I’m so tired. Can’t sleep. Four hours in two days. Not enough. A cumulus mind and a sphere of stars. The moon is new. Galaxies sink… beneath me.
The wind is on holiday. The swell is misbehaving. And I’m flapping through a sea of froth. Main only.
Pluto just flew backwards. I promise. Saw it with my own two tired eyes.
22 South messaged, they are without main or engine and said “Drifting without noise makes me feel a part of the sea, like a bottle with a message inside.” I wish I wrote that. Poetry.
I’m still anchoring in. To my words. To my body. To my life at sea. I feel empty. A bottle with no message. I’m going to pour essential oils into my bottle and see what bubbles out.
The little girl on S/V Wilderness makes potions. Her dream elixir is the blue liquid of “clouds” and the yellow liquid of “sun.” She says, “The sun makes sure that the dreams stay pure.”
What was that? That thud? Scared the bejesus right out of me. Something broke? It skidded across the bimini canvas and flopped into the water. I hope it’s not a part of the rigging. I hope it was a flying fish. Yes, a flying fish. The flying fish flew. The flying fish flew fast. The flying fish flew fly fling flung right next to where sally sells seashells down by the seashore.
I just meditated. I got to the peaking light of astronauts, when a loud ringing took up residence in my left ear. God forbid it stays there! I hear other things in my ears. A gospel song. Coming from the galley. It’s a woman with a banjo. I can’t make out the lyrics, but she’s way better than the witch that gurgles out of the galley sink. That’s for sure.
I slept an hour. The sun is close to rising. I need to jibe. I don’t want to crawl on the low side of the deck to remove the preventer. The low side of the boat is scary. Alone. At night. Always. How do I sail? I don’t know. It’s a miracle.
I just attempted to remove the preventer by reaching my hand through the porthole to get to the cleat it’s wrapped around. It’s total genius, but I need longer arms. If you have long arms and portholes that open, try my trick. Tell me how it works. Let me know if it saves you any heartache.
I jibed and unfurled the jib. I’m laying down and recovering on the settee. Where is my cabana boy? I’d like a lemondae and to be fanned with a palm frond, please.
The sun is drawing electric pink lightening behind my eyelids. It disappeared. I can see the grey cloud carriers gathering in the distance, sucking all that is light out of the sky, marching in streams of storms across the horizon. The first squall is above me now. Rain all over my face, slanted and sleek.
The clouds are gone, the wind is home from holiday, and I’ve got 8 ft. southwest swell colliding with southeast waves out here. Everything’s rockin’ inside this boat and the water hits like stones onto the hull. Pow. Pow. Pow.
I let Juniper surf for a while, full main, reefed jib, riding between seven and eight knots down the waves. Days like this make the doldrums worth it. This freedom that I feel right now, on a broad reach with a following sea, is matchless.
It got a little too wild, so I just threw both reefs in the main. I’m still tired and in the past thirty minutes I have made a lot of mistakes. I started the engine while it was in reverse. I turned the autopilot on while the helm was still locked. I set the windvane on the wrong tack. And I don’t know what I did wrong with the reef, I only wanted to put in the first reef, but the main got so backwinded on the drop that I had to put both reefs in to fix the mess that I made of it. It’s probably for the best, the wind is just gonna keep rising from here.
I’m only 200 nautical miles from Bora, so this journey is just beginning to settle in. By the way, I wanted to tell you that Bora Bora is all it’s cracked up to be. I felt like I was sailing around the footprint of God.
The lagoon is a thousand shades of blue and schools of butterflyfish come to kiss your dripping face. The land is a jigsaw of rainforest mountains. Passion fruit and hibiscus flowers fall out of the sky and into your dry mouth. (Side note: did you know hibiscus only blooms for one day? And vanilla only flowers for a few hours? Doesn’t their fleeting make them more precious? I think so.)
Then there are the people of Bora. They are top gems. Everybody flashes a smile and in all my life, I have never experienced such generosity. Ever! A man gave me the hat right off of his head. Another woke early to fish me fish for my journey. Another fixed my rigging- which was still loose in places- and wouldn’t take a dime. Another towed me to see the sharks that he tamed. And not a one of them tried to show me their Willy.