I hardly slept, narrowly escaped another cargo ship, and got escorted by dolphins in the golden sunrise. Seeing dolphins never gets old. Nor does the sun rising or setting. Nor does the vision of a flyingfish flying. When those things get old I suppose I’ll abandon the waves and move to a jungle or some mountain cave, but for now the sights at sea are as fresh as new to me.
It’s hard to wrap my tired mind around the pass for the resort. I can’t make sense of the channel markers and it’s a miracle I have not hit reef. I am close to the resort no and I can smell flowers and the smell is so strong and sweet that it is like I am smelling flowers for the first time. I melt. Among the scent of earth. Dirt. Roots. Petals. Grass.
The resort is a total bust. The owner is going ape on us. Raging like some German acid king. All because there is a mooring ball indicated on the charts so Cerebral and I side-tied to each other on the only mooring ball that we found. Turns out it is not a mooring, but a marker marking a shipwreck. “Get your catamaran and that ugly bathtub off of my marker!” The owner says.
Bathtub! He called Juniper a bathtub? I want to punch him. I say, “Now look here mister, me and that bathtub have been accepted to race in the 2026 Golden Globe Race and I’ll do something cruel if you ever call my baby a bathtub again.” Well that shut the Acid King up real quick like and now he is calling Juniper a “boat.”
Yea I’m doing the Golden Globe Race! For those who don’t know it’s a retro sailboat race. 30,000 Miles. Solo. Non-stop around the world. Going from west to east and rounding all five of the great capes. No modern technology is allowed onboard, no chart plotters, no phones, no electronic anything, I will be finding my way around the world using paper charts and the sun and stars. Sounds romantic doesn’t it? And electrifying and terrifying all at the same time!
More people have been to space than have rounded all the capes. Heck more people have climbed Everest too. They say “The Golden Globe remains totally unique in the world of sailing and stands alone as the longest, loneliest, slowest, most daring challenge for an individual in any sport. It is mentally and physically more extreme than any other sailing challenge.” I will be like an astronaut at sea for 250 days, perhaps more.
I’m a loon. I know. But I gotta do it. My head got all obsessed with doing it. I was like a zombie, it was all I thought and dreamt about. It was a bad song in my head that wouldn’t shut up until I sang along, so I’m singing along.
I’m sure I’ll be the slowest poke in the bunch. I’m a bit overcautious. Especially at night. I never like getting woken up with too much sail in a gale. But I’m not looking to win this thing, I’m just looking to finish it, because most of the racers never even make it that far. Only 4 people out of 20 something finished last year.
I’ll need a lot of help getting to the start line. I have to raise between $250k to $300k for the refit and gear and courses I’m gonna need to take. I’m looking for sponsors. I can put your logo on the side of the boat or the sails. I can even change the name of my boat to include your company name! DHL sponsored somebody one year and they called the boat “DHL Starlight” and painted their boat in DHL yellow and everything. I can do that if anybody likes sailing and me and the idea of this race. A lot of eyes are on this race.
Plus I’ll be the first Arkansan to do this! That’s pretty cool, right? It’ll be wild. Imagine what I will write out there! Think of me like a horse going around an endless track. I’m the long shot, baby! I’m your jackpot. Watching me and rooting for me will be better than going to the races in Hot Springs.
Anyways, I’ll have a sponsorship package up on my site soon, plus the budget and list of gear and courses I need to take and whatnot. Let’s go to sea-space together!
Now back to our regularly scheduled program in the Solomon Islands…
We moved our boats before anything soured between us and the Acid King. His pina coladas are pineapple juice and who knows what and I can’t even drink mine, much less get any sort of resolve about my life from it. The pizza is ok. But I just used the bar of soap in the restaurant’s bathroom and it made my hands stink of fish. I only tell you about that because I never knew that soap could make you smell worse than you smelled before you used it.
My bathtub and I spent 24 hours anchored in front of the Acid King’s resort. Now I’m Gizo- the second largest city in the Solomon’s where it is almost for certain that you will get robbed, “but the robbery will not be violent.” Cerebral and I tied onto the fuel dock and will stay here for the night because they have 24 hour security.
I was just told by the fuel dock owner that for my own safety I should lock myself inside my boat and not sleep with my hatches open. Imagine the heat. It will be like sleeping in a microwave. I will also have to sleep with a blow horn and a machete next to me, just in case I need to get ghostbusters on some peeps.
The rats in Gizo are the size of dogs. And men hold hands in Gizo as they talk to each other in the streets. And you have to dress like an Amish bride and mess your hair up and maybe even rub some dirt on your face when you walk around Gizo, otherwise men will get all up in your space with their betel nut stained teeth and discuss their manly desires.
And the sun is so hot that it feels like it is sitting inside of your body and trying to burst back out into the sky. And the road is all dust. And there are mysterious rivers of water in the town that you try hard not to step in. But back at the fuel dock, where fuel is pumped straight out of barrels, there is a cafe that very well could be in NY or LA.
Also in Gizo you can’t just go to one store to get provisions, you have to go to many different shops that sell a little bit of a lot of different things. And you have to ask a local “where are the red onions?” And the local will take you on some crazy circle journey that leads you to the only shop with red onions. Also you will be so surprised to see another white person that the two of you will stare at each other for a long time before you go up to them and say, “What the hell are you doing here?” Even though the question is superfluous because the white person is wearing Smurf-blue scrubs and most definitely works at the hospital.
The best grocery store I find is a Chinese shop called Yamaha. Beyond pasta and ice cream they have an entire row of fake mullet wigs and a variety of fabric. At the market it’s all roots and fruits and fish. Women display their rainbow of fish in geometric patterns. Next to the women is a cooler of water and they dip leaves into it and then shake the leaves over their fish to keep it tender. I love this scene so much.
I just meditated and decided to stay in the Solomon’s. I do this mediation when I can’t make a decision; I ask my body to show me “yes” – which is a pleasant feeling, then I ask it to show me “no”- which is a choking gagging feeling. Then I ask my body “should I do this” then “should I do that” and I let my body show me with it’s “yes” and “no” what I should do. Going to Indonesia now was such a strong “no” that it almost caused me to vomit.
I feel good about my decision. I am too tired of moving to move any more at the moment. I must sit still and prepare for the race on paper. Then I can move again after the Northwest Monsoon passes in April.
Ok bye, for now, love y’all!