Hello, I'm Henry.  

Welcome aboard my blog's home. 

If you come along with me, you'll become acquainted with my motley mates and faithful crew:

Experiences, Sightings, Observations, Impressions, Ideas, Reflections, Remembrances, Insights and Commentary.

They, after all, have accompanied me for as long as I can recall. Their tenure has helped me turn my tiller, fill my sails, and transport me over seas to distant lands. Maybe if you take the time to get to know them, a few will do the same for you.

Click this way and scroll along if you please...Enjoy your stay.   

Carl & Carla's Long Perch

Carl & Carla's Long Perch

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A sea turtle, a young bull shark, two black mantas, a single beached sandpiper, a few schools of tropical fish, two osprey hawks (photo above), numerous floating kelp rafts, incalculable coral bottom gardens, a few nearby jagged coral shores, immobile limestone shore-stones, and bleached-beached sandy grains, compose Mystique’s plankton-filled private aquarium in the northern Exumas. Anchored in the serenity of this sound we hear and listen to their whispers.  Their habits and routines.  They send a message about their space - observe us without interruption or intervention. We see them being themselves without any reaction to our being close by. We respect their room to roam. We aren't here to capture, control or change them; we are here to watch, appreciate and even honor their existence. We come as friendly observers.

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A pulsing anchorage moving in and out like a beating heart or rhythmic lungs inhaling/exhaling with each ebb and flow tidal current.  The dark deep blues contrast with the white sandy shallows.  The stretches and swaths of turquoise sea. A constant easterly breeze pushes the surface sea westward.  Waves and water move to the beat and force of weather.  The sun and moon play upon a day and night. Then I feel the human energies pour in - one male and female, two consciousnesses, two emotional makeups, two perspectives, two personalities, a skilled photosphere and a experienced sailor - two souls who appreciate and respect nature’s wonders by living on a 40’ catamaran sailboat surrounded by a round underwater kaleidoscope of energy moving around each other.

A sea aquarium of captured aquatic life captures an audience. All the sea lives we observed in the Exumas were free of humans. Note the waving spectator trying to be noticed and the response from the fish. Do humans have to call attention to themselves? "Look at me" mentality? Note the interest the fish show towards the humans. Interesting contrast!
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Skies, sunbeams, clouds, breezes, currents, waves and even our temperatures part our world. They all are part of the variables that impact our existence. Triumphs and traumas turn our heads towards They all always play powerful roles in how we experience our surroundings. The light, wind and waves may wake to what's around, but it is one's will that really seizes not only the day but the depth. While our hungers and passions may warm or cool us, time and place also tend to influence our views.

Humans often choose their time and place.  How we accept our surroundings can affect the neighborhood.  How many of us actually have or take the time to luxuriate in the act of observing nature simply being itself? We may travel to a beach to sun, tan our skin or dip our feet or body into the salted sea to refresh self to invigorate ourselves.  How often do we consider how often our presence helps a beach, bay or boat? How does our being bolster our boundaries? Do we boost or boast our way of being into a neighborhood? Do we have to bother the tranquility and serenity of nature to validate our power? Can't we come to a place and leave it as we found it?

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Afloat about 50 yards west of Long Cay in the northern Exumas, Lainie and I occasionally "lazy-gazed" the water around us.  Actually more "eye-grazing" the surrounding sea, we watched marine life live and flourish.  Of course, a salty sea expands and exudes life forms.  Everywhere our eyes wandered, we noticed life signs everywhere.  Sitting on my catamaran's aft swim steps, we observed sea habitats.  Actually laze-gazing was observing as much as it was wondering about sea's wonders. Watching natural wonders is appreciation of life...of all life. We watched not only Nature's movements but also her stillnesses.  We look for whatever passes us by as much we observe the motionless..  We don't grocery shop nature; we simply watch water, starfish, skates, turtle and fish move as much as we see the corals, sand and shells stay put. The flow of life is really what we watch.  Some life forms fly, swim, float, soar, swoop, scurry, dash or dive while others hide, protect, prey, feed, support or shelter. 

 Two inch-long hermit crabs patiently dance with the rhythm and to the tune of ocean motion at Tea Table Cay.

Two inch-long hermit crabs patiently dance with the rhythm and to the tune of ocean motion at Tea Table Cay.

One need pay close attention or one could easily miss some of the nuances of growth and change. It may be difficult to watch a plant grow or a flower bloom, but they happen as all change does gradually, often without our notice. And just because we don’t see all transform before our very eyes does not mean it doesn’t happen. But we need to be present to experience life.

In seven and half feet of translucence our 40-catamaran, Mystique, rests atop, a surface dweller. Our boat as well as our bodies rest it what may seem a lazy, half-sluggish pursuit to those unaccustomed to such a leisurely lifestyle. But no matter how one spends life’s energy, restoratives are essential - while I may need a afternoon snooze, my vessel restores itself as well by collecting solar rays to charge her batteries and by converting salt water to fresh. So in similar ways inactivity while passive and invisible and even inaudible often strengthens. A swim, a snorkel, a walk or work upon my boat keep me fit. But it is the balance of activity that helps heal and set me free of bodily contraints. 

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Frequently we humans look outside at Nature in motion.  Observing life is after all part participation, part preparation and part practice for taking action ourselves. So when, for example, we watch and view the constant 24/7 motion pictures about us - bow, stern and abeam, it is about our breathing in the magnificence of being alive. That’s what seeing Nature does for me. Helps me appreciate being. Recognizing each moment as precious miracles. That is a paradise of existence.

 Carla as queen of her Long Cay domain.

Carla as queen of her Long Cay domain.

One need only pay close attention to what is.  One could easily miss some of the nuances of growth and change. The water may be clear, but its clarity doesn't cleanse a clouded view.  Even crystal clear water magnifies and distorts. Besides It may be difficult to watch a plant grow or a flower bloom as all change happens gradually some often without our notice. Just because we don’t see life transform before our very eyes does not mean it doesn’t happen. If we really want to witness growth, we might need to be more attentive and observant to experience it.

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In seven and half feet of translucence, my 40' catamaran, Mystique, rests afloat. Our boat as well as our bodies rest in the Exumas.  While any day may feel like a lazy, sluggish pursuit to those unaccustomed to such a sedate yet sumptuous lifestyle as this. But no matter how one spends life’s energy, restoratives are essential - a afternoon snooze renews me while my vessel also restores itself - collecting solar rays to charge her batteries and converting salt water to fresh. In similar ways inactivity while seemingly passive, invisible and even inaudible often rejuvenates and strengthens.

One morning Lainie, almost speechless, comes up to me on Mystique.  Her widened eyes and mouth seemed to suggest she had just seen a ghost.  Her lip-sync and mime-announce was indeed a scary sort - a three-foot baby bull shark had just visited our port hull in search for an tasty breakfast treat. I looked aft and saw it prowling. Missing its dorsal fin, it had obviously survived a struggle.  Before departing Sharky left an impression - Lainie kept her toes out of the water for the rest of that day.

 A morning rainbow greets one of our mornings at Spirit and Long Cays

A morning rainbow greets one of our mornings at Spirit and Long Cays

Late one day a sea turtle popped its head above the surface for a needed breath and look around.  Eyeing us nearby, it did not stop for long as other business called her back to her swim. 

One afternoon two black manta rays, Sting and Ray, quietly skirted by like underwater sea birds stealthily patrolling the shallow sandy bottom. Everywhere we look, water, wind, waves are constant currents in motion. Constantly flowing. Nature shows in real natural color.

 Sting and Ray swim by  Mystique  in the Exumas.

Sting and Ray swim by Mystique in the Exumas.

Water horizons also surround us, a reminder we are apart of the maritime scene now. 360 degrees water edges our vision. Perpendicular to the solar and lunar paths, a north/south line of small islands forms two parallel tree-less coral outcroppings in such a way as to create and surround a multi-colored lake or lagoon in-between. The eastern side takes on the brunt of the Exuma Sound’s breaking, exploding waves with foam reaching skyward like fireworks while the western boundary provides a second barrier from the open sea as it provides vessels with a protective anchorage.  Exuma Sound brings steady white-capped  easterly surges into the jagged Long Cay which has expands and connected with nearby Spirit Cay.  Together both help create a barrier from the tumultuous eastward depths of near 5,000 feet to the west side shallows that enable us also to rest peacefully. Yet many of the natural wonders around us seem almost invisible until they suddenly appear.  

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Frequently we humans look outside at Nature in motion.  Observing all, life is, after all, part-participation, part-preparation and part-practice for taking action ourselves. So when, for example, we watch and view the constant 24/7 motion pictures about us - bow, stern and abeam, it is about our breathing in the magnificence of being alive. That’s what seeing Nature does for me. Helps me appreciate being. Recognizing each moment as precious miracles. That is a paradise of existence.

And while anchored sleepily and safely amongst coral islands and sandy beaches, the colors and natural motions that envelop all of us are as much apart of our voyage as we are of it.  We are but temporary guests in this domain.  Since we invited ourselves into their world, we offer our gratitude for the opportunity to observe. We may leave behind some footprints, but we only take photos and our tranquil and serene memories of Spirit and Long Cays.

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A sea hawk osprey we named Carla (sounding a little like "coral") daily soars and perches near us. Chirping we hear her brood nearby.  Where’s Carl we ask? Fishing we surmise. 

Returning with her daily catches, she always feeds her chicks first. We can hear their ravenous chirp-yearnings, and then soon after we see Carla vigilant returns to her lookout - always facing seaward. Sometimes as if to confirm her domain, we hear her squawk. Maybe to call for Carl - her mate; maybe to notify her little ones she is nearby; maybe to affirm her status as queen of her roost, regina of her realm! Steady in the face of stiff breezes our neighbor bird stands regal on her branch, steadily positioned high above eyeing prey.  Suddenly she takes off, soaring northward across a few islands and returns mere moments later fish food wrapped securely in her talons. Straight to her nest she delivers. Then back to her branch perch she stands. Her daily cycle complete - fly, fish, feed, guard. It’s her flying, fishing skills and dedication to family that garner our respect; it’s her quiet beauty and patient demeanor that signal awe.

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 Some visual like current and waves, some tidal changing our depth, some growing like barnacles, kelp and moss, some swimming like fish, an occasional skate or turtle, some food like plankton and phosphorous. 

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Aligned with the sun and moon’s rising and falling, the gusty easterlies rarely abate. Yet as the steady winds blow, they also caress, comfort and confront this unspoiled place near Spirit Cay - a charming spot I imagine any seasoned sailor would yearn for. It has all the prerequisites: protection, privacy and beauty.

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And while anchored sleepily and safely amongst coral islands and sandy beaches, the colors and natural motions that envelop all of us are as much apart of our voyage as we are of it.  We are but temporary guests in this domain.  Since we invited ourselves into their world, we offer our gratitude for the opportunity to observe. We may leave behind some footprints, but we only take photos and our tranquil and serene memories of Spirit and Long Cays.

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A solitary sandpiper on a nearby outcropping skirts the coral beach near our feet. Looking at us while simultaneously scanning the sand after a wavelet recedes, this sea bird multitasks. Shopping seafood in the form of sand crabs and shore bugs while dodging water surges and our presence, he is a nimble fellow.  Fascinated by his speed and agility, I watch him as he carefully eyes all around himself.  As I pick up plastic trash and discard it in a nearby bucket, he also cleans and scours the shore of sea snacks. His sharp beak poking into holes makes his own business.  Most directed and diligent in his efforts, he barely misses an opportunity while paying us little attention.  We are no threat so he has nothing to do with us.  He follows his passion and purpose as we do.

 Sandpiper photo by  Lainie Wrightson

Sandpiper photo by Lainie Wrightson

Captain Nine Lives

Captain Nine Lives

Lainie Reaches New Heights

Lainie Reaches New Heights