Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Manatee Pocket to Hobe Sound, FL

11.7 nm
Wind: NW 10-15 knots
Seas: Light chop
Maximum speed: 5.5 knots
Average speed: 5.4 knots
Latitude: 27°00.25’N
Longitude: 080°05.73’W

It never ceases to amaze me how prophecies seem to be self-fulfilling. Two nights ago I was journalling about the perfect desert island, and here I am anchored off it. Well, not quite. (And that not quite is always the thing that gets me in trouble.) But we’re anchored off an island with white sand beaches, right off from Burt Reynolds’s house, if you can believe that, and we went for a swim and a walk today. The water was clear blue--not quite so clear that our dinghy looked like it was floating in nothing, but getting close. No coral yet. But the perfect desert island of my dreams lurks somewhere, so close, just on the edge of the horizon.

I have bread baking in the oven, since of our fresh food we have exactly one apple left. But even that is a glimpse of paradise--how long can we live off canned sardines and pasta and flour and yeast? A long time, I think. Karl’s throwing the casting net right now. As soon as we get out of Florida, we can start fishing in earnest. When our dinner can be caught before sundown, I will be a truly happy girl.

Not that I’m not a truly happy girl right now. I am, or I try to be, with all my heart. Our boat is spotless right now, cleaner than it’s been since we left Marion. Karl spent all afternoon scrubbing the teak of the toerail. I posted to the website this morning, and we’re making progress towards our destination. All our chores are done (almost). And yet, I still find myself beating myself up over things--why aren’t I doing yoga in the mornings yet? When am I going to start doing pushups so I can dive and scrape the hull better? Shouldn’t I be editing my novel? Of course. “Under heaven and earth, our work is never done.” Solomon said that, in Ecclesiastes. Even for us bums, our work is never done. So why can’t I just take a deep breath, and enjoy this moment, which, for all I know, is the best of my life?

I am. I do. Deep breath. Smell the bread. Listen to Karl as he tosses the net. Watch the waning light fade through the hatches.

We’ve been reading the Bible together, in the mornings, a revisitation of my youthful zeal. Jesus has good things to say, he really does. Yesterday we read the Last Supper, and that night for dinner we had bread and wine. Real, hearty, thick bread, frontier bread, as I call it, heavy with yeast and flour and oats. We ate it with a can of French Onion soup, and peanut butter, and wine. It was the Eucharist for us, in our little boat. Bread and wine. That’s all Jesus and his buddies were doing, sitting around, breaking bread, drinking wine. And here we are, on the boat, without a home, without any goal aside from this.

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