1.23.2011

Haikus at 6:00

Every day around 6:00pm, our skipper puts down his bowl and spoon, and edges himself to the top of a winch or the top of the stairsso that his voice is heard over the rest of us still chattering away.

"Well, it's Groundhog Day," he says.

The humor doesn't escape us… looking out over the rolling blue backdrop to our "Clive at 5" news segment (the fact that it's really at 6 is largely irrelevant), we can all give a knowing smile to that analogy. It's been well over a week since we've seen another ship, and as we're well past the half-way point of the voyage, the daily rigmarole is just that – a smooth (most of the time) motion of sail up, sail down, trawl in, trawl out, etc. The days, the shifts, the meals roll one in to the next, marked with the passing of each pastel sunrise and neon sunset.

The other piece that doesn't escape my purview is the fact that – to be honest – I hate that movie. I think I really felt sick after watching it. I can understand the final moral to the movie, but watching the repetition and feeling Billy Murray's dismay as he woke up to the same day, over and over again, was truly excruciating.

What happens on a boat, however, is anything but mundane. I'm learning that the longer you spend at sea, the more you start to find the beauty in the things that you would otherwise pass by. Time to think breeds clarity in the waves, magic in the stars, awareness of process, and appreciation of the little things – like dancing on the spinnaker pole, laughing till your sore in the side, or staring with disbelief at the large heap of plastic that you just pulled up out of the trawl… artificial, yet teaming with colonized life.

Lucky for us, once a day, we all get together to have "family time." It's a bit like Kindergarten Show-And-Tell, where one crewmember takes the time to talk about whatever they want to the rest of the crew. Some are serious, some inspirational, and some just for fun… but the diversity of this crew shines through in these moments, and we have time to push our minds in ways outside the daily routine.

Last night, I led the boat in a haiku writing exercise. Not because I'm particularly addicted to haikus, but because I feel like their simplicity has the capacity to hold so much more – much like the structure of this boat filled with the potential of so many amazing people. We each took 5 minutes to write as many haikus as we could, and then took an additional 5 minutes to write just one. With so many innovative people on the boat with end projects in mind, it's important for us to keep in mind the dynamic between forcing creative space and giving it room to flow.

From our crew to you, here is a snapshot of what's going on in our heads. Enjoy!

Ebb and flow bouncy
Come on wind, blow your hardest
Give a gentle push

Check out the sunset
I'm sorry friends and family
I ain'tcomin' home.

Check out the sunset
Salt and sun run through my veins
This is my new life.

Waves bring clarity
Hope and smiles inspire
Over the engine.

Land ho horizon
Our last water dreams quicken
Angst now for land found

Little monsters drift
In the waves they cannot hide
To the gyre, they conspire.

Looking yonder far
Bits of people dreams so dear
Wasted nature gone.

Clive and Dale captains
Rest of us plastic hunters
Together we sail.

Where are we going?
Let's go back to Africa,
Back to the big dunes.

In the confusion
We will always find the light
And choose to ignore.

Steak, shroom sauce, red wine…
Homemade bread and apple pie.
Sometimes we eat well.

Die littering scum.
Ocean suffers so bad.
Fish and birds die, too.

We are here now,
We were there before.
Where do we go?

Plastic riddles us.
Floating monuments of waste…
Must change. Let's start now.

Manta Manta Trawl –
You fly in the blue water
Eating plastic. Yum.


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