Day 19

850 nautical miles to go. It’s a warm, gorgeous night tonight. The moon is bright, almost light enough to read by.

I wonder how many continuous hours I will spend on the Internet when I finally get to do that. Like, I dunno, 80?

Welcome to paradise! Then I go straight to a dimly lit corner of a cafe or pub to upload these blogs, some photos, and honestly, check facebook. It sounds dumb because it is dumb. 

Day 18

Finally caught a fish. yellowfin tuna. In truth, I’m ambivalent about it. I desire to learn survival skills like knowing how to catch, identify, and fillet a fish. Moreso, I desire to not kill anything at all for any reason. So I didn’t participate or eat it, just observed. I looked at him in his eyes. They were very beautiful, truthfully. I don’t mean to be hyperbolic or dramatic, but the thing really was a perfect looking fish. It made me sad for my detached indifference and purposeful ignorance to every animal I’ve ever eaten without first having to look into its living face. I handed Richard the bottle of cheap vodka. That’s how he kills his fish. So I did participate a little bit but only because I’m the only one who knows where the vodka is. What.

18 days at sea. In the beginning, I could describe all my time thinking about my friends and relationships as “reflective”. But as the days pass, my thoughts are increasingly repetitive, obsessive. I spend hours formulating whole conversations that I wish I had had in the past, or ones I hope to have in the future (but won’t). Conversations where I sound intelligent and say everything I want to say precisely how I want to say it. Conversations where I matter of factly offer my inspired advice to people who will never ever ask me for it. Sometimes I hold the conversations in Spanish. Sometimes French. It’s all internal. It’s mental, so it’s not like I’ve been talking to myself in shit French out loud. If that makes it less crazy sounding, theres that. 

The surprising part is that, the people with whom I’m imagining conversations with- are people that haven’t been in my life or my thoughts for ages. I’ll never have these conversations and it doesn’t count as any sort of speech practice for future interactions. It’s just insanity. It is as meaningless as enjoying a poisoned meal. Current dramas and interpersonal problems seem to have disapated into the ether of going on this trip, yet I find all this old shit drudged up from the silt.

Now is the time for spiritual growth, NOT obsessive or childish or meaningless thinking.

This whole trip has been a litmus test for how far my head really is from growing towards an enlightened state. Stuck in thought patterns, spending all day on mindless activities. I could be a ukelele prodigy with all this time I’ve had. There is no such thing as a ukelele prodigy but that’s not the point. I could be 2 weeks into 6 hours of yoga every day. Instead I’ve played word scramble and angry birds. Put whole albums and, more often, single songs on repeat for hours. Even this exact meta-line of thought is another regress and nonpractice of being present. 

Being present is the only place to be.

There are just these few things that I can’t get out of my head. Get the fuck out of my head! So I turn towards these mindless meaningless distractions.

So here’s an attempt at trying to look forward.

Thoughts for the future: revolutionize French Polynesia. Take over. It should be a hundred times easier than the USA due to size and the natural benefits of island structure and little to no military presence. Disadvantage being that the bourgeoisie might actually outnumber the proletariat and the indigenous.

It’s true I’ve wasted time but since the boat shoved out of Pearl Harbor, I have also:

Core exercises every day

Eaten next to nothing

big tea and or water every morning instead of breakfast

Structure for my book is completed 

Read 8 books: Emma Goldman bio & essays, Congo by Michael Crichton, cruising with the wanderlusters by bissell, the 4th game of thrones book, a compendium literary publication out of mississippi, a Long Way Down by Nick hornby, roughing it by mark twain, and The Shining by Stephen King.

Paint and draw every day

Zero smoking and drinking. 2 beers total, a week apart, whatever.

Sailed longer than ever before. 1800 nautical miles today.

Health note: some days I just want to tear my skin off it itches so bad. Sometimes it’s fine. I’m not sure if it’s the salt in the air or what. In my half sleep, I tore at my skin, and waking-dream-feared it is some sort of insidious body snatching fungal infection. God I hope not. Gross, I know. Probably just all the salt drying my skin out. if there’s no doctor, no country, no money and no medical insurance, could dreams be a valid source of medical information?  Maybe so. Mine are at least.

Day 17

When I was a young boy

My ma said to me

There’s a girl in the world for you

But she probably lives in Tahiti

I’d go the whole wide world, I’d go the whole wide world just to find her

I’d go the whole wide world, I’d go the whole wide world just to find where they hide her

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

Crossed the equator without celebration

We’ve come approximately 1100 nautical miles. We have about 1000 nm to go. Im not going crazy yet it’s fine.

Day 14

I sprained my stupid wrist falling down.

There’s rain squalls every 10 minutes or at least just when I’m on deck.

At night it becomes very calm.

Sometimes it rains so hard the sea completely flattens out in obedience.

It took about 3 years procrastinating, and 14 days of isolation on a boat but I finally have this writers surge in me to write down a hundred ideas racing through my head. I’m afraid of it leaving before I’m ready for it to go.

“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.” – Bill Hicks

Day 12

“I’m tired of this back-slappin’ “isn’t humanity neat” bullshit. We’re a virus with shoes.” – Bill Hicks

There’s too much trash in the water and I’m afraid to eat the fresh caught tuna for the mercury. I’m fucking in the middle of the ocean! It shouldn’t be like this. The environment is being destroyed, the people that are doing it have names and addresses, and it’s 2015 why haven’t we been able to stop them yet?

Day 10

Ten days have passed easily…the seas stay rough though. There hasn’t been a calm day yet.

People mostly overstate the inherent dangers of being on the boat, but no one ever mentions the much more persistent, exhausting wear of discomfort. Fucked up sleep cycles. Always being knocked around. Not eating because cooking in anything less than ideal weather is a cruel, character-building exercise. Warm beer or no beer. Being wet. Clothes never dry because of the salt spray. Small spaces. I’ve never met a boat without a leak. So stuff you didn’t think was gonna get wet will get wet. That drip above my head. Having to tense your muscles constantly to keep from falling down…or off the bed. Bruises. Praying that you will be given 5 seconds between waves to pull your pants up after using the toilet because you need two hands for that and if you’re caught unawares your whole body will knock right into the toilet and your face will go straight down into something hard, possibly the toilet, and your pants will most likely drop back around your ankles. I’m still figuring out how to use a bottle of water, a toothbrush, a toothpaste cap and the toothpaste simultaneously without falling or losing any of them to flying around the head…..

I’m not really complaining. I just thought y’all would like to hear about what being on a boat is actually like. I still am relishing my freedom, this feeling of being so so so small. I am still pretty freakin pumped I’m finally understanding the physics of sailing and I’m moving quick on my way to Bora Bora.

We’ve changed course because of the rough seas. We are out of radio contact mostly, and there’s no weather reports out here. There’s no way of knowing if the seas will flatten in an hour or in 6 days or never. The Doldrums is a area of the ocean just ahead. Affectionately and appropriately named. Here’s to good cheer and a large but limited supply of optimism.