Coconut Dreams

After a long week of downpours the sky has finally dried out (relatively). The worst day of the monsoon we all packed our work clothes in dry bags and did the bike ride in bathing suits. Palm trees were knocked over in the winds and coconuts scattered the parts of the road that weren’t flooded. Eventually, when it was apparent the storm wasn’t just passing through, work for the day was called off and we were shuttled back to the man camp in trucks for safety.


For some reason unknown to any of us, there are two machetes onboard the dive barge and I’ve been wanting to learn how to open a coconut with one. I kept forgetting to nab one on the way out, so when I was staring out over the water the other day, lost in thoughts of the future,  imagine my delight when one floated straight to me! I grabbed it out of the water and got to hacking. And hacked and hacked and hacked…

The wrong hard way to open a coconut

The thing about coconuts that I’ve realized is that it takes patience, hard work, and perseverance to get to the sweet reward inside. Without getting too abstract or sentimental, I felt like this humble coconut bobbing in the saltwater was a sign from the universe. At the exact moment my thoughts were overtaking me about what’s next and what I want from life and how badly I want certain things to happen, a perfect symbol of   forbearance and tenacity floated over to remind me to be here now and sweet things will come my way at the right time. The smiling nut now sits on a shelf in the shack and we call him Cousin Nelson.

Hard work pays off

Ever since the first one, I’ve been scooping coconuts into the basket of my bike for chopping practice. The inside of the husk is a thick, fibrous protection for the nut, but I’ve also found that the less mature coconuts haven’t formed the inner shell yet. It actually is a hardening of the fibers that form the shells we’re familiar with, and that I now use to demonstrate some of the best Monty Python moments for people who haven’t seen the Holy Grail yet.

They also stain your hands black, I’ve discovered

We’re still doing six tens at work since we’re in a good flow driving sheet pile and Labor Day weekend has been pushed back (yeah, I guess they can do that). I managed to get my orientation cruise done for my captains license (not a real captains license) last Sunday, and on the ninth I’ll do my practical test. If that goes alright I’ll finally (after almost three months!) be able to rent the boats here and explore more of the lagoon and the ocean side of the island. I can’t wait!

Brand loyalty

Just like the coconut, my new boots arrived at the exact moment I needed them most. The old ones tore yesterday and I thought I was going to have to tape what’s left of them onto my ankles to dive. My new coveralls were not such a blessing as it turns out I am about two feet smaller than a mens medium. I’ll have to break out the sewing kit I guess.

Waiting out the storm

Thanks for reading! My world revolves around work at the moment and it’s the small pleasures like learning about coconuts, honing machete skills, and daydreaming that keep that world from feeling too small.


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