I want to feel the wind on my face…
I want to smell the salty air of the sea, way out beyond the world and far beyond the manmade products that fade in the distance. I want to set my course to head out beyond the concepts that keep us connected to our daily technologies. I want to disconnect from the common tragedies and be free from the rat-race and the mazes we’ve been trained to run through.
I dream of this.
I dream of me behind the wheel in a wheelhouse in this vessel I call my fantasy. My boat is not the newest in the marina. She is older and matured. She has seen her time and lived through her day but above all things, she is trusty. She is sturdy. And she is mine.
I like the idea of leaving port and slowly pulling out from my slip. The engines would hum and the silence of early morning would mix with the low-pitched rumble of my little ship as it pulled out and moved down the canal. The sun is only beginning to push its way above the horizon. First light is gleaming like a band of orange and purple at the boundary between land and sky. It is warm and the winds are in my favor. The sea is on my side and all that comes with this; all the peace this entails and the harmony this brings about is behind me like a friend.
I like the idea of slowly crawling through the canals so I can pass the marshes and watch the sun rise from the east without interruption. My body and the controls to my ship are in a quasi-state of autopilot but my mind is elsewhere, as if to explain that my mind is already out to sea.
My hopes are there. My dreams and my passion, my secrets and my desires are out there as well. All of these things I have and feel are out in the ocean somewhere in the cathartic vastness of the great blue sea. They are out in the nautical breeze and swaying in the waves of the wide-open truth that covers the world.
I believe this.
Even as a boy, I have believed this. There has always been something out there for me. There has always been a connection between the ocean and myself. Maybe it’s the smell. Maybe its the first time I ever reeled in a fish with my father at my side. All was quiet and suddenly, the immediate cheer from The Old Man and the sound of his excitement broke the quiet. There was no one else around during a cold morning fishing trip in November. We were at a place called Shinecock Canal. Maybe this connection stems from the proudness I felt on that morning of him for me and me for him. Maybe this is due to a connection between a father and his boy or maybe this is a metaphor.
Maybe this stems from the need to please my Old Man or hear him cheer for me. Or, maybe this is simpler and put simply, maybe this is because I just love the feeling of being out in the ocean, floating free and watching the sunrise as I leave the marina.
Perhaps this connection comes from the walks on the beach, whether alone or with company, whether sunny or dim, cloudy or snow, empty or full, the beach has always been there for me. The waves and the surf, the sky and the sounds of gulls crying out to one another is nothing else but the chorus of Mother Earth with the waves being the alto and the gulls the sopranos.
I want to find myself heading out and southern bound beneath the drawbridges, still slow, and making my way towards the inlet, which is the gateway to the ocean.
Once I pass, I am heading outwards now. I can open the throttles and let the engines rise to the occasion.
I want to pass the local fisherman in their boats with their fishing lines down on the bottom with their hopes to bring up dinner. I am out of the inlet now and picking up speed. There is no sound but the engines. The seas are welcoming and calm.
The bow of my ship can knife through the swelling waves that roll beneath my vessel without objection. The needle is a marker or a buoy that sits one nautical mile out from the inlet, which is my wayward point when I want to go home. I passed the needle on my way out. I passed the local fishing spots and The Cholera Banks which is another popular spot about nine miles southwest of the inlet. I pass the lobster pots and head farther out to sea.
There is nothing here. There are a few sightings of commercial boats and scallop boats. There are some long-liners and some draggers, but aside from them, the only other ships I see are the barges in the international shipping lanes to approach the ports and unload their cargo.
Moving on, I will eventually see nothing else but the ocean. I’ve seen whales out here. I’ve seen sunfish, which are not the same as the little bluegills we used to catch in some of the ponds near our house.
No, these are much bigger and part of the mysterious saltwater world. They are quite large and their fins pierce the water’s surface. I’ve seen my share of them while shark fishing just south of the H.A. Buoy.
There is a rhythm out here. There is a breath of its own and out here, I am the captain. I have the right to steer my ship in any direction I choose.
I love it out here, which is why I close my eyes and imagine this trip. I can mourn here, think here, breathe and rest here.
To me, the ocean is why I do not go to cemeteries. I do not go here because cemeteries are where dead people live. The ocean is free. And to me, this is where the spirits of my loved ones live.
My heart is here.
It was a long time ago, but I remember. I remember being a small boy with my family. We were on a boat. This boat was ours and though small, the little boat was enough to open my eyes to something much bigger, which leads me to the reason behind this voyage.
There are locations in our mind, which lead us to freedom. There are ideas and memories and pictures of moments in our past which can bring us to a sensation of peace. Some call this journey meditation or self-hypnosis. I call this a fishing trip. I call this a moment of peace. I call this a dream that I entertain; I call this a way to clear the calendar of all my useless arguments and open my schedule for ideas that runs deeper than, say, a zoom meeting about the last meeting we had on making a corporate decision regarding the information we already went over during the last meeting before that one.
See what I mean?
There are no meetings like this aboard my ship. There is no ego or need for one. There is no worry. There is only the sea and my early morning escape towards the ports of someplace peaceful.
Safe seas, my friend.
I will see you again soon.