I am in Fiji, home of the most emotionally aggressive public phones on Earth

So what's to be trifled with? I don't know, it's always what's not to be trifled with that's the concern, but so, topping my list of inanimate things one would be foolish to mentally trifle with is the Fijian phone booth, doubtlessly the most psychologically forbidding phone booth I've double-taken in…so far.


Based on the sails and mast of the Drua, a South Pacific war canoe which was once launched by being rolled over the bodies of ten or more men who had been slain first on deck to coat the vessel in human blood. To make it more seaworthy, you see. A sort of human coin in a fountain, …pulling out an eyelash for luck, etc. Do people do that? Thinking about someone pulling out an eyelash, or imagining someone noticing an eyelash that's fallen out of someone else's eyelid, saying, “oooh wait!” and delicately picking it up with gap-mouthed whimsy before blowing it away after making a wish, or for luck, is making me actively disgusted with humanity. The Drua launching thing, I'm not one to judge. That was in the past.

But I have no doubt the end of eyelash blowing is nowhere in sight.

But today, in a cab, witnessing the unflinching, heavy-lidded boredom of our Indian taxi driver whose side mirror may have knocked a pedestrian's hand off as he sped down the road, was the understatedly dull, flesh-and-bone-thudding highlight of an otherwise unbloody day. Externally unbloody, at any rate.

But the other day, which was Saturday I think, yes, the second day after our arrival in Suva, Fiji, –the other day brought with it a highlight to no less than three people in the catamaran moored next to the Champagne; three people who had never before seen a Magic Bullet blender and drink mixer, pictured here. I say no less than three because a fourth initiate to the Magic Bullet is out of frame. So four. Magic Bullet initiates are not required to participate in any bloodletting or otherwise violent rites of passage; rest assured that Clark's evenhanded enthusiasm for the Magic Bullet was all it took to properly enrapture his audience. Whether an expatriated English captain, seen here regarding the Magic Bullet, or a Fijian member of his crew, I can assure you that all parties concerned aboard the Dragonfly that evening were equally impressed with the Magic Bullet.



If you’re a jack-o-lantern guy, sailing might not be for you

A lot of time, not a lot of pumpkins. Definite bring your own pumpkin situation. Conspicuously absent from all blue water sailing guidebooks. I’m guessing–haven’t read any. I’d be surprised if “pumpkin” or “jack-o-lantern” either one are in blue water sailing book indexes. Pleasantly surprised, obviously, but, pretty sure nothing surprising’s happening in indexes re: jack-o-lanterns or pumpkins. Not in my lifetime. And to be fair it’s not just sailing guides; they’re just on my mind, since I’m sailing now.


Saturday, May 18th, 2011

WHALE DAY…yes at a bit after 8 am an enormous whale surfaced a boat length away off to port….sort of a dirty gray and exciting and frightening at the same time. It disappeared briefly and then resurfaced double the distance away but still very close and this time you could make out its longer than Champagne length. We all saw it and will relish this memory.
Earlier Scott and I saw a foot look fish jump out of the water about the same distance and direction as the whale…..looked like a tuna perfect to fill a frying pan if we had had a 20 foot net to snag it

As of 1040 am today we have covered 517 kms with 627 to go an average of about 130 kms per 24 hour days. Current location; S 27 degrees 07 min , E 177 degrees, 47 min bearing 015 going 6.7 kts with 15 to 20 kts of wind on a port tack out of the west.

Brilliant work from my crew…Karl and Heather during their 4 to 8 am shift set the full 110 jib to be mostly reefed [rolled up] and with the single reefed main and staysail we are driving like a race horse through some sloppy seas at great speed and a lovely sunny sky and Karl’s delicious banana rolled up in pancakes treat for breakfast we are all smiling….even if the two of them are now sleeping.

-Captain Clark

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Just having a heck of a time at sea

Today, I made oatmeal today for everyone. In it, I put raisins, dates, honey, and cinnamon. I threw up for the first two days, but am 100% now. The stars are amazing at night in the middle of the ocean. We’ve traveled 399 miles, 745 to go. No wildlife other than birds. These birds are clearly insane. But to be fair to the birds, I’m not certain what is real, anymore. Vivid nightmares always. Captain Clark gave me a copy of The Fountainhead in a dream. He offered Atlas Shrugged as well, but I said I’d already ready it. A lie.

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Sail Tomorrow, Likely

The idea is that tomorrow I will float away with three other humans on a sail boat, from Opua, New Zealand, where I have been for a couple weeks. We've been prepping the boat and awaiting the best weather opportunity for the probably seven to ten day journey to Fiji. There is a spear gun, a chess set, and a Magic Bullet blender on board, among many other items.

The very idea of the undertaking is amazing, and stirs an imagination right up–that's what you're likely experiencing as we speak, a stirred up imagination. Many will be the time while reading accounts of my journey that you will experience an imagination stirring, so, you're welcome in advance for all of these vicarious experiences I'm offering here, and their associated feelings of at times mirth, wonder, suspense, horror, The Horror, malaise, ennui, and many other felt experiences I don't want to ruin for you by disclosing at this time. Here you already have a practical example of the soon to be experienced suspense.

You may want to notify your family and colleagues that you are reading a travel blog. Tell them to expect a distinctive lilt in your step in the coming weeks, a bit more nail-biting than usual–both just two examples of the associated behavioral manifestations which often crop up as after effects of these stirred imaginings you'll soon be experiencing.


We’d be wise to worry less about goblins

I like to kind of keep my eyes open and sort of look for things in the world and kind of think, “Oh, so it's like this, like at first glance? But if I take a hard look at it and really open my eyes, is there more to it?”
Like once I saw a crosswalk sign go from green to red, and right after that a car went by and I thought, “I was just about to go into the street, then that car came by, I could have been killed, but the crosswalk went red first. What is the universe trying to tell me?”
So, again, it was brought to my attention the level of unchecked ferocity in animals that we imagine are tame or domesticated, or bred into “submission.” Take the piglet for example? There's almost no sense of concern on its face for the person her mother is biting. Her pie-faced, blasé acceptance of matters is as horrifying as any goblin. We laugh at goblins, just because the word “goblin” is funny, but imagine seeing a real goblin and how scary that would be.
Now turn your attention back to the piglet. Down the line, after infection sets in, or emotional distress, what this piglet's mom is doing may kill the person who has this leg. Remember how scary a real goblin was earlier? A goblin who before you knew it was a real goblin was just a funny word for an imaginary thing?
Multiply that goblin horror by maybe a million and you've got a pig. Pigs are provably real. Now look at that pig's kid, the piglet, and imagine how things will be in a world run by the piglet's generation. A lot of contingencies till the worldwide pig takeover etc., etc., but. Just food for thought.
A lot of people will go, “Oh, but that piglet is embarrassed by his mom, she's gonna break the chain,” or whatever. Just, wake up.