16 deg. 38 mins. North,
041 deg. 37 mins. West
First Mate's Log, Stardate:- 1630/08/12/2012 GMT,
A beautiful sunny day, wind's dropped; a vast horizon
and a tall sky. The big lines of white and grey puffy
clouds sit low over the water in the distance in all directions so that you can see their full, towering heights; they
cast big pools of shadow over portions of the sea.
There is rain under some of them.
I had a shower under one such just yesterday, windswept,
cooling, fresh water straight from the sky - a gift to
one who was parched....
It is very hot now, for the first time - panting like
dogs, sweat providing the only cooling possible.
Luckily we still have a fridge and so the water is cold;
mixed with a little lime squash and concentrated lemon juice, one has, if not
quite an actual cocktail, at least refreshment.
Yesterday we were right smack in the middle of the
Atlantic - as far away from
land as you could possibly get in these parts - a
thousand miles from the East or the
This is precisely where I wanted to get to;
this was the destination - one has to go at least a week's sailing in
any direction to find land.
For a short period, here we are, free; about as far from
the world of Man (other than what we take with us) as one could reasonably
Here, adversity is not in the form of an enemy or an
opponent, a tangible marauding capitalistic tyrant whose guile is to be
countered with strategy and understanding;
here, there is no coercive force, no shape or
substance to be villified and cast down. No goodies, no baddies. No victory, nor
defeat; they have no meaning, both lost in the clean reality of right now. The
real battle must be fought within ourselves and, so I come slowly to understand;
it is not by score, comparison nor by money that we are set free...
The Ocean gave me a clue last night; it is in its music.
As the yacht passes over and through, the water makes
various sounds: a cross wave swishing the stern around produces an urgent
rushing thrash of cascading water.
As each large wave swells up behind the boat, towers
over us, the tops curling and falling down - a sound like pebbles on a beach,
avalanching straight at us... and yet, almost unbelievably, as it overtakes the
boat, it lifts her up, high and above.... and then we are speeding down the face
with an urgent charge, like a knight, mounted with his jousting spear - a call
to arms. With a final crash and a thrum we are overtaken and left behind, slow
now; a more sturdy, solid, rolling little figure than we had been when at the
top. All of this, relating to our passage through.
Behind this however, is the more subtle sound of the
Ocean herself, waves on top of waves, with little wavelets on top of those, each
producing their own distinct chuckle, crackle and bass roar, in harmony and
beginning to sound like music.... Unaffected by our passage, this is the
constant music of the individual waves, large and small, as they all contribute
to the oceanic harmony.
Does the Ocean hear its own sound? Does it take us to
hear it, like the tree falling in the woods? If it is true that it takes life to
appreciate beauty, then how did beauty become in the first place? How did it
know how to be so beautiful?
Tony has caught two 4lb flaming blue and yellow Dorado
already this morning. We had one five pounder between
us last night – plenty big enough, I fried the uppers
of the fillets in a touch of oil and sea salt and then sat the fillets skin-side down in the hot pan and poached them in lemon
juice and shoyu. Served on a bed of japanese rice on
top of which, a generous layer of malaysian-inspired
ratatouille displaying a cocky garlic and sweet chili attitude....
Tonight, I am going to make a variation on a
Bouillabaise; potatoes, carrots, onions, plenty of
garlic, all together with vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, red peppers, a hint
of turmeric and fresh ginger.
The Dorado fillets to be added right at the end that,
themselves had been flash-boiled in mid-atlantic
I'll have to go - have to slow the boat down to land