Ocean Blue

Spring Waxing Moon of the Southern Cross

A day at sea between Guayaquil, Ecuador and Trujillo, Peru. I’m sitting in the Ocean Bar watching the Pacific go by. The sun is out, something of a novelty since we’ve been overcast a lot since we left Panama.

Kate made an interesting observation at lunch. We often marvel at the numerous shades of green we can see on our property and I’ve read somewhere that the human eye can distinguish more shades of green than any other color. Out here, though, on the ocean Kate marveled at all the different shades of blue. Sky blue varies dependent on distance from the horizon, cloud cover, height of sun in the sky and the ocean reflects those colors and refracts them at its own wave lengths.

A slight chop and a small swell makes for a smooth ride in this artificially stabilized vessel. Soothing, even soporific.

Tomorrow we will have been out two weeks. On many vacations this would be the day when the bags get packed, tickets checked, that frisson of reentry would begin. On this wonderful trip it means we have gone one third through the journey. We’ve visited three countries so far with five more to go and numerous ports of call, shore excursions and days at sea.

Since this is a post-retirement celebration, we’re winding down not from the workaday world in a temporary way, but a permanent way. Kate will work another six moths to a year at a part time pace, but her head and heart are at home now.

Both of us, of course, have our own active lives, we’re not retiring from life, but from the world of formal expectations. This trip allows us to ease into a life together with a slower pace and more time together.

William, the wine steward at our dinner table, has come to see Kate and me as friends. We’ve had several conversation, the latest this afternoon. He comes from Mindanao, the largest island in the Philippines and physically close to Malaysia.

Most of the guys in his high school class are now smugglers, driving boats only wide enough for six volvo engines, made of fiberglass and very, very quick. When they run, the hull rarely strikes water. His friends, he says, are very rich, but he gets to live without fear and will probably live longer.

The crew on these ships work long hours for several months at a time and most of them, ironically, do it for family. It’s a good job, steady income with expenses covered. This allows them a predictable cash flow to support their families.

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