The last 24 hours have imbued our lungs with fog, transcending our existence to an alternate dimension that exists outside of time and space. With waves that melt into hazy sky a few feet away, we could be anywhere.
With the fog close, and the engine rumbling below me, I feel like a mole. I am nested and wrapped in taffeta layers of cloud. I am swathed in pajamas, extra pajamas, sleeping bag, bunk and boat. The ether strokes my face with a damp caress to hair, spine, socks. In fact, everything (i.e. my entire bunk and person) now carries the illusive succor of delicately moldering toes. It’s cozy.
Yoela presenting the new and INVOLVED seabird cataloging scheme (sketch it)
Most nights, I am rocked to sleep. There, time folds backwards to earlier years of my being. A soothing, held thing. Some nights, time catches up with a coaxing tease and reality hammers home, smashing my sleeping body into the exhausting and raucous bass of eight foot waves.
And yet, we are safe. We are contained; preciously gorging on snack, intellectual stimulation and vulnerable growth. I am learning to love the strength of my peers, continually in awe of their humors and speculations. I spent watch today in the galley – affectively moving food from dishes onto my pants – but luckily my C-watch mole-usks were standing strong on deck.
I arose from my shelter to witness Claire single handedly tack the vessel’s staysails back and forth with a calm prowess that soothed even the seagulls. Kerren at the helm, laughed at lobster pots as Sam reported them from the bow with a cunning “Not on my watch!” and stoic enthusiasm. Harrison fervently tailed our engineer, JC, moving tools and moving tools and….moving tools. Alexis (with a spin and a twirl) danced the shipek grab over the boat’s edge to snag a sediment sample, and Catherine and Audrey stood by – with a focus that would burn holes into my moldering socks – controlling the machinery and data - wizarding the numbers associated therein. These beings are awesome.
C Watch killed in Monday’s pin chase, celebrating with a vocal Congo Line (Sam, Harrison, Audrey, Kerren, Yoela, Claire, Alexis and Catherine).
My mole self is connected and held by all of these other moles; a ship’s company for the ages. We furl into ourselves (closed, warm, rancid, safe) just to unfurl into a wide and encompassing swath of laughter, tears, allergies, seasickness and song. If our first week was filled with adjustment and sleep, this week is an expansion and a revelation – moles sneaking out of quasi-hibernation to let their socks out to dry.
- Yoela Zimberoff, Reed College
PS: Thinking of you all. Thanks for the article, Dad – I have thoughts. Much love – Yoela.
PPS: Happy 11th birthday Lizard Breath! Have a wonderful day, I love you and miss you and will see you in November – Ethan.