I’m back in Fiji. All of my bathing suits are a different shade of purple and I’m swimming against a current. I wonder where I’d end up if I succumbed and let the current have it’s wild way with me. The prairie’s edge? The galactic side of the salt? A seesaw made of sun? The lost and found of heaven? If I had nothing better to do, this warm current could take me where it wanted, have me as long as it wanted, of course, if the current turned cold, I’d have to fight against it like a hermit crab lost among the seagrass. I don’t do cold.

The flight to Fiji from Arkansas was long. You know how long it takes the last bit of honey to drip out of a bottle in winter? That’s how long the flight felt. Anyway I was as high as the plane was for honey-dripping long and there was a meteor shower popping off in the night and I saw a cosmic green ball explode in four different directions, including up, then shoot down towards earth in streaks of radiant thunder. It looked like a firecracker made of a million fireflies.

I get off the plane, pass the three singing men with guitars, through customs, and then I go get my checked bag which is full of boat parts, including a new heat exchanger. And when I send my bag through that big round x-ray machine, the alarms go off and I’m ready for the dogs. They think I’ve got a bomb. I explain to the nice Fijian security lady with a gun in her pocket that “I’ve just come from Arkansas where the acorns this time of year will kill you, and I live on a boat here in Fiji, and that bomb in my bag is a part for the engine, and without it there will be a massive bend in my rainbow.” She lets me go.

It’s 5:30 AM. I exit the airport doors and there Diarm is, coffee in hand, to revive me. As if I’ve just come home after a long journey, and I suppose I have. For now, Fiji is home.

We drive straight back to Juniper. She’s on the hard in the yard, like a tree. I have only been working in the states for 16 days. And in that short window of time, Diarm, who has a full time job involving 18 other boats, has somehow managed to haul Juniper out of the water and turn her into a superyacht. She looks like a gemstone. Like she just got the last screw screwed and floated out of the shipyard. Better than she was the day I bought her! Blinging. Polished. Shiny. Sparkling. Beauty.

Here is a list of things he’s done in my absence. Sanded and re-varnished all of my wood, cleaned the engine with q-tips and toothbrushes – spotless, sucked all the gunk out of my bilge, waxed and buffed the hull, polished all of the brightwork- brass glistening, epoxied and solidified the rub rail that fell off when I tied onto that concrete pier way back in French Polynesia, re-glassed the massive gash in the keel that I created when I ran into the reef, replaced my broken head, and like a thousand other things that I’m forgetting.

If you own a boat, or know someone who owns a boat then you know what a blessing this is. It is the grandest gesture of love I’ve ever known. What a dreamboat! I don’t even know how I deserve this. Is this real? He’s is real? Am I sleeping? Somebody wake me up!

Sailing is not all drinking champagne in the sunset, it’s work and things are always breaking. And I’ve been sailing alone for so long and I hardly know how to fix anything, and it wears me out, and I often have dreams where I wake up and my boat is repaired by magic. And there have been times, too, when I’ve fallen on my knees and begged God to send me someone who knows how to fix something, anything. There was even one time, on a crossing, when I hallucinated a merman rising out of the water to help me in one of my many moments of weakness. 

Anyways, everyone in Fiji knows what Diarm has done for me, and men that own boats or work on boats, keep pulling me aside, pointing to Diarm, and saying, “He’s a keeper.” And I say, “I know, he’s the man of my dreams.”

4 Replies to “DREAM BOAT”

  1. This was an incredible labor of love from Diarm❤️ I know you recognize and appreciate all the hard work and coordination he did to make Juniper sparkle once again. The video of Juniper’s ⛵️facelift and launch back into the water was fun to watch. I feel you are lucky, as you now have two jewels in your life. Xoxo

  2. Glad to again receive your updates, the Dream Boat report includes repairs I have only dreamed of, especially on an aging Chris Craft cruiser , sail on sailor sail on !

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