Morning was about to break and the strawberry full moon was hanging above the jagged peaks of Mo’orea like a prayer. I have lost track of days, months, and moons, and this moon was not the flower moon, as I have been calling her, but she bled across the sky like a wildflower bleeds across grass, anyway. Tangerine and low and round and vast. If I sailed any closer to her I would slip into the milk of the galactic.
Coffee was created only after Cici soothed the propane tanks with this song “Oh propane, please light your fire, everybody needs their coffee in the morning, my captain and me, we are tired, so we really need the coffee in the morning.”
At 8 a.m. I motored between the reefs of Avaroa pass and into Cook’s Bay. We dropped the hook and stared at a landscape where legends linger of giants petrified by daylight.
The anchorage is surrounded by green cliffs as high as creatures of the Jurassic and petals float all around perfuming the water. My eyes needed something this wet and tall after the flat salt deserts of the Tuamotus.
Cici and I were dirty and dazed. We sat. We swam. We stepped over sharks to eat at a French restaurant and we ate until our thoughts were all afterthoughts. The owner of the joint drove us to fill water jugs from the free spigots in town and to the Super U Are grocery store where we bought chocolate bars and effervescent water.
Sleep came fast. Before sunset, and lasted until the wind blew loud enough to sway me. I woke to see that the anchor was sunk good in the mud and that my sailboat neighbor has a living room lamp in his cockpit. I blinked a bunch. It was like I was looking at a lifestyle magazine.
The roosters called for the sun in unison, ukulele strings were strumming, and a cat was meowing somewhere close by. Like she was in the water.
In the new day, we made sun print pareo’s with a local artist. Green geckos crawled all around. There were so many colors and shapes to create with that I was creatively paralyzed. I need fewer choices when it comes to everything in life. Otherwise, I can’t see straight enough to know what it is that I want. In general, this has been more severe lately. Something feels off. Something within is disconnected. Perhaps you could not know this from my writing. I can be very good at hiding.
We met a gaggle of spirits that surround the pareo artist. A prophet, a witch, a wanderer, all seeking the spirit of a tangible dream. The prophet, who looks like Jesus had Jesus lived a touch longer, pulls me aside and says, “The universe has been giving you many signs which you have ignored. You are to let go of something which you have held onto. This something once gave you freedom and is now keeping you captive. It can’t carry you where you are going next.” I know it all sounds as vague as a fortune cookie to you, but then he said, “It’s your sailboat.”
Before I came back to Juniper, I had the idea to sail her a little longer around here, then sell her. I don’t know if I even told you this. It’s a hard thought to say out loud and I choke as I swallow it back down. And when I got back to her, I changed my mind and decided to sail her to Fiji.
I think the signs that the prophet mentions are these- the electrical fire, her going ashore, the leaks nobody can explain. I can’t afford financially or energetically or emotionally to keep doing the major repairs needed to take her offshore. I have been told more than once, by those helping me repair her, that I need to sell her instead. I think she prefers to sail closer to coasts, 200 nautical miles at most.
Cici and I ascended into the tropical gardens. An elderly woman with a crown fed us fish and fruits. It was there, that I met, by chance, two people who had been on the pearl farm and helped to rescue Juniper. They were the only other people in the garden besides us.
Chance meetings are never by chance.
They told me of the day it happened. About how a mooring line had broken free from Juniper almost a month prior and someone had just announced, “I need to go replace the line,” when they all looked over and saw that Juniper was already on shore. They told me other things too. Words that were spoken of me by one individual before Juniper went ashore. Words that weren’t kind. Words attacking the sensitive nature of my character. Words, that of course, cut deep to hear.
Maybe Juniper could hear the things said of me from across the water. Maybe that’s why she let herself loose. Maybe it was her way of protecting me.
Accidents are never by accident.
And when I think about that. About the connection that Juniper and I have, how can I let her go? Where will I go when I do? How long will it take to find the right boat to continue this journey on?