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May 17, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #15

Day 14. Monday, May 17, 1999, 0322 GMT
Wind ENE Force 2-3. Heading 190M.
Latitude: 15deg 58.522N
Longitude: 163deg 18.433W

All quiet here on the western front. Nothing new or particularly interesting to report other than the emergence of the dreaded salt sores; small boil-like abscesses in the skin caused by friction with another part of the body or boat surface. I have one on either foot, some developing under the arms and of course under the buttocks where the pedal seat chaffs. They are annoyingly painful and worth avoiding by keeping ones skin free of salt. At night before sleeping I invest a little of my precious fresh water in rinsing my skin in the most likely areas, but it's never enough. Especially considering the number of times I'm dipping into the ocean during the day to keep cool. I fear the battle of the sores has already been lost on this voyage if I am to use the ocean as much as I am to keep from over-heating.

There is something very de-humanizing about being on the ocean. Maybe its something to do with the lack of sensory stimuli*, but I believe the living conditions out here to be conducive to one gradually turning into a robot. This became apparent to me last night when, after cooking dinner (the 'Mori-Nu stir fry' was the best meal so far by the way), I decided to break with routine (it being a Saturday night and all) and strum out a few licks on the guitar. I've been listening to music on my CD player every night, but somehow, CREATING the music opened up a very different door all together.

After 2 hours of serenading the satellites, I felt as if I was on a different boat, for a while at least. It seemed like the left brain - so much a part of daily of life on the boat; keeping schedules, analyzing navigational data etc - had been temporarily overridden by the more creative left hemisphere that had been suppressed since departure. It felt wonderful for my mind to release in a different direction for a while, and I am resolved to shift gears more often over the course of the voyage to avoid such mental stagnation from developing.

*A class from the Rye Elementary in Colorado recently asked whether there is a 'lack' of noise out on the ocean; I'd say the answer is yes - its almost too quiet sometimes. I find myself suddenly blurting out key lines of memorable conversations I had years ago, laughing hysterically for a while, then falling back into a sad silence.

CLASSROOM EXPEDITION: Welcome back classes!

Hope you had a great weekend. A big hi to all the kids from Mary Farmers School in Benicia, CA and the kids at PSAS and Rye Elementary in CO that are doing Footprint Analysis right now. Remember to contact me out here out on the ocean if you have any questions about Footprints on Moksha!

Thanks also for your feedback on 'psycho-carrots'. The one I liked best was the ice-cone. That's more like torture though - I wonder if they have ice-cones on Tarawa?

OK. Today's activity is drawing from different perspectives. You are going to draw Moksha out on the ocean from the following perspectives:

1.Imagine you are a shark swimming deep under the sea. You look up and see Moksha far above you. Draw what you see.
2.Imagine you are a bird high in the sky. You look down and see Moksha far below you. Draw what you see.
3.Imagine you are a flying fish. You're gliding down wind escaping from a Mahi Mahi when you catch sight of Moksha and you realize you are on collision course! Draw what you see.

Make special attention to detail when drawing the boat Moksha, trying to get the dimensions, shape and size as accurate as you can.

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 17, 1999 1:11 AM