After a couple of days at sea I get flashbacks to the holidays my parents used to take me and my brother on. We would sit in the back of the car on our way to the south of France. That would take us about fourteen hours. We could entertain ourselves with some cassettes and a walkman and playing Tetris on the GameBoy. But our attention span would run out about halfway France and we would simultaneously say in whiney voices ‘are we theeeeeere yet???’.
It’s so nice to leave a place and look forward to going elsewhere. But at some point I also just want to be there. First mate Ross doesn’t get that feeling; he can just be at sea forever and keep being enjoyed, as I guess most sailors do. We are now just 30” north of the equator, another 150NM from Christmas Island. Almost there. Brad is steering the ship as the crew are sheeting in the mainsail. Jane will be dyeing her hair red his morning and I will continue reading a novel about Honolulu. The toilet was painted in many colors and Ross is fixing the new roof as we speak.
There has been a lot of wind, which is great for sailing but also has many other upsides. The ship is listing to Portside which finally gives the opportunity to play a thrilling game of ‘whose dinner-bowl will slide off the table first’ (Jane won). It has resulted in the creation of the ‘Kwai-shuffle’, a dance/walk that slightly resembles the swinging walk of a drunk. An average game of Yahtzee has turned into Ultra-Xtreme-Yahtzee, where players do not only have to throw the dice, but also hold on to their score-paper for dear life while trying not to lose any of the dice. And the wind is blowing seawater into my cabin, which leaves a thin salty filter on everything. Providing the unique experience of brushing teeth with a salty toothbrush.
Busy times are awaiting Kwai in Kiribati as a new priest is ordained on Fanning Island. All Catholics from far and beyond are gathering there to celebrate. Kwai is chartered to transport the majority of these people from Christmas Island and Washington to Fanning Island. It’s amazing to see how long they have been preparing this event. A whole new village was built around the Catholic Church on Fanning. Women have been weaving mats and making brooms. Every family has been donating money to the church for food, lumber, paint and much more. Even the President of Kiribati is attending.
This morning at breakfast we talked about Amsterdam and a warm longing for home came over me. Realizing how much longing for something is depending on a moment and place. Kwai will be doing its marathon run between the islands and I will be flying back home. As much as I love to be on the ship, it’s great to go home again. And I already know after a couple of months at home, I will be longing for Kwai again.
‘Are we theeeeeeere yet?’ says the whining voice in my head.
And I can soothingly answer it with ‘We will always be almost there’.