sailing to Oahu
Jimi Hendrix was playing on Oahu. I had never sailed. Surfed Mexico, California, Hawaii! Aw, how hard could it be to sail 90-110 miles from Kauai to Oahu? Piece of cake, right? Remember it was the 60's! This is so bad. We thought we were looking at Kaiena Point,Ohau, knowing we weren't going to make the concert! But at least we were in site of Oahu-wrong! Coy, who had never sailed before, me,who had never sailed before, jeff and Abbott etc. We were looking at the sleeping giant on Kauai! We had done three-sixty's in the night! We sailed on the only tri-marran I've ever sailed on ( except later ) in my life, missed the concert! It was at the Waikiki Shell Ampitheater ( Moon eclipsed . We finally made Nawilwili Harbor! The Skipper tried to give us his boat saying, " It's trying to kill me"! We watched him go stark raving mad not even realising that had we got caught in the channel current we were on our way to Japan! Remember it was the 60's and we were going to see Hendrix. I left out some of the good stuff but I will make up for it later!
Monday, October 26, 2009
God I swear! I looked at the title (above) that came at me and I saw a history so vast and complex that I am not sure it wouldn't require volumnes and has/to even approach what has driven, compelled seaman for a myriad of reasons to go to sea and search horizons just beyond the curvature of the Earth in this quest for: Just maybe this is not the time to name drop. The Explorer Guys. The Warrior Guys. The Loyalty guys/for various countries and Queens or Kings. I know it sounds like chess and yet it is and was, The very cool thing about history is that it is/was written by more than one person from more than one country! Make up your mind and choose the history you want to believe. I recommend that you start with a premise that simply says three things. Or four! I really want to believe would be your first premise. The second would be , I'm sorry I doubt! Now you are approaching diametric oppisition. Ain't life grand? The third is I question because I can and so I challenge. The fourth is I am ordered to sail with Magellan or Columbus and I have no choice. So a few of you made it back from a sail or two. Magellan didn't but Columbus discovered America without stepping foot on the continent! Isn't history wonderful? Ponce de da Leon didn't discover " The Fountain of Youth "' , in Florida either but don't tell the " Seminoles " , that. otherwise when the " Cherokee " nation walked to Florida from Oklahoma they wern't going to find it either! So is the " Trail of Tears" like the " Bataan March"? Can you imagine being 15 years young and busted in London, England for stealing a loaf of bread and being sent to " Botany Bay" , ( Sydney, Aus) . Or the 2nd son of a royal family, the non-inheiritor! Sent to OZ to make your fortune! What did the Aborigine think? I know-Dreamtime! So sailor's have done some shit to the world! So what!! This next four years will tell if we are going to survive as an island/country/whole Earth Family sailing through space as a ship with captain and crew! Remember the island where a few rabbitts were left. Without food they consumed each other to extinction! They multiplied then divided! Steady as she goes mate!!!!
I was a lucky one. I survived a period of California's history that has never seen the like until today! My three claims were so remote and early and so far removed from the hungry, greedy, jackels that feed off the works of the successful that I thought I just might have a chance of finding what I was trying to provide for my family. I did! But the ravenous dogs who stalk, thought they won, again! At every step of the way I was taken. When my shovel broke, I walked six miles to an outpost, hiding my trail to purchase another. I paid two onces of gold for that shovel. Sixty dollars! Can you believe it? They tried to follow me back to where the gold originated from. I was too Ohio for them. They were cityfied people, thieves and I was a farmer//hunter that fed a large family by what we grew and what we shot or raised on our farm and it's surrounds. I learned from Sitsu ( that's how you pronounce it ) how to walk with no sound and no trail when I was friendly to a people that were here before us. My father taught me that people are great but that sometimes the governments that pretend to control the people lose touch that they also are the people! Kind a hard to get but I did! Sitsu is my friend and always has been. He is one of the reasons that I survived being " Shanghied " in San Francisco. He is a major reason I didn't lose my claims in the " Gold Country ". While Sit was showing me the ways of his tribe he was studying the ways of our tribe. A way of thinking from both parts is the way I see it. While I'm studying him, He is studying me. I knew it, He knew it! So I guess friendship is a mutual exchange of something! Because here is what I got from my friendship with Sitsu. First, I survived being shanghaied. When I returned, I was richer, emotionaly and financially and intellectually than when I began! Why do I attribute this to my friend Sitsu? When I walked with my friend in the wilderness, he allowed me to take the time to listen to forest sounds and let the sights and sounds lead me to the actions that would determine survival of not just myself and family but all that are part of that forest. No one ever found the gold that I had claimed in California. I came back years later knowing what I would find. It is all still there. I knew because of my friendship with an American Indian (Sitsu) that in a crisis situation I could accept my spiritul destiny but not without asking the Great Spitit is this what it appears to be? When I woke on that nightmare from hell called, " The Reefer " bound for China, I could have called all the gods that be to have nothing to do with me-ever again! Fearsy ( Joesph Israel Jacobson ) only kicked me once and became a best friend as did Sitsu ( he never kicked me ) who taught me how to wait for the meaning of things before stricking out. But stricking out is neccessary when your claim has been jumped. Or when your family is under attack. Or when ever you decide that justice is not being served. Or !!!!! Friendship is priceless.......
Ughhhrrhhh! Mumbleskumdarknut! I must be near a farm for I hear sheep, chickens and cattle and smell them also! But why in this darkness that even with eyes open can't see, still everything seems to be moving and pounding til my senses all are overcome with to much. I can feel that the weight of my gold is gone. Was I robbed? I remember little but a ship grounded! Lights and laughter with merry music and ladies dancing and all seemed well! The owner shouted all a' round and I felt I was with friends for the first time since I had left my home in Columbus, Ohio. My beautiful bride and my two children, Robyn and Luke, whose father went to California to find the wealth that was in every paper from Florida to Maine! Gold, In California, Lying on the ground to be picked up by anyone who can find their way to this place! " Eureka! I've found it!" So where am I now? Am I at sea? A kick to my side sent my wandering mind to the realities at hand! The pain and a voice that I was to hear for two years and more set me to a trade that I did not aspire to gain. His name is Fearsy and he is first mate on a vessel from hell named , " The Reefer"! The cattle I heard meowing after I was adjusting to being " Shanghaiied ", out of San Francisco was headed for China with a load of laundry. Can you believe that? Because of the Gold Rush ", and the building of the " Railroad" there was a period of time in San Francisco where a class of people found it more affordable to send their washing by a slow boat to China and back than to do it them selves? My gold is gone. Maybe my claim has been jumped! I don't know at this time because I am waking up after a " Mickey Finn " and apparently have signed " the articles" of seamanship and now am owned by the ship! Well, this is before the uncivil war! I realized that Fearsy was a simple man that was very good at following orders. He only kicked me the one time because when I realized that we were outside the Farallon's headed more west than I had intended to go I knew I had to get back to my family! I be- friended him and used his friendship to propel me and his-self up to better food and a more responsible life. I learned ( I was told ) nautical realities faster than any man before the mast before me. When I returned to California on " The Reefer" I returned as a bit of an anomaly. Because I was educated and knew mathematics there was need for me and I learned the skills of navigation. People aboard ship before and aft the mast placed me in a position to arbitrate the disparity or distance between solvency and active harsh punitive measures that upset the balance of the fluid operation of the owners goals, which was and is profit alone! I sailed with a sick captain from San Franisco to the island of New York around " The Horn"! We lost four men off that cold harsh frozen tip of converging oceans. Becalmed at " The Latitudes"! No wind, just heat. The hides we had picked up at " Thousand Steps", in Dana point made the owners wealthy. The captain died two days after arriving at " the Port of New York"! He was 43 years old. I think it was malaria from the mosquito that got him. I never got on with him. He was a frog. Never found one I liked. Still looking, but not that hard. So, Shanghaied in San Fran. Sailed half way around the world. Sailing became me. So here is what you have to look forward to. The wife and children in Ohio. The "Claim" in California. Sailing and the " Uncivil War". And,of course, what is Fearsy's name and what happened to him. He is still my friend and is alive and well in my heart! Arrggguhhh, matey!
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