Myself, Hans and Javier...We hadn't seen land until yesterday...Day 53 at sea; but all that was about to change...We now were in shouting distance of Nuku Hivu, The Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia...and NOTHING was going to deny us.... We had no steering...We jury rigged the emergency tiller after the weld on the wheel steeing idler plate broke a month ago rendering normal steering and any auto pilot useless... all backbreaking hand steering with 1200 miles to go. 2 hrs on 4 hrs off then back steering..… We had no Headsail THAT was in tatters... Useless; The clew ripped out by heavy weather on the Mainsail.. a heavy line to a reefing clew then lashed down at the outhaul...Well we had an engine...The problem, getting fuel to it... . The transfer pump malfunctioned but I had a plan soon as it turned light.
Hans was pouring fuel from a yellow 5 gallon diesel Gerry can directly into the fuel injector pump..."It's a diesel" so to complicate things Javier disconnected the return fuel line which he was holding over another EMPTY Gerry can...We made it...Honestly I don't remember putting the anchor down, but we were secured in a small anchorage.
The first sounds of music in 54 days was seen and heard not too distant from the dock where I could secure the dinghy... Climbing up the steel ladder, there were several sharks swimming about. No-one on top seemed to care or have much interest; The sharks were hanging around waiting to get fed by the fishing boats soon arrival, who daily cleaned their abundant catch with more than enough to go around.
I was so taken with this Polynesian music, I was magically given a guitar and fit right in with this Polynesian trio... "who only somehow assumed that I played". It was basically three chord progression in the key of G... My thoughts, smiling to myself...It sounded Like "Charley on the MTA"...by the Kingston Trio, going way back when...Getting the Polynesian swaying rhythm, soon I was making up my own "Polynesian Lyrics" What a blast...IZ made "Over The Rainbow Legendary"... His version went Platnum...It spoke what was really important in this troubled world, today, few seem to listen... Greed, Corruption, Narcissism, Power Hunger appears pervasive from what I know best i.e the news out of the US...through the net...Love has been replaced by Hate, Envy, Egotism, Revenge through the social devise known as TWITTER.
The fondest part of that Polynesian experience came from the native audience who sat close by...An extrovated little angel about 2 years old..kept running up to me..sitting with her mother a few feet away...while I was playing; she kept on touching my face..head and putting her little hand on my guitar. It was so funny, her mother finally had to restrain her..
I told Javier and Hans if they stuck with me the next 700 miles to Tahiti.."I WOULD buy the Pizza". Things patched up, we took off without incident...Tahiti to me, Taina marina magical...The most wonderful marina I ever experienced...Europeans could stay there for ever if they wanted; unlike Americans, who were on a strict visa limitation so I was back single handing.
Getting in to American Samoa after 33 days at sea alone, the boat was an embarrasement, that's why no pictures...The sea had taken all the paint off the topsides..I really got hit bad several times but when I finally secured anchor... not even able to talk, a couple of kind hearted sailors gave me a cold Pepsi, some cheese and bread.."What a gourmet feast"...after 33 days alone at sea.
I guess after writing 4 completed screenplays, working on my 5th on an anchor mooring in the harbor, I was creative and happy, my surroundings beautiful, it seemed to justify my reticence to make the necessary sea going repairs and purchase new sails to bring her up to a sea worthy condition... to go on as is was too dangerous … well maybe if I sold a screenplay to Hollywood...Hollywood would appear to ignore me, not even reading any of my material...Perhaps my political views, I don't know...The fear and corruption of this American Territory set in... "I was no good to them" They cut my mooring chain, I lost my boat, my Home of 14 years, my life as a sailor.... all gone. They do not insure my kind of risks...I was initially devistated when you see people looting your property. I felt like Nicole Kidman in the movie Dogville that best described my situation...
I have been sober many years, I live by the`12 Steps... I figured God had other plans for me... "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"...I sometimes play along with IZ. I do not play the OOKalaylee like IZ but if you capo the 5th fret playing in the G position on your guitar, you come close.. I told IZ just the other day that I wanted to buy a new guitar made of native Koa wood...but I'm never in a place long enough to have it sent to me with Visa Time Restrictions....Basically I'm homeless, but live for my means, rather well... Both generally in Thailand and Indonesia..."Always at some beach or another".
My screenplay Soaked, about sailing, particularly the finale, in French Polynesia, I think quite possibly will put a smile in everyone's heart...I instinctively feel that way every time I play along with IZ...Some think the rythem to the song is down...up.. and a palm mute..but not soo... If you listen... IZ will tell you it's a Polynesian magical rythem It goes...OOHHaHaAAAahhahahaha...
On oceangoing ships I've sailed, according to my seaman's papers, all positions well earned, as Ordinary Seaman, Able Seaman and Ships Officer, been almoat everywhere thoroughly enjoying every day at sea. That's why I bought my own boat; in order to go places cargo ships don't normally go like to Polynesian Islands.The experience whether a 700 ft ship sitting at night on a deck cargo tool locker gazing at the stars was surprisingly the same as my 42ft sailboat..."Most of the time". We salute those who sail without incident...but the mark of a good seaman is how well he handles adversity at sea....53 days is a long time underway; this, with maybe a million miles under my belt is what I am most proud of along with how my two crew members whom I trained handled it.
As a Naval Architect I wrote quite a bit but it was for the most part techinical articles. In Key West the home of Papa Hemingway, something was in the water, I began to write short stories. I could see his house from my anchorage..My lust for sailing and adventure prompted me to shell out $20,000 dollars for a new diesel engine...a Yanmar 454 the best for my vessel. No I did not end my voyage in Am. Samoa for lack of funds; nor depending on Hollywood to purchase one of my scripts for a movie production. To make my boat seaworthy would cost 80 bucks for a bronze seacock...plus $5,000 from my investment account for some new sails...I was happy where I was...The environment produced 4 highly inspired screenplays...working on a fifth...I had seen and experienced it all... there just wasn't much interest or incentive to sail on. That's why I feel God had other plans for me when my boat was taken from me by whatever means... The Spiritual world rules over the Material world. My life is in order because I have endeavored to be honest with myself and others with a willingness to forgive.
LOL: Thanks to my Vocal Coach on U-Tube... ERIC ARCENEAUX "I'm getting back my teen age voice"... most of the time can reach up and hit some of those high notes...without straining...but as ERIC stresses practice, and patience...Don't force it. "about a half an octave away from where I want to be"....but it takes time...getting back playing and singing...."What a Joy"