It’s 1:31 in the morning. I see a star with more colors than a prism. It’s totally bewitching. I bet it smells like love and spring and ice.
I should stop looking at the sky. I should sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. I’m strung up on jitters still. So sleep, it doesn’t come easy. But thoughts do. What was that sound? Please don’t let anything break or rip. Am I gonna sink? Am I sinking? I am sinking… not to sleep.
Another thought that keeps me awake at night is the fact that I don’t transmit AIS, I only receive. Therefore I rely heavily on my radar reflector to be seen, and my own two eyes to see what can’t see me. And my eyes can’t be trusted.
All of my sailboat friends are far ahead of me now and I’m sitting here wishing I had a way to sail deeper. It always matters how close and how deep you can sail. Angles to the wind are everything.
It’s just me and my 34 ft. turtle shell now. Alone in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. I am chewing on the delicacy of this situation.
Speaking of chewing, I usually have a hard time eating when I first get underway. Like I went a whole week only eating grapes once. But this journey, I am eating. Maybe overeating. Maybe, once I get to Fiji, you are going to have to saw me out of the Juniper and give me a new food-related nickname like; pickles or biscuit or popcorn or buttercup. I hope not, but at this rate, you never can tell.
I made a salad last night and all I could taste was earth. It was a caravan of soil and sun and sand and green and photosynthesis and butterflies and women sunning themselves in the grass. Land has never evolved so vividly in my mouth before.
The sunrise is rising pink. Forever and always may the sun rise! I’m drinking coffee and watching the clouds slide by.
The sea is no longer mush and neither am I. This is it, I can feel it, I finally found myself among the waves. How do I know? When you know, you know. You know?
Yesterday Juniper sludged across the water and I slugged about, stuck and deliberating all day about shaking a reef. I didn’t shake it, because 27 knots of true wind was predicted for yesterday. I never did see the sight of such wind, and I regretted all night the speed that I lost over not shaking that reef.
I shook that reef this morning. I shook it before the sky could even absorb the light of day. Juniper is surfing the swell again, I just saw her do 9.8 knots down a wave! It’s a miracle! I feel that floating feeling. These wings are on fire. This is romance with all its smoke and mystique. This is what carbon feels like when it’s shaping into a diamond. This is the song inside of every seashell.
In celebration, I’m dancing around to 1970s Nigerian music, and going over the chart. I found a purple serpent. The serpents head is an arrow and that arrow is pointing west. The serpent is only six nautical miles away and beneath it, the words “.5 knots” are written. That means I have a half-knot favorable current slithering my way.
Today is already such a sunburst! When I die, let me live eternally in this bliss.
My bird boyfriend, Pluto, did not visit me this morning. After my desperation yesterday, I’m not surprised. Two little white birds with long tail feathers have replaced him in my sky. I expected too much of Pluto. I needed Pluto too much. I wanted Pluto too much. Pluto is a freaking bird, and birds have got to be able to land in a place that allows them keep their flight.
All things need to be able to land in a place that allows them to keep their flight.
I just did my third jibe, and it looks like I’m now on a perfect course heading south of American Samoa. As long as the wind doesn’t change direction or “die.”
We say that, “the wind died.” Have you thought about how many times the wind has “died” and been reborn in our lifetimes? The wind doesn’t die, it goes on holiday, it hides, it gets stoned, it sleeps, it summers, it time travels.
What else can I tell you? My mangos went to war with my pamplemouse and the sweet smell of their yellow is everywhere. And I’m reading a book about octopuses; not only are they magicians who change shape and color, but their mouths are between their legs and their saliva can dissolve flesh.
Octopuses seem like alien gods. I hope to meet one some day.
Ancient maps of the Polynesian empire create the shape of an octopus. The head of the octopus is Raitea (formerly Havai’i) and it’s tentacles spread out in waves of latitude and longitude to all the Polynesian kingdoms- Hawai’i, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Tonga, Easter, Austal, and so on.
The last place that I dragged anchor, was in Raitea, right in front of the temples erected in honor of Tumu Rai Fenua, The Great Mythical Octopus.
I anchored there, just to see that place where wizard priests and ancient Polynesian voyagers would gather before navigating the deep ocean. I walked across a flood of grass. Past beds of lava rocks and coral heads shaped into rectangles as symmetric as ballerinas on a stage. I walked past the place where people were sacrificed to feed the shark gods. Past Tiki. Past the old ghost house, the place of hidden treasures, and the portable god house. I imagined the bones of the top ranking, wrapped with hair, feathers, and shells and turned into talisman that their relatives shook and squeezed.
I could see the past as easily as one can feel the change in a breeze.
I collected citrus-colored flowers and placed them as an offering on a temple near the sea, said a prayer, and went back to Juniper. She was fine, until she wasn’t. Maybe she dragged anchor because the gods didn’t like my offering, or maybe they liked it so much that they wanted me to stay there forever, or maybe the anchor just dragged.
When I departed, I exited the pass where the Mythic Octopus still rambles. It’s the same pass that every Polynesian explorer sailed through on their way to discover islands unknown. I blew the octopus kisses. He blew colors back. There was an old man in the sea. He waved. I waved. He was fishing for the essence of life. I was setting sail in search of the same.
Maybe the octopus holds the answer to everything?