Thursday, May 31, 2007

Karl’s thirtieth birthday!

Big Galliot Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
0 nm
Wind: NE-E 15-20 knots, gusting to 25
Seas: 4-7 feet offshore

Karl’s big day has been beyond uneventful. We didn’t leave, big surprise. I didn’t sleep well at all, listening to the wind howl in the rigging and trying to gauge its strength and imagining being out in it or trying to decide what sail to carry. When the alarm went off at six, the wind simply seemed too strong. Or it may have been tiredness speaking, or our inertia.

We seem to have been here an eternity. I remember nothing before and foresee nothing after. It’s like an eternal gestation, forever resting in the womb of the boat in our little bay. Tonight, though, the wind and swell is shifting to the south, so our little protected spot from the northeast will not be comfortable anymore. We’ll have to find a new spot, if we can overcome our lassitude.

I convinced Karl to play cribbage today, my grand accomplishment, and I also officially finished Ulysses. I had dug out my literature folder and found some assorted miscellany from my college days, so I was studying and rereading, but I think I’ve exhausted the tome, for another ten years at least. I can finally turn to my vast library of paperbacks, about whose weight Karl is eternally complaining.

Today I’ve been thinking of the noble bums, those who are remembered well by history even though they did little other than what we’re doing: Hemingway, Gaughin, Conrad, Melville, London. Mainly writers. I suppose one is defined by history by what is done while doing nothing. All of them created great works of art while bumming. I’m not sure I’m accomplishing much, despite my grand ambition.

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