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An epic sailing adventure of surfing, skateboarding, kiteboarding, and exploration aboard the “Natural Mystic”

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Reaching for the Sky

August 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

wake.jpg If the start of a passage is any indicator to the rest of the mission, our first night bound for the Marquesas revealed what would be a long, arduous voyage. After beating the day away, heading for the consistency of the trade winds, I was pretty tired. Once my time on watch was over, I retired to my room for 4 hours of downtime. While relaxing in my bed, I heard the melodic mantra of whale soundings in the active waters off Isabella Island. I had heard those sounds before but only on CD’s made to put insomniacs to sleep. I was excited to witness the calls of such enormous creatures and I wanted to tell the others because I was sure they couldn’t here it through all the noise on deck. When I got outside I realized there was more to be concerned with then the sounds of mammalian mating calls. We then proceeded to hack and slash our way through five different lines place by commercial fishing boats. It made for a restless night that allowed for only an hour or two of sleep in between tangles. Clearly, this wasn’t a good start to our passage.

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Fortunately, the rest of our voyage was not as perilous. Once we made it out of the Ecuadorian waters off the Galapagos Islands, we were becalmed in a pond-like sea state with no one or nothing in sight. It was a nice change from the previous night’s paranoia but it didn’t sit well to think of going 3,000 miles at that pace. I decided to make good use of a dry bow by constructing a recliner from our beanbag and our padded “Sunstation”. It was the most comfortable lounge spot on the boat and it did wonders to ease my overwrought mind. Any worries or concerns seemed to evaporate as I watched nature’s theater unfold.

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Every night the show was the same, but it never got old. The opening act was the sun’s downward descent into the abyss of the sea. Then came the majesty of the other stars in the universe. With no light pollution (except phosphorescent plankton) to dilute the wondrous display from the heavens, the southern sky came to life. I’ve spent my lifetime in the northern hemisphere, so these stars were all new to me. Meteors exploded in every quadrant of the sky rewarding the patient observer.


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The next phase of the evenings show was characterized by our natural satellite. Before the lunar lights made their appearance, we had been crashing along at 10-12 knots through a dark sea. When the moonbeams shone down, we could once again witness the dynamic motion of Earth’s largest ocean. Usually, not long after moonrise, came time for the changing of the guard. Kyber and I would pass the torch to “KaLizzy” (Kahlil and Dizzy are like a couple) so we could recharge or our cerebral batteries and they could witness the serene splendor of night watch.

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After four hours of fluid dreams, it was time to witness the final acts of the best show on Earth. Once the moon began it’s final approach towards the horizon, it began to grow larger. The lower it plummeted, the more its hue began to change to a shade of magenta. When at last the moon had sunk into the western horizon, the stars could once again take their place on center stage. This second starry show was usually brief due to ushering in of the final act, sunrise. The period between moonset and sunrise grew shorter and shorter as we made our westward trek across the Pacific. The full moon hadn’t even set before the sun rose on the tenth night of our passage.

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One of our simple pleasures included writing creative log posts for the amusement of everyone. Some of the more entertaining entries in the “skipper’s choice” section were as follows: Institutionalized Idiots, Midget Montage, Exhibitionist Enchiladas, Marquesa-dillas, Stuck-up Proctologists, Disgruntled Dingo’s, Volatile Nose Hair, ect.

In hindsight, the journey homogenized the thirteen days into one passage as a whole. Moments of excellence included boat speeds in the 20’s while doing 12.1 knots/hour. Me_Dorado.jpg We reeled in more Dorado than we could eat and opted to sail with no fishing lines for days on end. P-Kiddy did his best to manage our fish surplus but failed when his legs could no longer support his girth. Chubby_Bunny.jpg We all pitched in to create culinary creations, which left no taste bud deprived.

Landho_furl.jpg All things considered, this was another dream passage. Our crew was cohesive and worked well, (despite a couple sleep-deprived induced moments of stress). The Natural Mystic sailed like a champion with minimal damage. We avoided bad weather and raced along, completing this leg faster than most people have.Marquesas_Pano.jpg Now that we have arrived in the Marquesas at Hiva Oa, we are free to explore the cloud-lined peaks and dense, fruit and flower-rich tropical forests. Flower_Power.jpg Soon we will be headed for one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world on Fatu Hiva before we set sail for the surf-o-rific reefs of the Tuamotu’s. Don’t expect a whole lot of activity on the website, I hear they just recently started using the wheel, so I’m sure broadband internet is still a few years away.

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Here’s another taste of my poetic musing:

Dynamic Isolation

Our goal is not a destination

Striving for new expectations

No exaggerations or misconceptions

Feeling the pulse of Earth’s vibrations

Dynamic Isolation

For turbulent minds

Unwinding society’s threads

While strengthening the binds

Prominent premonitions

Foreshadowing situations

Arriving at the realization

Materializing aspirations

Clarity arrives

Destiny abides

Floating fascination

Dancing with the tides

– Ben

Tags: Ben's blog

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 sabork // Aug 26, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Hey Ben, I’m really digging the sick photos and intriguing narratives not to mention the stony poems….right on brutha, keep up the perceptive photojournalistic prognostications. I’m curious to hear if P-kiddy still enjoys rubbing his skid-stained ass on your pillow? Good luck with the Tahitian girls but remember, their fathers carry machetes! later bra, Sandor

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