Micronesia and Indonesia

I found the sailing ship Otis in the Bay of Islands New Zealand. Despite the discouragement of many people who recommended more conventional modes of transport, such as airplanes, I found my vessel. In her berth I would ride to Indonesia
Not a luxury yacht but made of steel, she was strong and resistant. We hit a gale force storm along the way that took a solar panel and many other items into the sea. We were using buckets to remove the water from the vessel. The storm eventually died and we reached land.

Life on the sea is a humbling experience. You are merely floating upon a unfathomable depth full of mysterious creatures and a breath that rises and falls. Usually we would stop at an island every few days but twice there were passages of two weeks where we saw nothing but water. The sun would rise, the sun would set, the sun would rise, the sun would set. Sometimes dolphins would follow the boat, sometimes a bird would take a rest upon the mast. Nothing moved, only the pulse of the ocean. I would watch the stars during the night as they moved across the sky. One person always needed to be awake to watch for other ships to prevent collision and always someone needed to steer.

We sailed through the unforgettable islands of Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands, East Timor and Irian Jaya, West Paupua. The most beautiful and the most pure places I’ve ever seen. We would stop for water and supplies at the islands. We could only carry one ton of water on the ship so water was very precious, all showers were with sea water with a small rinse of fresh water. When it rained we collected the water.

We fished for food, before I was purely vegetarian. What else to eat when you live on the sea? I learned the endless ways to prepare fish and bananas. Fried fish, salted fish, dried fish, ceviche, stew, sushi and sashimi. Banana bread, banana jam, fried banana, steamed banana, stewed banana.

When we would stop at an island we traded goods for vegetables.


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