When a crew member in Kauai jumped off the stern to sink an anchor, it brought back memories. I’ve been anchored on land too long. I miss being on the water, in the water, under water. I had forgotten about the ocean after been so far from it for so long.
But being in Hawaii among people for whom it was special again made me restless for more time on boats. My favorite part of the whole trip, aside from the surfing, was being on the boat. Lying on my stomach on the trampoline, watching the Pacific Ocean pass beneath us, trying to find a word that captured its color — cerulean maybe? More blue than blue green. Pure. Like the frosting on cakes when they use blue for an ocean. It looked like a gel, like I could dip my hand in and pull out a dollop of glistening cobalt.
Being underwater with a snorkel — or even better, without one when I jumped from the boat deck — made me wish I could stay there, under the surface. Nothing but the sounds of liquid and undersea pop and crackle. I heard the occasional rumble of boat engines, but they didn’t bother me because their noise was muffled and muted by the sea, and the message in the muffling is that the ocean is more powerful than a boat or its engine.
My husband and I daydream about sailing when we retire. I am terrified by the thought of crossing a wide expanse of open water in a sailboat — to go from Florida to the Bahamas, or sail around the Caribbean, just the two of us — but I am also electrified by it. When I am on the water that is what I crave: the stars at night, water in all directions, no human sounds or constructions.
I’m scared of a storm, of how powerful it would feel, how frightening. But I want to hear the flap of the sail filling and emptying of wind, the clank of the rigging against the mast, the zip of line being let out through a pulley. The slap of water against a boat hull as we fall asleep at night.
For the month of April, I will be publishing a 10-minute free write each day, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Trying to get back into the writing habit.