I did a quick visit out to Musket Cove, the main yachtie hub here on the west side of Fiji. As I already knew, I don't identify with places like this but I still go and check them out to make sure. Sometimes I am wrong and it is a wonderful surprise. As it turned out, my suspicions were confirmed and the cynicism quickly set in. There is a good portion of the cruising community that has the most juvenile vision of the good life. It is about the level of what an adolescent California beach bum would dream of if he had won the lottery. Buy a fancy yacht, park it at a hip resort, surf all day and drink all night. Well, that describes Musket cove perfectly as it is a short dinghy ride from one of the most famous surf spots in the south pacific. The berths, which are part of the resort, are less than a minute walk to the main bar which is on its own island. How cool is that?
Sometimes when the funk sets in, I am reminded of an interview I had once seen with a former political prisoner. He was describing in detail the torture he had endured when held captive. Part of the torture involved having his testicles spread out on a table top and hammered flat. When alone in his cell, he scrounged for flakes of rust, bits of concrete, anything to use to try and slit open his wrists so he could commit suicide. Thinking like this has the effect of a reality check and I am quickly embarrassed, realizing my funk is based on just about nothing.
So I sat at the swank bar talking to some wealthy yachtie who was telling me the reason why he liked the resort so much. It was because, it didn't matter how much money you had, whether your boat was worth millions or wasn't. "We were all here hanging out together." "We are all human beings" he told me. This sort of philosophy is popular with rich people and I have heard it all before... In a lot of ways, I consider myself to be rich (maybe not in actual dollars) so I let it go and just played along. There is a small voice inside that does ask, "Where is the rage?" I am sure that if I drank as much as most I was surrounded by, the voice would be even smaller.
As with any funk, you question just about everything including what am I doing out here cruising? How did I end up, yet again, feeling jaded and cynical in a place I should have had the common sense to avoid in the first place? (I knew better back in 2007). Ok. I made a mistake with Musket Cove. You gamble sometimes and you lose, but the answer about why go cruising goes back to the interview. The horrific events described had taken place decades earlier so the interviewee was now an old man. If the account of his ordeal wasn't enough to make one flinch, the scarred look in the old man's face certainly would... It is a simple answer, I don't want to end up looking like him. If I can just get through this without having my face end up being the record of a slow progression towards having my faith in humanity completely shattered, I will have done alright. Cruising most of the time works wonders. I have been in anchorages so magnificent, my skin involuntarily ripples with waves of goosebumps. Being on passage completely alone is even better. Alcoholic yachties behaving like spoiled children in sweatshop resorts? I will forget all about them. I won't even remember their faces. The world and all its ugliness will be reduced to the level of knowledge. Empty facts without power. It just takes a bit of time out on the open water for the world to recede and you are back. You stare at clouds. You stare at stars. Maybe they stare back. You find your way to the miraculous again. Imagination and optimism take hold without even trying. You don't need ideas. You don't even really need destinations. After a week out alone, I think that anything is possible. If you don't feel better, skip the closer destination and go for the one another week away. I am not out here looking for anything. There isn't anywhere to go anyway and it is quite alright. I just have to protect what I have and make it through without having it being smothered (or flattened) and I will be fine. And you never know, maybe the next place will be better. Stay out on passage a little longer and I will even want to give Musket Cove another go. How cool is that?