Unrulie

Call me Unrulie. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

Gommit.

I spent the last week alternately super in love with Tahiti and the kind people here, and simultaneously being devastatingly lonely and depressed. Edgy. Panicky. Icky. 

I had an epiphany yesterday that got me unstuck. I can’t really verbalize what it was though. Something like, it’s hard, it will continue to be hard. If I had a choice I would still choose this life every time. Spend more time with children because they make you happy. Spend more time giving instead of getting so you can stop focusing on yourself all the damn time. This is a god given, fantastic and useful opportunity. So do it. be humble. Nows the time not to “grow up” necessarily but to evolve. Dummy.

I dined on amazing sashimi with Pepe in the marketplace and played 4 games of chess. I lost every time. 

I walked home and I met and had a great time with the Eurotrash aboard the Jersey.  Christophe Sepot has his own show in Belgium called “Around the World in 80 Dates.” I had my eye on him from the start in the morning but even though he flirts with me, I know that I scare him. American girls are so rough. Especially me.

We drank all the booze and walked to Bora Bora Lounge at midnight.. We karaoke sang “we are the world” with the entire bar. Standing and holding hands with literally everybody. Fucking weird. 
So I was feeling a little better today, until….

Let me tell you about my iPod. I can’t live without my iPod. I can live without absolutely everything else except this one thing. I had two iPods, bought from Jimbo…already full of music from a friend of his. One flew out of my bike basket on my bike tour across Canada as readers of my blog will know. I totally lost it and spent the most of the day crying and biking at the same time for the remainder of the route to Montréal. I have written pages about whoever this person was. All of my favorite nostalgia is on the iPod, and everything that is new to me, I love. Whoever originally owned and stocked this iPod needs to be my best friend. I’ve tried to get Jimbo to tell me who it could have belonged to before him, but to no avail. When we ere underway between Hawaii and Tahiti, I spent whole days creating masterful playlists. I adore this iPod. It is my comfort, my friend, my motivation. It gets me to exercise every day. It puts me to sleep at night. It keeps me company on night watches. I’ve lost a few iPods like is before, and it’s been absolutely devastating every time.

I have successfully taken every precaution to keep the iPod from getting wet. I’ve babied the thing. But yesterday, after it charged, it must have been wiped clean somehow. 

….and I found today that my bank cards have been shut off for no reason whatsoever and without communication by Wells Fargo even though I had told them about my FP  travels. And I can’t turn them back on because I can’t call internationally because they put me on hold for hours and I don’t have money to buy minutes to put on my phone to have them turn my fucking cards back on. Even if I Did have money, there is no card with enough minutes to sit on hold forever waiting for customer service. Fuck you bank. Catch 22. 

There’s no words. My loneliness is compounded and I have no access to funds. So. 

I returned to the boat crying and Debbie, my captains girlfriend/ex wife/weird thing checked on me. My captain has lied to her about the whole situation surrounding my presence on the boat because she doesn’t want him to have a woman on the boat. My captain talks non stop shit about her when she is gone, he treats her like shit, he lies to her about all his other girlfriends. And I noticed on her luggage, she still uses his last name. She needs to dump the motherfucker so badly but I just keep my mouth shut. He made me lie to her and tell her some story about how I have just only recently become his crew. She is threatened by me. She’s obviously a woman who has deferred to men her whole life and is uncomfortable with other women. I feel sorry for her. Anyway, she checked on me to see if I was alright. I told her what happened and she suggested that it’s time for me to go home. I just sat there dumbstruck not knowing what I could possibly say. 

and so now i just have to remind myself to keep going. 

Tahiti!!! Je t’aime.

When learning a new language, I usually learn “excuse me” and “I’m sorry” first so I can apologize for being a silly foreigner who can’t communicate well. 

There’s no words for “I’m sorry” or “excuse me” in Tahitian!! Can you imagine what sort of culture produces a language without a need for polite humility and blame?? Can you imagine? It reminds me f the English expression, “love means never having to say you’re sorry”

So far every local I’ve talked to longer than 2 minutes but less than 5 min has smoked me out and given me free weed. The only exception is Wanda who instead introduced me to her whole gigantic family and let me stay with her all weekend as she drove around the island. She also gave me clothes, shoes, my first pareo, and insisted on buying me a phone just so I can call her whenever I want.

This morning was no more or less strange than every other outing I’ve pursued. I put my thumb out. A man picked me up in his white dodge double cab pick up. I asked him simply to take me to a beach, any beach. I told him about my situation in general. He asked me if I wanted a job going to the Cook Islands in a little more than a week. I said that I already had a job, so, non,

 merci. He asked what my salary is. I spat out a number just so it sounded real. I said ten mil. Which is $100. He says, “ah dix mil, I pay you four times that.” But I had never said for a month, a week, a day…an hour? Not caring what he meant, I told him to write to me as I exited the car. He said yes of course.

The whole time his wife blowing up his phone every two seconds for which he tells me to shoosh. chyeah that’s gonna work out. Your private yacht. Your wife? Sure. Except maybe, after all my experiences with locals so far, I shouldn’t be so cynical. Case in point:

I asked if the beach was private, because it looked deserted and weird. No road, no parking, nothing. Trucks had been parked on grass. To be fair, I had told him “any beach.” He told me it was public. So I walked 100 meters to the shore. Not only is there no beach, but there is a big sign that says that swimming is prohibited. And the water is dirty….and, again, there’s no beach.

So I walked south knowing that if I walked far enough, finding a beach was inevitable.

I walked, and I found one. It was dirty, small and there was trash all over. There was also 5 raggedy clothed men sitting around at the far end on some logs drinking. I waved and walked over because I had the feeling I wasn’t welcome there and I was probably on their beach. So I chatted one of them who had a stark white, thick mohawk. He explained that I could swim, if I wanted to but, why here? The water was dirty. He was polite and I moved to leave when he asked me if I smoke. 

He gave me a coconut to sit on. I assumed they were bums not working and hanging out on the dirty beach drinking at 8:30 am. They offered me the juice container which I declined because I obviously didn’t know what it was so I flashed my own flask.

The Mohawk pointed me down the way….. to the traditional Polynesian canoe and explained they were going out and I was coming with. There were 6 spot and they were only 5 men. 

Oh ok so duh. So I must be racist or terribly imperceptive because they weren’t bums they were athletes. They were drinking juice getting hydrated for the boat paddling. They weren’t underfed, they were fit.

We got high as Mont Marau and shoved off the beach. But not before Thetere gave me a handful of weed wrapped in a grocery receipt for my own time later. 

They paddle in sync to the point of it being more of a musical act than a physical one. They are steady like a drum. It took me a while to get the hang of it. I wasn’t awesome at it and my wrist is still injured. I shouldn’t have even been trying, but I wasn’t about to give up the opportunity. I swam at the white sand bar. Took photos with them. 

Note: make sure copain means boyfriend because I have insisted yes to everyone who has asked thinking they mean companion, and now I’m not sure. 

If I had realized that they weren’t beach bums, I would have told them the truth of being single as fuck. Especially the naturally white haired older man who was fit as a man can be. The freakng punk rock, pot smokin George Clooney of Polynesia. 

Jungle

The road ends and half of the island is left ahead of me. As I continue to walk, the dirt road gets narrower and narrower becoming a small trail in the jungle. No one is around. There’s not even insect, bird or animal noises. It’s quiet. There’s flowers I’ve never seen and trees with no ending and no beginning because the roots and the branches are the same. I walk some more. It’s still quiet. An hour later, around the bend, a man appears. He is tan, tattooed, muscular and has long black hair that hangs loosely down to his waist. He has cheekbones that you only see on runway models. He is wearing only a pareo which I guess is the Tahitian word for a sarong. He is wearing a floral skirt, basically. I greet him in the native tongue for hello. He passes me without looking or saying anything. Like I’m not even there. 

I can’t get him out of my head. How many white women does he see walking alone in the jungle? What’s up with him that he is so apathetic to my presence? 

Next time I’ll just rip my clothes off and optimistically wait.

             

 With the artist of the same board! 

A life without work and without begging

It rules. I wish that everybody who hates their job would quit. I would beg each of them not to throw their life away because they feel they must to get their basic human needs met. Everyone deserves food clothing shelter love and room to breathe. An enjoyable day. I’m not so naive as to think it’s possible for everybody. I have incredible empathy of the working mothers and everybody who hits the ground running every morning. I just can’t even imagine that sort of life at this point.

for me, staying alive and happy is easier than waking up to an alarm every day. I would have surely killed myself by now. Sincerely.

teahpoo

The second car that came down the road picked me up. Two middle aged Tahitian women. Awesome. It’s rare when middle aged women pick me up, and so lovely. They are so nice. Especially by comparison because men are so shitty in general. Except for my dad, my grandpa, my brother, and maybe a handful of others. That’s about it though.

Travel note: [if I had room for hate in my heart], I’d say that traveling makes me hate all men, and somehow simultaneously love and feel deep compassion for all people equally. I don’t know how else to say it, but it’s true. Except for progressive places like Sweden, where men respect women. Then everyone’s on equal grounds and gender dissipates into thin air. Where it belongs.

Anyways. The second car that passed picked me up. Two middle aged Tahitian women. I ended up spending the whole weekend with them and meeting the whole family and their pastor and their whole church! I cheeked probably 100 people and remembered most of their names.

I ate REAL food! Sashimi! And ice cream! And banana bread! And then pizza! I swam with snorkeling gear in the reefs and walked to the end of the beach at the famous surfing spot. I walked alone into the jungle where the road becomes a dirt path and the dirt path becomes trail.

I spoke French the whole time. I understood and I was understood. Total magic, because up until this point, I have mostly been barely squeaking by.

A week into Tahiti

I’ve spent a surprising amount of time on the boat. I’m tired and it’s hot. When I have gotten off the boat, It’s been wonderful. Maybe I will go adventure for another few days today,

Down to the southside. The white beaches.

Day 25

May 5- day 25

There’s 250 miles to go. For days we’ve been moving at least 5 knots and it’s been smooth and perfect and in the right direction. yes.

Right now, we are going 7.5 which is like the fastest possible for this boat.

Hull speed (max speed) is calculated by this:

the square root of the boats waterline x 1.34 = max knots

My boat is 41′ and its waterline is 36 ft I believe. So the sq root of 36 is 6 X 1.34 = 8 knots

Photos!