Wednesday, March 31, 2010

bread and water, water, everywhere...

Life on the Heraclitus continues to be full of new experiences. I relish every night I get to sleep out on deck, with the moon shining on my face, the lush air of the Caribbean rustling my sheets, and the sound of waves lapping against the sturdy ferrocement hull of the boat.

This is a view of my favorite spot on the ship, the prow. Sitting up here while sailing, whether while the moonlight is reflecting off the waves or during the heat of the day, produces a fresh sense of freedom. The island in the distant haze is Haiti, neighbor to the Dominican Republic, where we are currently staying.

The remote town we are anchored outside of is beautiful in the typical Caribbean style- palm trees, vibrant flowers, friendly people and lucent beaches.

The climate is a bit arid, but I've been told it used to be forested before the Spanish came to colonize.

The main exports here are sugar, mostly used to make rum, and salt. These mounds of rough, large crystals of salt were sitting, unguarded, near a road outside of town.

The last few days after arriving from our voyage from Puerto Rico were rest days, but today we were back to work. One of my tasks for the day was to oil the blocks, which are wood and metal pulleys for the ropes that control the sails.

The Heraclitus, with its sails down in the distance, in the bay of Salinas.

After lunch, I learned how to make bread, an important skill when you're at sea for weeks on end. My loaves got a bit burned by the ship's very rustic oven which has no temperature control, only on or off. It must have been 450 degrees today. My hand also suffered the oven's wrath- as I write, my right palm is continuing to develop a bulbous white blister over a mound of seared red flesh- a response to a bit of carelessness on my part. I was assured that as far as injuries on the ship go, this burn was pretty minimal.

Tonight marks the beginning of a three-day party in Salinas to celebrate Easter. Right now, as the sun is setting on the waves, the increasing energy in this small town is palpable. Music is beginning to filter out across the water as people begin the festivities. I'm looking forward to joining them.

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