FEEDING WILD THINGS

I fall asleep not long after dusk and wake while the world is still colorless and the last star has yet to fade. I watch the sun open up it’s golden eye and splash, drip, drench, it’s rays onto everything. Grey to green. Black to blue. Purple to white.

Morning showers make rainbows fly out of the vibrant turquoise shallows.

I go to shore and feed four fish to a somewhat tame frigate bird. I wave the fish in the air, make barbaric sounds, and she flies down to perch on a sea-worn branch. She has an electric blue beak and wings the size of Antarctica. She will not let me touch her, but if you feed anything wild for long enough, it will eventually cave. I will continue this ritual until my fingertips shake her feathers.

On shore there are also piglets, a puppy, kittens, ducks, and other little things. When I crack coconuts, they all sit at my feet, biting my toes, waiting for fallen coco meat.

Hammocks and slack lines are stung between trees. There is a shack that pops with flags and posters. I love it’s colors. It was a restaurant once. Rocked by the pandemic.

I carve paths through the coconut forest, just to stand on the oceans shore, where water runs loose and rages. Something in the forest sings to me. It sounds so ethereal, yet human. I find a roofless church built in the 1800s with two gravestones next to it. The singer of my serenade must be buried here.

I weigh anchor and move Juniper closer to shore. With her big keel she can’t help but sail around the hook in the wind. My vessel is a melody that knows no rest.

I get to and fro shore with my Rasta colored surfboard and a borrowed paddle. I broke one of Daisy’s oars. Part of the wood just cracked right off in the middle of a new moon night. I had to fish the broken bits out of the shark waters on an outgoing tide and get rescued by someone on a paddle board.

The thrill of my adventures are endless.

In the afternoons I take kiteboarding lessons. I have not added the element of the board yet. I am kitebodying for the moment. I get dragged across the water, kite jittering above me, at 15 knots, with my body flying above everything, then crashing down. I eat so much saltwater along the way that I am absolutely astonished that there is any water left in the lagoon of Fakarava.

I have bruises across my entire chest. Deep cuts. Gnarled fingers. Total exhaustion. But this new way of floating around in the wind, gives me a real good high.

Sometimes at night, all the boat people gather on shore for a BBQ. There are many single-handed sailors, two of which are women. I learn how to weave plates from palm fronds and sit by the fire grilling pumpkin.

I could get stuck sailing around French Polynesia for forever. Every pocket of it. Every day of it. Every encounter within it. So unique. I am never bored. Always in the moment.

I finished work earlier this week and turned down a new job offer because it would require me going back to the states and they did not have room in the budget to pay for my flight and quarantine. I will sail soon to the Society Islands. I might stop at Makatea on my way. It’s one of the only volcanic islands left here, in this world of atolls. A gal named Cici from Denmark has asked to hitch a ride west. I like her vibe and have agreed.

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*I posted a new Wilderness of Waves and Sunshine & Salt podcast, if you fancy checking them out.

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