By Joe Guglielmetti
North north east. Rare wind. Just strong enough to matter. Wrinkling the sea just enough for people to stop saying things like “great day for it” to paddlers. Little Diamond raw with snowless February. Lone caretaker assesses beach damage, prodding and pulling exposed things beneath eroded banks. Sand collapses.
Summer: a circus of wakes propelled by hands on throttles and sheets that lift to wave.
Now: Maquoit II grinds her diesel and plows her bow.
Nobody else. No boats moored. No radio chatter. No osprey squeaks.
North north east wind. Lee near Peaks, up until Evergreen Village, some swell against Pumpkin Knob. Wave, rock, poof, spray, fiz, foam.
Forgot my pen, shit. Want to write tonight. Want to let mind flow out, externalize, alone on Eagle Island. No pen. Stay inside. Stop at shop on Long. Shop’s closed. Shit. Ask passersby. There are none.
Camp where there’s a pen. Logbook. Little Chebeague. Bangs. Jewell. But I want to camp on Eagle. There are pens on Eagle, behind locked doors. Metaphor. I’ll camp, return, write. Experience, feel, somatic, breathe, moment, zen. Reflect. Later.
Southeast coast Chebeague. Heartthrob coast. Construction sounds from Hope. Stop. Replacing. Trees. With. Buildings. With. Red. Roof. You. Suck.
My goodness the section of gentle water from the upper reaches of Cliff Island to the tri-layered ledges extending from the southwest side of Bates Island is just, well, isn’t it a great day for it? Isn’t it just the prettiest little day? Aren’t you happy because of all of this?
It’s not about that. Inside of Bates, round the top through surprising breakers, ooooh they’re icy-gray, white spilling. Eagle, open sea behind. I’m tired. Sun low. I’m alone. But there’s my phone.
Oh, there’s no smooth landing today, breaking every square inch, oh well, get wet, get cold, get out, drag boat, so heavy.
Eagle Island was purchased by the guy with the mustache for a sum of money that a professional explorer could fork over in 18 whatever and build a mansion and have a woman produce several babies for him and then he could collect things made of wood and brass and pianos and ships’ whatevers and look at that stone wall there and those paths go to where the wildlife hatches and isn’t it so special I mean it is that’s why I paddled here in February.
Tent up. Picnic table. Jetboil. Ramen with spinach. Stars twinkling. Planes blinking. Instagram because it hurts to be alone. Alone on island because it hurts to be with people. Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Don’t care. Definitely care.
Mustache guy had a bunch of other women, Inuit, Arctic. Don’t talk about it. Great grandkids all over Greenland. Special valentine here on Eagle.
Read Sapolsky. Wish I was Sapolsky. Wish there were more Sapolskys.
Snow this morning.
I feel pure. It’s all pure. New beginning.
Today’s plan: Pack the boat carefully. Account for safety. Do things safely. Be safe. Paddle cautiously because it’s February alone. Nobody wants you dead, yet. Paddle slowly. Don’t be careless. Great day for it. Society awaits. Forest Ave. Washington Ave. Broadway. MyChart messages.
Overset arrests the power of the sea, so blue but then Jesus look at that column of green, if I painted that you’d roll your eyes, unbelievable. The swells strike the south side, cold white detonations, howitzer-like, oh yeah there’s people dying in battles right now, oh and still dying from that Earthquake, oh and another shooting.