There has been a renaissance of the wind. I am underway again after 36 hours as an empty bottle bobbing. I am moving. Slowly. The wind blows only 7 knots true. But moving.
The light air sea saga continues and I’m just a trespasser sailing towards the sun. Movement, even if slight, feels amazing. The Empty Bottle bobbing maneuver, in a swell like this, made Juniper move in a very vigorous manner and she made all sorts of new noises- sounded just like a zube tube. Sailboats want to sail, they feel the smoothest when sailing, they sound the smoothest when sailing.
People have asked me, “Where do you anchor at night, when crossing the ocean?” I say, “The ocean is deep baby, and there’s not an anchor big enough. You just keep right on sailing, or heave-to if you need a breath.” The Empty Bottle maneuver is as close to anchoring in the ocean as I’ve ever been.
Stopping was necessary for my spirit, I got too close to the wind. We needed space. I needed to figure out who I was without the wind. I needed to miss the wind. I needed to want the wind again. This morning I wanted the wind so bad that I woke before the birds and hoisted the main in pitch black. Couldn’t even see my hands as I did it.
I am refreshed. I am ready for the wind, whatever mood it may be in. Wind, give me your days of displeasure, your days of delight, of disco, of drama, of doze, your days when you can’t shake the demons of yesterday, your days when you’re one magic carpet ride away from a future island. All I ask is that you escort me safely with you on this odyssey.
What is an odyssey without spontaneity? Can an adventure be an adventure without the element of risk?
This morning when I started the engine to charge my batteries, the oil pressure warning light came on again. I haven’t seen it since my first day at sea. So I spent the morning getting down and dirty with the engine. Me and my Nigel Calder books and oil everywhere. I like it when Nigel writes stuff like this, “When confronted with low oil pressure many people assume that the gauge or warning light is malfunctioning and ignore the warning. Given the massive amount of damage that can be caused by running an engine with inadequate oil pressure, this is the height of foolishness.” Nigel, Mama and Papa didn’t raise no fool, but they sure as hell didn’t raise a marine diesel mechanic, that’s why I’ve got all of your books aboard this ship!
The oil was low, so I added more by making an eyeball guesstimate which turned out to be quite accurate. Why it is low I am not certain. I changed the oil before leaving. The levels were good. Nigel says in this instance it could be that the oil filter isn’t screwed on securely or that the O-ring needs some adjusting, but I find no evidence of oil leaking near the filter. Another thing that could have happened, is lowering of the oil viscosity by overheating. The engine was running hot the first time the oil light when on. Maybe that is the culprit?
I don’t know. I will keep my fish eyes on it. Also I regret saying that listening to the engine was like sticking my head inside of a tractor. Engine, I take it back. I didn’t mean to upset you, but also, technically you are a tractor engine, a Japanese tractor engine. So if you think about it, I was just calling a spade a spade. But I love to hear you purr, please keep purring for me, your purr is so pleasing, it is like the purr of a wild cat in spring. Forgive me.
It’s as pretty as a wild strawberry out here right now. The sun is citrine, the sky is blue, but the sea is bluer, and the clouds float like love-bites up above.
I found a flying fish in the cockpit today. A little one with little wings. I don’t know how long she’d been there, I just wish I would have discovered her before she dried out. As always I sang a song in her honor and tossed her back into the waves. Just as I did, a school of flying fish flew by. Flying fish are the fairies of this forest.
Everything feels really amplified today. My thoughts, the heat, my hunger, my thirst, the waves, my body temperature. I don’t why. It’s like the volume got turned up on everything. I might fizz, pop, bang, whizz, if I’m not careful.
Speaking of hunger, my fresh food is almost all gone. I have four pieces of fruit, a couple of carrots, cabbage, and yoghurt. It’s not because I have been a ravenous piglet, it’s because a lot of my food went bad. I turn the fridge off at night in order to have enough battery power to run my navigation lights and instruments. Don’t worry, I have a lot of canned goods and spiders onboard to nourish me, and there are fish beneath me, and I’m going to start sprouting lentils.
I just watched the sunset. I was looking for the green flash. I look for it every day. I used to do that with my grandmother when I was a kid. She’s seen the green flash. I never have. Maybe this voyage I will. Each sunset at sea, I sit in the cockpit and look for the flash and pretend that she’s with me. She would have loved it out here. She loved the ocean. I just had a vision of her boogie boarding.
Now I’m crying because I’m thinking about her. About the past. About how fast a moment can evaporate.
I’m creeping across this ocean. At least I’m going half the speed or the wind. I’m hoping to make it to Fiji by Christmas if not, definitely by New Years Eve. I’ll bedazzle the mainsail to keep it festive. I’m also aiming to set a new world record- “Slowest Sailor On Earth” with the subheading “People could have crawled faster than this chick sailed to Fiji.” At least it would be some sort of achievement.
Fair winds and sunny dreams!
* Thanks to everyone who shares their thoughts on the blog, my mom sends me your comments every day, and I love reading what you have to say! Feel free to ask questions there, if you have any!
*Someone asked about videos- check the videos section on the Wilderness of Waves website and oliviaowenswyatt.com and @wildernessofwaves on Instagram. More coming soon.
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7 Replies to “AS PRETTY AS A WILD STRAWBERRY”
Juniper never stopped, you all have been drifting west for days, 1.5 to 2.5 mph. Now you are back up to 5 MPH and more. You will soon be near Viatogi, the home of the turtle and the shark. Talofa!
The slowest sailor gets to Fiji, the landlubber, no matter how quick, does not.
Glad to read you are moving again with the wind after a restful break.Yes, Lid loved the ocean(s) and would love to be riding the waves with you and looking for the green flash. Thanks for the memory. Never give up looking for the green flash. Xoxo, Mom & Dad
Tim Schultz here I was the Prop Master on Little Big Shots. Enjoy your writing, as a person who solved problems for many years in props I am wanting to be there so I can fix your engine, or figure out a way to charge those batteries with a wind generator or water generator. I know nothing of sailing and I get sick when on the ocean, lakes are better for me. I am very happy you made the choice to get away from this crazy world to pursue your dreams instead of creating them for Hollywood producers. Some day I want to see your dreams on the big screen.
As always, sure do enjoy following your journeys. Have you considered putting in at Pago Pago to get some fresh foods?
Re: The Green Flash memories. Being alone, in the middle of the world’s largest ocean, is the incubator that releases memories from the very depths of our being.