A DAY ADRIFT

My seashell rocked me back and forth across the sea and I drifted into a sleep as deep as a rabbit hole. Deepest sleep that I’ve slept in a long while. No wind to wrangle. No anchor to rescue. I was a ripple.

I’ve dropped the sails and floated before, but never through the sway of night, with no land in sight. Just a vast field of rolling waves. Eight feet high and rising.

I awoke all sea-eyed and treasure soaked, dawn still 15 degrees of longitude away. I laid in the cockpit and let my seashell spin meteors and comets into view, from one unpolluted slice of sky to the next. I’ve seen so many now that I could make you a bouquet with all of them. It would be stellar.

There are two main theories of how the ocean came to be. My favorite is that most of the water in the ocean “fell from space as a component of ice-laden comets during an early period of intense bombardment.“ It is said that today, “around 30,000 tonnes of water falls to Earth every year in a fine rain of cometary particles.” If that is correct, I am out here sailing on ancient space ice and most of this water beneath me once belonged to a comet. And at this very moment, I am witnessing new water fall to earth in illuminated streaks of elegance. As above, so below.

Water is intergalactic.

I received a satellite message. All three of the other boats spent from midnight to dawn in 35-40 knot winds with an extremely confused sea state. Waves from every angle. They are all one degree of latitude beneath me.

The wind speeds are bad enough, but the sea state sounds dreadful. I would be loosing my shit like I always do when the sea is hungry like that.

I’m all the way up at 14 S and have the total opposite weather conditions up here. After the unforetold gales that hit us two days ago, I went rogue from my weather routers suggestions. I shot up slightly north of west, instead of traveling southwest like everybody else did. I don’t know why I did it. Because I let the boat drift after the squalls while I slept, and when I woke, I didn’t like the way the starboard tack felt, so I jibed towards north and where I am now is the only place the wind and the swell allowed me to be on that tack. And also because I am now guided by some internal flow of intuition, as a part of me no longer trusts the fickle weather around these parts.

I can still see all the squalls south of me from my blissed out patch of sun. I’m certain this sea state won’t last, but I’ll enjoy it while it does.

There is less than 6 knots of true wind. I’ve had no sails up since sunset yesterday. All day the boat bounces over the swell from starboard to port, from stern to bow, in big motions. It’s kind of like being on a slow roller coaster. It would make a lot of people sick to be here.

I don’t mind this day adrift at all. It kind of feels like a Sunday. I have finally slept. I have finally showered. I have finally bathed my eyes in the flooded flares of a dozen fireball meteors.

The fridge is clean. The batteries are full. The bilge no longer smells sour.

It took nearly an hour to brush all the tangles out of my hair. While I was doing it, Pluto and The Other Bird flew by. I decided the next time the two of them fly by together, I’m gonna give them the bird.

The wind is supposed to catch up to me here tomorrow. I’ll be ready for it by then. I kind of needed it to disappear long enough to make me miss it. I will bob until then. I’m not a purist, but I still refuse to stick my head inside the tractor.

You know what? One time I was helping deliver a boat from Virginia Beach to New York and that owner was a purist. And we got right off of Atlantic City, NJ and there was no wind. So we sat there for three days waiting. I’d go to sleep, wake up, and still be looking at the casinos. One time I woke up for my watch and everyone on deck was drunk, singing sea shanties, with two empty bottles of rum laying next to them. It had only been three hours. That’s what waiting on the wind will do to ya. Make ya go a little cuckoo.

I’m still 1100 NM away from Fiji, but only 96 from Suwarrow Island. Maybe I should go there instead. It has a “perfect reef” and places with names like “Whale Island” and “Gull Island.” Doesn’t that sound divine? It’s got a really nice looking anchorage too. Is that Island a part of Samoa? If it is, maybe I can go there.

It’s 6:30 p.m, the sun is setting again. For the past 24 hours I have been drifting, patiently, among the cosmic waves of our primordial mother.

Sweet dreams sailors!

6 Replies to “A DAY ADRIFT”

  1. Beautiful writing!! Love when intuition wins.

    Also, Suwarrow is not a part of Samoa, but if you were to visit American Samoa, I’d love to meet you and host you here on Tutuila island!

    Wishing you fair winds!

    Like

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