Another Hop Across the Pond

Trips from the islands always start the same way, that little five hour hop across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast. Five hours of sitting a seat two sizes too small, of watching videos or playing games on the pad.

Moonrise over the Pacific on Alaska 879 from Kona to Seattle
Moonrise over the Pacific on Alaska 879 from Kona to Seattle

I peruse the offerings of the aircraft’s entertainment system, starting a movie I have not seen. I order a box of cheese, fruit, and crackers as the cart comes down the isle. I complete the usual rituals of flying.

As usual I had reserved a window seat. I enjoy the view, even if that view is endless clouds and ocean. The shade of blue of the tropical Pacific always amazes me. Under the scattered puffy clouds white specks of whitecaps on the water dot the sheet of blue.

Something about that endless seeming expanse triggers the imagination. I consider those who have travelled this way before… From Spanish galleons, whaling ships seeking fortunes, warships sailing to battle in WWII, the liners that sailed before the age of jet aircraft.

Considering those previous voyagers five hours in a seat seems trivial.

I will be voyaging myself soon enough, sitting at the helm of a 42′ cruiser for the seven hundred mile journey along the Inside Passage from Juneau to Bellingham. I expect to steer the boat around whales and icebergs. I expect to anchor in quite coves and to moor in busy fishing harbors.

I look forward to a few weeks of a different life, a life that progresses at eight knots. A far slower pace than the usual breakneck velocity of the modern world. I look forward to peaceful days of water, rain, and ocean swell.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i.

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