I woke up at 4:30 AM with moon eyes and a gooey honey head. The limitless guru that lives inside of my dreams didn’t want to let me go, but I have good winds to get going and going I’m gonna get. An hour later I’m gone and leaving an entire galaxy in my wake. Goodbye Santa Cruz Islands and all of your mosquitos. I’m gonna miss you, always and forever.

I’m out here with Libre and Complicite. The two other boats we are with left yesterday in the wind and pouring rain. You know why it was raining? Because it was a new moon, it’s just like the Santa Cruz ancestors foretold.

I am sailing, I am sailing, I am sailing the Solomon Sea. Crocodiles, Crocodiles, please do not swallow me. There is a place on this sea that the chart calls “Planet Deep.” I’d like to get planet deep, seems like an immeasurable place full of roots and bounty.

I’m on a broad reach heading straight west towards the island of Santa Ana. The sky is the color of a fantasy. The wind is about 15 knots apparent and I’ve got one reef in the main in anticipation of the higher winds that should be arriving soon. My speed over ground is 5.5 knots and I’ve got 202 nautical miles to go.

I am staring out of the porthole at the sea. She is such a pretty blue today. I’ll name this blue Planet Deep Blue. I’m laughing at myself now for all the times in the past week that I screamed bloody murder to see a man’s face in my porthole. I’d just be cooking away and look up and there would be a man looking back at me like I was a cabinet of curiosities. And I’d scream.

There is always a face in your face here in the Solomons. What if the face of a man or a mama popped up out of the planet deep right now and looked at me? I’d probably go into shock and throw myself overboard and you’d find me mumbling and sucking on coconuts and twisting my hair into frantic knots on some deserted island.

“Complicite to Juniper and Libre,” It’s Brett on the VHF. Me, “Juniper here.” Brett, “Hey I don’t know if you see all these long line buoys marked on the AIS but just to give you a heads up we passed between two of them without a hitch.” Me, “Thanks, how’s your journey so far…..”

After the VHF banter I get my butt off the settee and go look at the AIS on the chart plotter. There are long line buoys all around me and there are two larger boats floating nearby that must be setting the lines. I’m in a minefield. Libre is 3 nautical miles ahead of me. I’ll just follow them. If they make it out alive, I will too. In moments like this it’s good to be the last boat in the fleet.

An hour later I’m outside of the minefield. Life is a blowing breeze and I’m that wild rider on the ozone, drizzling my devotions into the air like dripping springs. It’s important to give thanks and praise and shout things like alleluia or yahoo when the world is singing a melody you like singing along with, that’s how you form the egg from which your future will hatch.

Also I don’t know why I’m supposed to tell y’all this, but here it goes, just because someone makes your life easier, does not mean that they make it better. I don’t know who out there was supposed to hear that, but there you go. I said it. Maybe I was supposed to hear that too.

The sun is setting in rays of muted red and I’ve been getting hit by squalls back to back to back. They have black clouds, and no rain, but lots of wind. And the wind in a squall is somehow more ferocious than the same amount of wind outside of a squall, but I don’t know why that is. Like 20 knots in a squall feels more like 25 knots.

Anyway Juniper keeps rounding up and the windvane isn’t able to correct course, so I’m having to unlock the helm and turn the boat back down. If the vain can’t steer it means my sails aren’t balanced. I can’t do this all night long, living on pins and needles, waiting for the wind to monkey up my life. I put the second reef in the main and I feel like a chicken for doing so. I radio the other boats, “Y’all I put in a second reef. Will move slower into the night.” They radio back, “Yea we just did too.” I feel better. A minute after that we all get blasted with 28 knots of wind. I feel even better.

I should not doubt and judge myself so much at sea. It’s a good and wise thing to throttle back at night. Rest is important. Especially when you are alone. Sleep easy, sail safe, stay cool.

Night comes and glows. I stare at the stars for a long time. The waves hammer by. The foam flying off my wake is all neon green. There are more squalls and adjustments to be made to the headsail. Beyond all that, the back of my head itches something fierce. I’m worried I have lice or fleas. I’m scratching it so much that it’s got bumps on it now. I wish there was somebody onboard to investigate what might be living in my hair. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could see every inch of our own body? Like the back or our own head?

Anyway, I’m gonna go stare at the stars now and try to get some rest. Love y’all. Night night.

4 Replies to “PLANET DEEP BLUE”

  1. Love you Livvy!! Stay safe out there. If I were near you I would do check your head. Thinking of you girl. From Sammie Adams (Sailingmagic111)

  2. I do enjoy reading your journal, Olivia. I think of you on your own out there on the far side of the world, with a mixture of admiration, jealousy, and inner dad. Keep writing and keep having fun!

  3. Glad you’re on the move again and maybe the next stop won’t have someone peeking in your window and fewer mosquitoes. Glad you have other boat travelers. Hate to read about the itchy head.

  4. Olivia, I was just writing on my own blog about you sailing near/in the South Solomon Trench (I was following along your tracker when you left Nendö) — on my map it shows it’s 27, 303 ft deep!!! Crazy!!! I’ve been reading up on the history of the Solomon Island nation — can’t wait to learn more about it as you travel and adventure in this area! Thank you for your beautiful writing — it’s absolutely magical — always! xoxo

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