There’s been a constant humming undertone to my thoughts lately, which I recognize from more unsettled and less fulfilling times in my life. It’s a beat that says “I want, I want, I want…” and it doesn’t have a place here. Its lyrics are all about what I don’t have and what I’m not doing and it drowns out the rhythm of here and now. On my bike ride home I took the dirt road that runs along the lagoon to stumble across a sight that turned my thinking from the whiney, over-played wantwantwant sound to a bluesy, soulful wow, wow, wow!
Staring at the water all day, either from above or below the surface, gives me a unique (and ungodly) amount of time to appreciate the nuances and subtleties of the ever changing ocean blues. The million shades that dominate my everyday life settle into my subconscious the way you can’t hear background music unless you really focus. Looking through my photos I was impressed by how often the blues struck me enough to take a picture, and how promptly they were forgotten after. So this is my ode to the moods of blue in the sky and the sea.
Since I have my boat license now I was able to zoom Zack out to SAR pass to catch some waves in the early afternoon. He missed a ride on his friends boat because we went for a sail on a boat we might buy (!) in the morning. The wind was calm since it is still the doldrums season so it was more of a putter, but so incredible to be on the water without a Diesel engine blaring out the splash of the water. When we got to the break I dove down to check that we had a good anchor and the current was so strong I had to fight hard for a quick glimpse before floating back to the swim ladder. It held in the swell and I dove into Bernard Moitessier’s “The Long Way”, which will be my 21st book read here (3 months!).
Some nights when the low tide isn’t too late we go to the hot tub, which is really just a circle of rocks around the outfall of a cooling line (just warmed up seawater, nothing gross, we’ve worked on too many questionable outfalls to not check). The lagoon is already like bathwater so during sunlight hours the ‘tub’ would be un-refreshingly hot, but at night it’s comfortable and there’s a beautiful view of the stars.
Today I was making an inspection video of the sheets we’ve driven to find any damage to the coating we’ll need to repair. They’re only in about 25 feet of water, but climbing up and down 40 pairs, mentally measuring and narrating every scratch (there are A LOT) and hauling the 30 pound hat out of the water with your neck to see the tops is pretty exhausting. Not to mention the pressure changes playing havoc with your ears. I’m very fortunate to be able to clear by moving my jaw in the hat (that pop you feel in airplanes), some people have to work much harder at it using the Valsalva maneuver of blocking your nose and blowing. I’ve been wearing earplugs topside with much more regularity than ever before in appreciation of what all that the tiny bones in my ears do for me. I hate earplugs because I feel numb and stupid with them in, like… well, like one of my senses has been taken away! But it’s better to suffer a temporary haze than lifetime impairment.
The mini-vacation to Roi-Namur didn’t happen because no one was going there for work so they didn’t schedule any flights. A total bummer, but silly and worthless to complain about missing out on a free flight and $15 hotel room. Hopefully we’ll have another opportunity to go in the time we have here. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up sailing there for the weekend one of these days…
Thanks for reading! What are some of the things you take for granted, but bring so much to your life? Share your gratitude and pictures of your favorite blues in the comments!
2 thoughts on “Moods of Blue”
Riley, I have been looking in nature for something blue but couldn’t find anything. I found a lovely blue item outside of nature but I don’t know how to post it! At any rate, this is another thoughtful and heartfelt blog post that I loved reading – thank you!
Hi Riley, I love reading your blog and was delighted to feel the theme of blue. When you asked us to reflect on our blue, I couldn’t help but think of my car with its deep blue coat that I have appreciated throughout its 10-year life. Because dark blue has always been my favorite color, I am perpetually aware of being in its presence no matter where I am. Yesterday I was in an art gallery in Half Moon Bay, where outside was the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean, and inside an artist’s paintings depicting stunning seascapes. I realized that what drew me directly to that wall was this amazing display of more shades of blue than I could possibly name. Funny enough, when I talked to the artist, Marianne, she said, “my favorite color is blue…can you tell?” So thank you for inspiring me with a favorite topic of mine! Keep it coming…your blog posts are truly moving, and I love getting a sense of what life can be like in the Marshall Islands. Love, Jill (P.S. I am so very grateful to be able to drive over the hill to the coast where I get to feel and smell the salt air; it makes me feel connected to mother earth and brings a smile to my face.