What I’m really thinking: the amateur sailor

I feel like I’m dropping out of the experience. It’s wearing me out. In the sea breeze, I usually work it out, but not this time. I can’t decide whether to backtrack or thrust…

What I’m really thinking: the amateur sailor

I feel like I’m dropping out of the experience. It’s wearing me out. In the sea breeze, I usually work it out, but not this time. I can’t decide whether to backtrack or thrust forward. I know I’m going to start jumping up and down on the rocks when I reach a place where no one can look me in the eye. It won’t be a sentence or a phrase that would fit at all, but it would be a magical image that will fill my mind.

I can’t help my mind wander, but the contemplation gives me an almost surreal feeling of awareness. Other people I’ve spoken to recognize the same drive, but they see it for what it is – an expression of self-delusion. I don’t care what others think. It’s how I feel inside. I run away with this voyage every time, even when it’s not fun, because at the end of the trip the place that transports me feels so much more real than most I’ve been in before. It’s a place where I’m honored to be able to put my feet on the sand.

Photograph: Laurent Piotrowski/Getty Images

I find myself walking down the shoreline as if on meditation retreat. My body feels peaceful, and when I cross a path, it appears on other stones that look the same. I feel sure that I am being watched. I’m approaching the eastern shore, where cars and boats are in the distance. Here the natural palette of colors is at its most vivid, and the water is still calm. I’m just crossing the ocean, and I feel as if I’m pushing on against the pull of the movement. As I float, I scan the beauty of the lighthouse below me and the rocks underneath my feet. There’s something poetic about its outline, which is repeated throughout the land.

In order to save precious time, I pluck a few items from the shelves and go through them. I treat the past like an archaeologist would the finds from a gold mine. My aesthetic value has been influenced by these objects. It reminds me of the stone dug out of the sea. I hope that I can find a reference for the time spent here.

Photograph: Laurent Piotrowski/Getty Images

I navigate the path. When I arrive at the beach, I tuck the articles into my backpack before I hop on the paddleboard. I instinctively bounce down.

After about five minutes of paddling, I catch sight of a marlin swim. I look up in surprise and shock. I reach out, but I can’t catch it. All I can do is relax and let the thrill of the action wash over me. I look back slowly and take some pictures.

I land onto the surfboard. I don’t have any great plans. I don’t have any sort of vision of what I’m going to do when I’m done. But I’m certain that the reality is going to be more magical than the dream.

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