Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Epic Boat Trip, pt 3 - Asleep on the Cargo Hatch

I went to sleep that night curled up between my mom and sister on the little two-inch thick foam pads we'd put over our square of cargo hatch. I covered myself in a lava lava and lay there for a while, listening to the settling sounds around me. There was a cranky baby's cry, followed by steady and contented sucking as its mother put it to breast. The tarp overhead went 'slap, slap, flap' in the breeze. Rigging jingled and clanged against the metal posts and awnings. Two women talked quietly together in rhythmic Polynesian. Underscoring it all was the deep chug-chug as the Baruku made her patient way across the vast openness.

My mom, on the cargo hatch.

From where I lay I could see some of the horizon. The ocean breathed quietly, blue-black underneath the star scattered sky. The water was a calm, gentle friend tonight. The ship's lights spilled out onto the water in ethereal amber swatches. Stars looked down on us aloofly. I could just see Orion rising out of the sea. I always greeted Orion as my friend, because it was a constellation that I recognized from the Texas skies. Wherever in the world I traveled, Orion was my constant night time companion. He watched over me kindly as I finally let sleep take me that night.

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