Salt Water

Ever since I was a young girl I’ve loved the ocean. Walking rocky beaches looking for treasure. Looking for shells, sea glass, and rocks with a white line circumscribed around them. Looking for quartz, mica, and garnets. I think my most prized beach find is a few fossilized crabs.

Looking out at tiny wavelets turned into diamonds by sunlight always makes my heart leap. And listening to waves lapping the shore or the hull of a boat is music to my soul.

View from the cottage in Maine.

I remember rowing around in little boats, waiting for high tide so we could look over the side down to the bottom. Watching minnows dart out from under the dock and back again. Jumping off the float on hot summer days to cool down and then catch rays.

Then there were the years of sailing. Learning the nine basic knots, parts of a sail, parts of a small sailboat, how to sail, how to recover a man overboard, how to race, and how to celebrate after a race by throwing the winner off the dock. By age ten or eleven we began to command the sailboats.

Cozy Harbor, Maine

We swept along in stiff breezes, getting splashed every now and then by a wave. Or sat becalmed willing the hull to make way, skulling with the rudder. Heading home, we were salty from both bilge water and salt air.

West coast of Southport Island, Maine

Dad loaded us kids into the runabout for island picnics and trips into the harbor. Teaching us about basic boating safety and navigation, he’d let each of us take a turn at the helm and throttle. Being speed demons at heart, Dad had to remind us when we entered no-wake zones to slow down. In the harbor, we sometimes walked from shop to shop wearing our orange life jackets while picking out penny candy or going for ice cream.

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Sailing and swimming eventually gave way to working in the harbor. Working summer jobs overlooking the salt water and boats. Life took me away from the ocean for a few years, but when I got stuck and didn’t know which way to turn in my life, the ocean called again. And this time my job revolved around it.

For almost fourteen years the ocean was where I worked and lived. It was my home. My happy place. Whether I was scuba diving or swimming, in a small boat, sailboat, schooner, or massive ship, or merely looking out upon it, I was connected to the ocean.

Indian Harbour Beach, Florida

Working all over the US and the globe on boats and ships, I’ve been fortunate to see salt water so clear you could see the bottom through ninety-five feet of water. And cruising through the Indian Ocean, days from land, I saw bioluminescence at night lit up the crest of waves and path of our ship.

From the Facebook page of USS Makin Island (not my ship)

I’ve seen walls of rocks underwater covered by what looked like hundreds of tiny lights, only to discover they were reflections of my flashlight in shrimps’ eyes. And have watched humpback whales from the crow’s nest of a hundred-year-old schooner.

I’ve seen the ocean glassy calm and swells so big in almost hurricane force winds I couldn’t see over their top when we were down in the trough (that was freaking scary!), and everything in between.

Underway replenishment of 2 ships simultaneously. My ship would be the one in the middle, replenishing on either side.

Although my home hasn’t overlooked the ocean in the past several years, it’s not too far away. A half hour’s drive and I’m there. Sitting by the salt water, smelling the sea, and watching diamonds sparkle.

These days, other than looking out at the water and riding a ferry once in a blue moon, my interactions with salt water include soaking in Epsom salts as a healing agent after healing sessions or a therapeutic massage. And I love floating in a heavily salted sensory deprivation tank. Salt has long been used by healers.

And finally, walking among mystics and the metaphysical these days, I’ve been told I’ve had past lives on sailing ships and I believe it. I feel so at home at the helm of a schooner.

Me aboard the Schooner Bowdoin 1988.

I can honestly say that salt water runs in my veins.

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About mariner2mother

I'm a mother of a creative 19 year old son, a former merchant ship's deck officer, and a wife. To feed my creative side I take photos. I am also Reiki attuned and am a student of Energy Healing, having used several healing modalities to work on myself and my family. My most recent adventure has me navigating a very challenging Kundalini Awakening.
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8 Responses to Salt Water

  1. It most certainly sounds like it dear lady 😀 I can always remember my dad building a tiny ‘moth’ sailing boat when I was very young. Came the big day to launch and he was too big for it so he threw me and my brother into it. We didn’t have a clue so it took a while but slowly we had it whipping around well…with a few bumps and bruises from a swinging boom to ending up in the water. If that fun is anything you have had a part of, you must have enjoyed a great time in your life 😀❤️🙏🏽

    • Sounds like fun! And yes, my head met with the boom a few times as well. Hence the name boom, or so I was told. 😉 What was most fun was riding the boom of a schooner: sitting atop the boom and flaking (folding) the sail as it was lowered, and then tying it off.

      • Haha, I do think that must have been where its name came from because that is exactly what it felt like 😂 And your heart was there dear lady with the wind in your hair, sunburn forever and a smile during it all 🤣❤️🙏🏽

  2. Dalo 2013 says:

    The photos you shared really enhanced your words, an exceptional post I can relate to so well. Your love for the ocean and all that is connected to it runs so clean and through with your words. “Looking out at tiny wavelets turned into diamonds by sunlight always makes my heart leap…” This scene I can imagine this so clearly as it does the same to me. Something unique being around water, and your rich history of memories and experiences (and work!), will always mean the water is just a stone’s throw away.

  3. candidkay says:

    I believe saltwater runs in your veins! And what a lovely place to grow up, near the water. I’d love to see water so clear that you could see 95 feet down–that sounds absolutely amazing. I’ve always loved being near water. A home on the water just feels right. But I don’t have your long history with it . . .

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