It's very early in the morning, the sun has just shown its face.
I eat a little cereal for breakfast, cereal with yoghurt. I let the yoghurt rest quite a few days before eating it, so it turns into something else, more solid, more tasty. I prepare the new jar of yoghurt and hear Hakan say 'tu manges quoi?' 'I eat cereal with yoghurt' I answer laughing, laughing because he's supposed to sleep, laughing because he can't stand and neither can I the idea of the other one eating something and be passed over. I sit close to his face to feed him some. Then I boil some water for tea and I go on deck. I make my morning walk, slip between the sail and the edge of the boat I go to the bow to greet Flip.
But who's Flip?
Flip is the friend of Flop, we met them a few days ago, they are fish, not very tall but very pretty. Blue and grey line their bodies. They're in the wave in front of Mardek, they are traveling effortless, pushed by us. We've spent hours looking at them, photographing them, filming them. Life! Around us, life!
So I'm sure you wonder why I only go to the bow to greet Flip. Why not as well say hello to Flop? Did we have a row, are we upset with one another? Are our personalities incompatible? No, nothing like that, I think apart from visual qualities -pretty or not- and fear of survival -who wants to eat who- fish and I don't exchange much on the personality level. I only go to the bow to greet Flip because Flop has vanished yesterday. Has he been eaten by some other creature? Has he become bored in the front wave? Is the water getting too warm? Has he reached his destination and jumped off the train? Has he been swimming a little to the left to eat some good looking jelly? I don't know what happened to Flop. But Flop has gone astray!
So now there's Flip and us, sailing in the early morning. There is not much wind, and we're not going anywhere really, we're hanging on the ocean, floating under the sky, it's very calm, very peaceful. I don't know how many days have passed since we left Robinson Crusoe, and I don't wish to know, counting is the worse thing I can do on a passage. It went effortlessly, usually it takes me a few days before dropping the numbers over board. This time it seems I just left them at Robinsons' island. All I can say is that we are sailing since quite a while already, every day the sun got up a little later and we decided to change our clocks, then again we changed them or didn't we? I don't know, but the warmth is there already, every night we could wear a pair of trousers less, shoes got superfluous, a jumper was thrown in the deep end of Mardek to disappear, no more socks and so on. Shedding our layers gratefully. Heading north, to the sun!
There is no wind at all now, and no sails either, we're drifting, the water like a mirror, a deep dark blue mirror. We jump in, first Hakan, then I, the water is as clear as air, the visibility better than in a polluted city. We swim for half an hour, and Flip is there, a few meters below, munching on some transparent life. There are a lot of them, all over, I think they are plankton, 99.9% water, just a slim net of cells gives them a shape. Some are long like worms, others are round like jelly fish, some have a pink center and a clear star formation around them, they are all over and I watch Flip, feeding on them. I swim a few times around Mardek, I don't dare to go too far off, what if a shark suddenly arises? I must be in reach to fly back on board. A friend in Belgium made me promise that I would attach myself if I went swimming in the ocean, I agreed, but this was a year and a half ago, I cancel the arrangement now. I can't be attached to the boat with material ropes. I have deep and strong connections with Mardek and I will not jump in if she was not to wait for me.
Things are going much better on board than I expected, I was worried and unwilling but I have changed since my last long crossing. this has become part of me it seems, days go by smoothly, nights are quite easy, I have powerful dreams that keep me busy a little in the day, I read books and talk with Hakan, I sit, quietly, silently, I listen to the water, to Mardek, I listen to my breathing to my heart beat. Sometimes we put on music.
We have just begun to fish, that part is really uneventful, we drop the line in the morning and then we pull it back in at night. Quite relieved in a way. No killing has been done today, what a blessing. And then we cast our line again, the next morning and eat canned fish at noon, brown bread at night, no fresh fish yet, no killing, no craving. All's good.