MY LIFE IS A TRAGIC COMEDY

It’s 5 a.m. I am a breeze, upside down. At this moment I want to throw up, but the sun will be here soon enough and everything will feel different then.

I hear the splash of waves, the static of the sky, the roosters cry. Why are roosters so confused about when the sun will actually rise?

I was anchored in front of Huahine woman’s head, then the wind shifted. I don’t know where I am anymore.

From this new angle, the Mountain Woman appears to have an Adam’s apple. She’s dark green too, all of her. Her mountain of breasts, her mountain of belly, her mountain of knees. Her green hair of curls and foothill feet, fall into fish.

The mountain woman is sleeping, like everybody else. It’s just me and the roosters and I am as confused as they are; about life, about day and night, about how I ended up here, when I was over there.

I float here bewildered by the absurd circumstances which circumference my current life, but I don’t want to talk about these moments yet. I first want to talk about all the moments that came before them…

Upon anchoring in Huahine, I discover the 12th dimension of the lipless. All you have to do is close your eyes and open your mind to get there. It feels like twilight. I spend several hours there.

After rising, I ride to see the sacred blue-eyed eels. I pass the ruins of an ancient temple and learn that Tane is the God of love and keeper of everlasting paradise. I learn that a mythical canoe divided this island into two. I learn that a goddess hid inside a drum and floated here to avoid an arranged marriage and when she danced the whole world fell in love with her.

I pass a woman bathing naked on a rock. She looks at me. I look at her. She looks away. I look away. I look deep into a shallow river and find the eels: topaz eyes, bodies long and fat, sharp teeth. I feed them tuna from a leaf. The sky turns to strawberry milk and spills into Mountain Woman’s mouth.

There are other days and other things too; I sail to the end of the blue lagoon. I chase fish through a coral maze like a sea monkey. I see stone fish, moray eels, starfish- purple and soft. I find a yellow pearl. I surf. I drink cold coconuts. I meet a painter. I ride bicycles around the island twice; once south to north, and again north to south.

It is on this day, today, the day of the second bicycle adventure, from north to south, that life gets weird. I am with a French couple that lives on a yellow sailboat named Zen. We are riding past palm trees and blue water. I say, “Do y’all ever feel guilty that this is our life? That each day is this epic?” The shake their heads no.

The woman is a nurse and she looks like a starlet. Blonde strands, almond eyes, and a body as thin as an insects. She can eat too, whatever she wants; chocolate cake, foot long sandwiches, lobster, sweet bread. She eats it all fast, without breath, like it’s her last supper or like she’s been hiding under a rock in a war torn country and eating dirt and boiled rubber for the last seven years.

We are pushing bikes up the tallest mountain around. I’m about to evaporate. The sun is the same temperature as hell and each step is liquid. The starlet nurse tells me what’s hidden beneath this island’s charm. She says sometimes men sneak aboard boats. That once they did so and beat an old sailor until he was blind in one eye. She tells me that it’s best to sleep with some type of weapon nearby. She also tells me that last week, in this anchorage, a sailboat blew up and one person died. It was a bare charter boat and they think it’s got something to do with gasoline mistakenly put into a diesel engine, but nobody really knows.

We fall wheel over wheel down the backside of the mountain. The road gets flat. The starlet and her partner pedal ahead. My handlebar screw is loose and I’m wobbling all directions just trying to bike straight. A chicken crosses the road. Why? For the same reason it later flew into a tree, because it wanted to. There is a man sitting in a patch of grass. He turns his body towards me with his left hand waving and a smile that reeks of rum. He yells out “La Orana, I love you.” Guess what he’s doing with his right hand? Take one wild guess?

That’s right! Pants unzipped and his palm is piling on the pleasure. My stomach feels as angry as a snake trapped inside a tuba. At least this man was on the side of the road and everyone else must have gotten his peep show as they passed. I catch up to the Zen couple. They saw the man, but he was clothed and just talking nonsense when they passed him.

Why does this keep happening? To me? It’s so bizarre. I have to change this story, I can’t let it bother me or perceive it as taboo, or it will keep happening. Here are my new story options; 1-these men have mistaken me for some goddess and they are performing acts of devotion, 2- these men have mistaken themselves for Gods and are under the notion that they are creating new universes each time they do this act and therefore need a witness, 3- these men are apes disguised as humans, 4- the devil mounted these men and is trotting their bodies around as easily as one would a pony, 5- these men are ancient Egyptians and they think I’m the Nile.

I go home to Juniper. I can’t believe it, but I’m over it. Sort of, not really, but I don’t know what else to do. If we feed our attention to anything it gets fatter and I want these experiences to disappear. Plus, separate from this, I’m still discombobulated. Home doesn’t feel like home anymore, dark questions echo, and I still can’t find my toes.

I go to sleep with my weapon. It’s a raw amethyst crystal candle holder that weighs several pounds. If anybody comes aboard I’m gonna bop them over the head with it and maybe it will knock them out and knock some light into their souls.

Around midnight I hear someone swimming nearby. I lock myself inside the boat. I fall back asleep. The Maramu winds come on like a headache. I wake up again. I don’t know where the swimmer went. There are gusts like tornados. I look out the porthole to check my relationship to my neighbors. I’m good. I sleep. Wind gusts. I wake. I look. I sleep. Wind gusts. I wake and that uncontrollable part of me, that thinks wicked things, thinks, “I wish Juniper would drag.”

Who is that? Why are they in me head? That voice is a wrecking ball. Why are they obsessed with destruction? Why do they want to demolish the bones of my bones and leave me with nothing but bubbles. I want to find this voice and whack it with my amethyst crystal candle holder weapon until it’s a nature island song.

I fall back asleep. I wake up at 4 a.m. I look out. I can’t see any boats. Where am I? I see a green light flashing to my right. I turn on my chart plotter. I’m in the middle of the freaking pass, 30 feet deep, reef everywhere, current pushing me out, ocean less than half a nautical mile away. It’s dark as mud and I can’t see and that damn voice in my head is so powerful that it created this!

I wish someone else was with me. I call my boat neighbors. Nobody answers. I turn on the engine. I pray. I crank up the anchor. I don’t even know what it’s holding onto. I don’t pull the anchor all the way up, just enough to release it from the bottom. I leave it dangling, run to the cockpit, throttle up fast, and steer back towards the anchorage. Most of the planets in the anchorage have burnt out stars. I can see as well as a blind woman in a bat cave. Juniper’s bow is about to kiss the smallest planet when I register the outline of it. I reverse my spaceship and drop the rest of the chain in.

Once Juniper is set, but I’m floating too close to my friends catamaran. I keep an eye. I think I’m dragging again, but I don’t really know what’s what because I’m still lost in the cave. I pull the anchor up again. I almost smash into their boat. I reveres. I reset. I can’t sleep.

Now we are back to where I started, and I’m just waiting for the real rooster sunrise cry and swallowing down this sick feeling inside.

I have a 40 lb CQR anchor. It came with the boat. CQR’s were designed in 1933 by a UK mathematician. The name originally stood for “Coastal Quick Release,” but was later changed to stand for “Secure.” I can now attest to the fact that these anchors are anything but secure and they do quick release! Flaws galore. Known for dragging in soft mud. Unable to sink into harder sea floors. Inconsistent setting. Skipping like school girls across the seabed. Releasing holding in wind shifts due to their hinged shanks.

A boat is only as good as its anchor. A body is only as good as its anchor.

Anyway, I ask you this? What is the probability that two blood burning events would occur within less than 24 hours of each other, and then both reoccur again, five days later, on a different island, also within less than 24 hours of each other? I think I’m experiencing a high-low. Or maybe there’s some a wrinkled warp in my frequency. Or maybe I am under a spell. Or maybe my moon is in sextile to my venus… I don’t even know what that means, but I‘m all at sea, so to speak.

Inside, my waters are turbulent and I’m ready for a tidal change. I tell my sailboat friends that I’m having negative thoughts, wishing for Juniper to disappear sometimes. They say, “what your doing is so hard, I couldn’t do it alone,” or “I can’t believe how well your handling everything, I would have already lost my mind.”

In reflecting further, it has nothing to do with Juniper. It’s not her. It’s me, I am wayward. Why? I no longer want to own this boat and this adventure alone.

14 Replies to “MY LIFE IS A TRAGIC COMEDY”

  1. You said early on in this blog that you had waited for someone to do this with you, but decided that you would move forward with your solo sail to Hawaii. You accomplished that. But now you’re continuing… Maybe Juniper is trying to make you hate her, because she loves you that much. Maybe you were living in an enchanted world for awhile, but ugly reality is returning and trying to send you elsewhere. You just don’t want to listen. But remember that when God closes a door… Who knows what lies ahead? Hopefully only truths. 😊🙏

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  2. Buy a new anchor!!!!!!! Get the biggest Rocna you can fit on your roller. Use a swivel- a size bigger than your chain, and set back from the anchor.. ideally almost a meter, but if your windlass is closer than that to your roller, then just put the swivel as far back as you can without it going around the windlass. I think there’s a “women who sail” discount code, or try writing to them for sponsorship. CQR is a nightmare. We have one and I hate it- ours is only 45 pounds! But our chain is heavy and we have a lot of it… we’ve found that to be the trick with the CQR- lots of chain and back down real slowly. We dragged 2x in Caribbean- both times in sea grass, and only 6’ deep with lots extra chain out. And always dive your anchor. After you “set” it and before dark.. provides for peace of mind and a soul cleansing swim 🙂

    I couldn’t imagine doing it all alone. It’s an insane amount of work- physically and mentally. Maybe stick to your goddess theory to dispel ugly feelings about the Polynesian wankers. And talk to Liz Clark, she lives on huahine- I think K & S know her.?? She will have good insight for you ✨ ~ Kerstin

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  3. get a new anchor. 1933 was too long ago.
    rocna, manta, even a bruce. around 44 pounds is OK but more is always better when it comes to anchors.

    and never ever ever ever give up.

    we love you
    barry

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  4. I know you have wanted to sail the world for many many years, with lots of hopes, dreams and wants. Sometimes we have to tweak our hopes, dreams, and wants by making some adjustments, you can always change your plans. Besides you have practically sailed around the world on various trips and or by air. Always be safe, cautious, and keep your antenna up, don’t dwell and move forward.
    Xoxo,
    Mom

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  5. Your adventures are so real, mabey this junipers journey is a stepping stone to your next juniper. With your experience going forward I can tell you, there will be a spot in your heart without a sailboat. Its always better to have beautiful memories while continuing the living dream. Good Luck Captian!

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  6. Your fans and supporters from around the world have your back Olivia. Let’s get you a better anchor, at the very least? The trip where you were a captain for ppl seemed awesome, do more of that!

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  7. It is human nature to think the grass is greener over their. We get what we wished for, and voila eventually 99.9% of we humans want something “different”. Would a Rocna 25 (or similar) that sticks solve some of your stress? Would transporting you and the boat to a “safe” bay / anchorage that has no crime and pervs solve other sources of stress? I would think so, those places do exist. But, would they satisfy your original goal of following the whales and exploring various cultures found along their migratory path? Would having a first mate that shares the responsibilities you face help? Possibly, but that opens up new stress – roommates and relationships.
    Goals can change, what was important at one time can take a back seat to new goals. I feel like I should be telling you to persevere, stay the course, don’t give up.
    However, if I found myself on a boat needing things I either could not afford, or could not procure even if I could afford them, in a far away place with no support community, often feeling near overwhelmed and vulnerable… I too would consider my realistic options.
    I appreciate your honesty as I am readying to slip the lines and voyage solo. Even just starting with bite size chunks of adventures (a season in the Sea of Cortez) I question if tropical paradises will seem like paradise, alone.
    Life can feel like balancing on a knife’s edge sometimes.
    Reduce the stress you can bit by bit while you figure out a path that leads to contentment. There is no shame in admitting that what once provided joy and contentment no longer does. The hard part is figuring out if we should move to what appears be greener grass, or try and revitalize the grass under our feet.
    Many philosophical texts and endless human accounts claim that overcoming obstacles is the key to a satisfying life, not just sipping on life’s cruisy moments for fuel to endure.

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  8. Olivia, Well it’s time for you. Being alone is no fun. So you meet your soul partner. God and I mean Jesus the only true God. He will lead you and help you. If you let him. 🙏🏻

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  9. Being aware that you planned trajectory didn’t take you where you thought it would is actually a wonderful part of life. If you were actually doing what you thought you would be doing in three years, life would be pretty boring.

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  10. Your use of metaphors — and the watermark-truth embedded in them — is next level! Oh . . . and the anchor thing. I had a CQR on my last sail through the South Pacific. I never had a problem with it but I was aware of its potential shortcomings which made for some sleepless nights in some dicey anchorage situations. I’ve had a Bruce type anchor on other boats — all good. I’m using a Rocna now and I like it too because it sets quickly in most bottoms. But I’m seeing some whining online about the Rocna not wanting to reset in grassy bottoms (making for some sleepless nights in some dicey anchorages). Re: sailing with crew. Can be a crapshoot. A friend and I sailed to New Zealand together before I soloed the rest of the voyage. This was a pretty tight friendship and when we parted ways in New Zealand (she was a New Zealander and had a business she was building) it wasn’t easy. But, when I started soloing, I began to see the advantages. There’s a unique and special freedom that goes with soloing that I absolutely love.

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  11. . . . it seems that you have more to celebrate today than the beginning of your voyage on spaceship earth! Best!

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