There’s an Oz like quality to this experience. You set off on a journey with your odd companions (and what you hope is enough brains, heart, and courage). There’s no telling what exactly the dream will throw at you next: flying monkeys, poppy fields, headwinds, squalls, doldrums...All you know is you have to get to the Emerald City—Hilo.
We are slowly approaching the equator, counting down the degrees of latitude from the south. I am used to the phenomenon of being a tiny speck in an empty ocean. But once in awhile I have a vertiginous feeling—as you might if you hike all day, looking at the trail, then stop and look up and realize you have climbed to the edge of a 3000 foot drop off.
Many things about this crossing are similar to our crossing from Mexico to the Marquesas:
-The watches which deconstruct day and night, and the forced idleness in-between which gives simple things like flossing executive importance.
-The big screen sky. The other night we saw a lunar rainbow, silvery grey, like suspended graphite powder. In the morning, just before the full moon sets, its shadows are pale blue and it looks transparent, a very thin cross section of the moon pinned against the sky.
-The visitations from other living things: flying fish (this morning we found one which had flown in the galley window) seabirds, and last night, a pod of dolphins. I like to crouch at the bow and try to hear them come up for their greedy gulps of air; it is comforting to hear something else breathing way out here.
But this crossing is different in many ways. We are sailing into the wind and towards the sun, pointing at the Big Dipper rather than the Southern Cross. Any day now we will see the pole star and slowly the familiar northern constellations will appear. Our mind set is different, because we are sailing home.
And you know what Dorothy said.