slower element. Point of sail has a huge impact on speed as well. We are sailing close to the wind the majority of the time. That’s a slower point of sail for most boats. Juniper can go a lot faster on a beam or broad reach. We are averaging 5.5 knots per day now. There have been days we have done more and some less. When we were fighting the current, the boat was moving 6.5 knots through the water but the current was pushing against us at 2, so that means our speed over ground was 4.5. It was really hard on us to loose all that ground due to current. There were many days of that current too.
2) are you typing out these amazing blog posts on a phone or laptop? How does it stay dry?!
iPhone. 🙂 not sure. I’m very careful with it
3) did you guys sort out all the battery/electrical stuff? Are you guys running as normal or a slightly not ideal state?
All sorted we disconnected the problem child. All is good to go now.
4) are you guys playing any board games like, I dunno, taboo? How do you remain entertained or are you just always doing stuff actively to make sure you stay on course / are dry, etc
It’s a lot of energy just to move on these heavy sea and wind days. On calm days Josh and I have been playing chess. We haven’t played that many games, but I’m up 4 to 1. I’m trying to get Sava to play but he claims he doesn’t really know how. I think he secretly might, because people from Russia are born with chess moves imprinted in their brains. I’ll keep trying to get him in the mix.
5) any more word on the alien luminescent orbs entering and exiting the ocean? That sounds like a deep mystery.
I only saw it once! But I’m pretty sure it shot into outer space.
6) do you guys wear sunscreen?
Oh yes for sure. And hats etc.
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