Nerd Alert, Ocean Inspired

While sailing last week, I was constantly reminded of one of my very favorite novels (and for a proud bookworm (ahem, nerd) naming a favorite book is a bold statement):
Chita: A Memory of Last Island by Lafcadio Hearn.

This novel doesn’t seem to be well known, I only happened to encounter it in a New Orleans Lit class in college, but it’s truly one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever come across. The story centers around the islands south of New Orleans, in the Gulf. Much of the language is therefore ocean-inspired, and it reads like poetry: vivid, expressive, rhythmic.

Take this passage in which Hearn is describing the view from an ocean vessel:

-all day long had the cloudless sky revealed through all its exquisite transparency that inexpressible tenderness which no painter and no poet can ever re-image- that unutterable sweetness which no art of man may ever shadow forth, and which none may ever comprehend,- though we feel it to be in some strange way akin to the luminous and unspeakable charm that makes us wonder at the eyes of a woman when she loves.

or this one:

The sea lived: it could crawl backward and forward; it could speak!- it only feigned deafness and sightlessness for some malevolent end. Thenceforward she feared to fnd herself alone with it. Was it not at her that it strove to rush, muttering, and showing its white teeth,… just because it knew that she was all by herself?… Si quieres aprender a orar, entra en el mar!

Writing like this just makes me feel good.
Do you have a favorite book or passage?

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Adventures at Sea

This past weekend, the lovely Emily and Westbrook, Captain and First Mate of the Pistachio, invited Matthew and me for a sailing trip to Catalina Island.
It was one of the better weekends I’ve had in a very long time; great company, beautiful sights, and although the island is a mere 22 miles off the coast of L.A., I felt much much further away.













Due to high winds on Saturday, we made it to Catalina in just five hours and were anchored and cracking open our first beers by sunset. The rest of the weekend flew by, with much ocean swimming, a gorgeous hike with Emily and Westbrook’s two dogs Puglsey and Reggie, and some competitive Yahtzee.

With the four of us (well, six including our canine friends) sleeping under one tiny roof, quarters were tight, but that was half the fun. It was like ocean camping, and a good reminder of how very little you actually need.

Emily and Westbrook live full time on the boat, and at times, I truthfully don’t know how they do it. But it’s weekends like these that show me why. Less closet space seems like a small sacrifice to make for being able to live somewhere that can take you anywhere. Emily has a blog documenting her boat-life, called Pistachio At Sea, which you can read here.
So thank you again, Pistachio, for such a memorable trip. Until next time!!