Are we sailing yet?

7-May 2012, 01:07
Leg 2 to Marquesas, Day 5

I realize I haven’t written much about my experience Sailing. On my first leg, between Panama and Galapagos, I honestly didn’t know what to write. Even though it requires 24-hours of attentive action to keep going, it’s more of an all-inclusive lifestyle than an activity, and what one would think of actual “sailing” — like rigging lines, trimming sails, mapping and ‘navigating’ our course, evaluating and averting weather, singing songs and tanning bums — is more an ongoing existence of subtle adjustments than an activity. One could say I don’t feel much like I’m sailing at all, except that we’re moving ourselves across a great and vast ocean at a speed, or rather a delicate meeting place where wind blowing tight fabric can propel 23-tons of mostly wood, fiberglass, and canvas through a tumultuous undulating salty abyss that mysteriously covers two-thirds of our green planet (which in light of recent information seems overwhelmingly blue).

I was actually kind of upset yesterday, when it occurred to me that I’m not really learning to sail here. Our captain can and basically does operate the propulsion apparatus on his own, and with unmistakeable gleaming coming off the teeth as he does so. We do lots of other things – everything except propelling us forward – and I think that’s what dawned on me and got me bothered. I’m learning about this science but not actually practicing it; its the one area of expertise that our overlord relishes (and dare I say lives for) above all else, and we’re not here to take that from him. One might ask “doesn’t your captain sleep, and require relief by your trained-efforts?” The answers are yes and no: he sleeps, in bits and pieces all day and night, until conditions change that warrant adjustment, whence he springs to life again, dashing around in his gyroscopic gravity field, tugging on this, letting that fly, peering on tippy toes through there, running back here, belaying these, watching, evaluating it all – long pause… and with the quip “let me know if anything changes” he disappears back under the eye-mask. It’s a process to behold.

Not to say I’m not involved. It’s my duty here to craft my own curriculum, inquire about that which interests me and record answers, read texts on theory and relevant experiences on the high seas, and make myself available to channel the process through my own hands as much as possible. There’s not a whole lot of expectation of me to do anything beyond an equal sharing of tasks which benefit us all (like keeping watch and cooking mostly). Beyond that its up to me. Spencer is especially precocious in his education, much more than me, eager in his 23 years to earn ranks of Captain, fish fish, and make the high seas his home and livelihood. I’m still taking it all in, quietly shape-shifting as usual, trying on the trousers.

My journey so far has been extremely productive however, in the realms of my mind and spirit especially. From daily meditations to unexampled awareness in my dream-space, I feel my internal world expanding like never before. This simplified environment clears-up the head nicely. And let’s not forget the body: the physics at play here are extraordinary, and my worldly vessel is adjusting constantly.. five days out to sea already this time and I’m still tired, but good tired :)

Think I’ll elaborate on these and many more things a bit later. For now I’ll make a list.. Yay list of things to blab-on about!

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