Life in the Coral Triangle on somebody else’s boat is bliss. I don’t have to worry about sea nymphs rocking my rudder, it’s just all rainforests and reefs, blue fire skies, white sand beaches that vanish at high tide, and waves that peel across the water like a gold bone.
My favorite thing to say right now is, “I don’t know, I’m not the captain.” I say it as often as I can and hardly ever do I pay attention to the movements the boat makes on the water, because I don’t have to, all I have to do is notice the simple things like how a cloud can so easily change the feeling of the sun. Heck, I could even think like a dirt dweller thinks if I wanted to, but I don’t want to, but I’m just saying if I did want to, I could.
The fairies have followed me here. There are days of peace and days of total gut destruction and when the fairies can see that I’m really sick of sick, they go bother this guy named Josh that’s crewing on another boat, and the fairies bounce back and forth across the water between us,
filling us with scuz. If this lasts much longer, I’ll be that paper-thin petunia going tropo in the Solomons.
You know what “going tropo” means? It means going crazy from being in the tropics for too long. I’m convinced now that when people “go tropo” it’s because of the fairies and the bloody mosquitoes that have mutated to the point that they no longer make a sound. Even though I abhor that buzz, I’d much rather hear it because it’s difficult to battle things that one cannot see or hear! It’s like trying to catch a ghost.
Speaking of bugs and seeing. Sometimes at night, if we turn on the lights, we get attacked by swarms of the tiniest trippiest flying black bugs. It’s kind of like a horror movie, bugs, so many that you can hear them coming like a winged train that’s loud enough to raise Cain and the next thing you know they’re all over your head and searching for your mouth. We’ve had to eat several dinners in the dark on account of these bugs.
The boat I’m on is named Libre. Freedom. I am free. I’ve been obsessively filling my head with pirate tales while aboard. Right now I’m reading Treasure Island and bless it if it’s not one of my new favorites. Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest, yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum.
I’ll tell you what’s dead, the wind. Last week a category 5 cyclone tore across Vanuatu- just south of us- and it’s as if the cyclone has eaten all the wind that ever was for evermore. We are motoring. A lot. This anchorage to that, linking up with Hadar, Complicite, and Galatea all along the way.
There is so much more and so little to tell you about this cruise that I’m on. I would give you all the details darling but I’m just a passenger and I ride and I ride. I can tell you that we have been traveling in the Florida Islands and all along much of Santa Isabel Island and that we have found treasures all along the way.
Treasure number 1- That wave that our friend discovered and named. It pearls and has soft edges that I can ride all the way up to the trees of shore- so close that I can orangutang off the branches and back into the water.
Number 2- The oysters that were pulled straight off the trunks of the mangrove trees that we grilled and shucked and ate until we were all rolling in aphrodisiac.
Number 3- The fish confetti waters we swam in guided by an Afroed man named Simon.
Number 4 – That anchorage on Isabel with a thousand clinging children and fresh water that falls from it’s mountains.
Number 5- That place, which is every place, where they tell us “There is only one crocodile here, but it only eats pigs.” How do they know? The crocodile could have had a baby that prefers humans to pigs. Still we swim the bay and cling to each other for fear of those saltwater crocodiles who can spend days, even weeks, at sea.
Number 6- The anchorage across the green water from Buala which is right next to Jejevo. It’s surrounded by fringed reef and it’s got an island with a saltwater river and every day a man rows out to bring us mangoes and coconuts and pineapples in exchange for clothes and beer and our fresh baked banana bread. (This man is a real beauty of a thing- he reminds me of a mustang.)
Number 7- All the palm trees busting with orange coconuts, which I have only now discovered are the sweetest.
Number 8- That anchorage that is wedged in between two uninhabited islands and everyday at low tide I would walk around the entire circumference of one of the islands and go for a naked swim afterwards.
Number 9- The Spanish Mackerel that the captain speared. It tasted pretty and fed us for 7 days straight.
Number 10- The full yellow Hunter’s moon that rose in a haze of purple.
Number 11- The seabirds that own every inch of the people-less islands and sing in a series of monster sounds when we get too close to what is there’s, which is everything.
Number 12- The squid that are so big that I can gaze deep into their squid eyeballs.
Number 13- Papatura! I love it as much as I love a shooting star. It’s on the northeastern side of the Santa Isabel and it’s ripe with reefs that have turned this place into a temple of waves; Tarzans, PTs, Kumas, Anchovies, Zolis, Donuts. We can do it all in here. We surf. We hike across roots and shells into tropical rainforests. We squid fish. We listen to the birds that moo like cows. We stare at the glowing spherical creatures that float across the water at night. And we look for crocodiles- which, by the way, they have killed 20 crocs here in the past 14 years!
Anyways, there is more. There is always more. We’ll speak again soon. Until then, stay incandescent and wild, honey child.
I love all y’all,
P.S.- I have finished the sponsorship pitch deck for the race. You can view it HERE. Please pass it on to any company that might be interested in sponsoring an Arkansan girl get to the Golden Globe Race. Also if you don’t have a company, but would like to contribute you can go to my GOFUNDME capmaign or send a donation to my PAYPAL or purchase something from my GGR AMAZON WISH LIST. Massive thanks to everyone who has already donated, it means the world to me!
Some highlights from the deck; I can name my boat after your company. Below is a photo of a boat from the 2018 GGR that DHL sponsored.
I am teaming up with the filmmaker Philip Scott Andrews to document the race. He will rig Juniper with cameras that can be turned on with one click of a button at any given moment. We will also be rigging microphones around the boat, as well as placing confessional cameras inside the cabin. In 2021, Andrews developed slow-motion, remote-activated cameras to film the SpaceX Inspiration4 launch in a way never seen before. Andrews is currently rigging a row boat with cameras to document Tez Steinberg’s row across the Pacific. He says there is a striking similarity between rigging crafts that are heading for either space or sea.
The PR value of this race was $185 million in 2018 and the value has increased since then as the popularity of the race has grown .