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.   

Following Flow

Following Flow

When I wrote my blog post last summer about my sailing through the entire Exumas (Bahamas) alone, I omitted an important detail.  Actually, it might now be considered an oversight because I wasn’t actually alone. Flow had always been with me.  Just because I had taken her for granted for so long is no reason for me to omit or disrespect her.  My neglect was on all on me; I simply had forgotten to give her due credit. 

In those sultry summer sailing days last summer on Mystique, I never suffered loneliness, apprehension or fear. How could I?  I felt at home.  Though I was by myself for almost a month and a half, I was myself with her.  While I thought I was sailing solo, I overlooked my companion - sorry for any unintentional nis"My bad."

Years of experience witnessing weather, wind, clouds, waves, surf, beaches and tidal currents reminded me,  I was still sleepy and just waking to my reality.  But it wasn't my years that woke me or my experience.  It was my realization and recognition that helped me eventually read and understand messages and meanings.  As a cruising and retired sailor, I saw the signs, but I had not at first translated them until I lost some things. Loss has a great way of seeing gains.

When I am became more attentive to Nature, I usually comprehend her signs.  Yet when I am in her midst, I actually experience her more profound wisdoms and guidances.  From the right vantage point and with an open mind, I usually learn more - always seem I need a refresher about how to navigate by myself. 

I am often reminded I do not need man-made instruments to venture out in the oceans or sail across seas. Some of my personal confidence derives from my acceptance of what the sea and Nature are.  Sometimes I forget how at ease I am with FLOW; sometimes I have to be reminded of how amazing and magnificent she is.

 One's vantage point helps anyone notices Flow. Above a satellite photo taken over a hundred miles above Earth of the tidal flow between some of the Exuma cays in the Bahamas. See the clouds, their shadows and the different coloration of the ocean.

One's vantage point helps anyone notices Flow. Above a satellite photo taken over a hundred miles above Earth of the tidal flow between some of the Exuma cays in the Bahamas. See the clouds, their shadows and the different coloration of the ocean.

During my solo last summer, I mentioned in my blog my auto pilot (a satellite position finder) jumped ship.  Auto jumped ship.  Actually, there was no actual splash.  She just mysteriously stopped working. Ironically, the day before I had thought what a powerful sailing experience I would have if electronics suddenly disappeared my sailboat.

Without her guidance, I sailed most of my 51-day solo knowing my position by sightings during the daylight.  After Auto's departure, I simply refrained from any night-sailing. But then something extraordinary happened. Flow took charge.

 The US flag, the sail cover and the wind generator feel Flow on deck Mystique near Great Sandy Cay in the Turks.

The US flag, the sail cover and the wind generator feel Flow on deck Mystique near Great Sandy Cay in the Turks.

Just so you know Flow didn't sneak aboard Mystique before I departed Miami in the summer of 2016.  She has always been sailing with me, but I never really appreciated for who she was.  She had been on numerous other cruises where she had always been accepted and aided me.   But last summer I had not noticed her influence enough.  Strange that after 66 summers I would neglect her...at least until I realized my oversight.  When I finally found she had been alive and well all along...way before I set sail, I figured there was no refusing her or she rejecting me.

 Can see Flow from above. The wave flow around an island. Both most Flow is invisible on the airplane wing and the breeze below. Even the tidal flow is invisible. Most Flow is.

Can see Flow from above. The wave flow around an island. Both most Flow is invisible on the airplane wing and the breeze below. Even the tidal flow is invisible. Most Flow is.

I had always been attracted to her; over the years we had became faithful friends. This voyage wa different as I did not realize she had eyes on me and for me.  She was looking after me.  Yet her occasional passivity and remoteness, may have caused me to question her allegiance.

Before this trip, our relationship had been mostly comfortable and respectable; nothing deeply platonic or remotely romantic. We had a mutual respect; loyal and supportive friends.  I guess I always had thought she was above me; occasionally looking after me. While we had grown up together, I had never really known her as well as I might. That is until we became intimate.  Boy, had I been so wrong about her.  Ironically, it seems she had been waiting for me to make the first move.

 The surf flows and washes away beaches. Erosion is the result of water making inroads into land and sand. This beach nearly disappeared last year near Boca Raton.

The surf flows and washes away beaches. Erosion is the result of water making inroads into land and sand. This beach nearly disappeared last year near Boca Raton.

Since most of my confession is now off my proverbial chest, you might as well know, she stayed with me for the entire 51- days. In fact, every night she slept in my arms and dreams and woke me every morning. What a delight!  And now that the truth is out, I could not have completed last summer's sail without her. In many ways, she was indispensable. I could not have found some missing parts, gone to the places I did or done what I did to recover without her. Her timely appearance and touch touched me profoundly. Little did I know how much I wanted and actually needed her.

 A summer squall is full of Flow. The fluctuation in temperatures of sea and air often causes air to move. Here near Emerald Bay, southern Exumas in 2016.

A summer squall is full of Flow. The fluctuation in temperatures of sea and air often causes air to move. Here near Emerald Bay, southern Exumas in 2016.

When I realized she would never leave the boat, my solo took on a totally different significance. Of course, it helped that she was always easy on the eyes when I didn't stare at her too long. It's one thing to be attracted by appearance, but another to know another's depth and soul.  What mattered most was she showed me parts of me and herself that altered my perspective of life. She displayed substance as she showed me her character's depth and breadth. What I discovered through her I could not have found alone. Once we got closer, we were apart of each other. Surprisingly, I discovered she would go ashore and still stay onboard. There was no parting ways. And even if I had wanted to, she made it clear she was accompanying me hell or high water.  As it turned out, her company made my solo a spirited twosome.

 At the starting gun of a Penguin race on the Tred Avon River near Oxford, MD from the late 1960's, all skippers are searching for FLOW.

At the starting gun of a Penguin race on the Tred Avon River near Oxford, MD from the late 1960's, all skippers are searching for FLOW.

During our time together, she couldn't and wouldn't leave me alone. She woke me each morning with a whisper and a gentle caress across my forehead.  She never cooked me breakfast or cleaned up after me. She can act like a squall or rain down on my parade, but never in duress, always to cleanse and cleanse my soul. She was never bitter or critical.  We never fought. She not that kind of woman.  She certainly knows how to kick her heels or kick up a storm, but she not house-keeper or neat-nic or control freak. She's a talented artist and dancer; can she ever twist and howl. She even can whistle. She brought onboard a lightness of being I had not experienced in a while. And she accompanied me everywhere I went.

I never wanted her to leave. In the early evening she displayed her evening wear. She knew how to draw a day to conclusion. She knew how to mix up her sundowners, her daily dips and lips into the sea. With the light out, she could dazzle and unveil, even at times undress her brilliance as she brought out her stardom. What a sparkling body she could display. Then her sun, moon and stars moved me.

 Mystique's open hatch catches the air flow as my cat approaches Great Sandy Cay on the Turks in 2015.

Mystique's open hatch catches the air flow as my cat approaches Great Sandy Cay on the Turks in 2015.

Flow permeated my daily thoughts and cleared my over-thinking. Though she bathed me in her beauty and washed my wounds, she shared her feelings as I listened more willingly to her sounds and sense. Too often a female voice can be dismissed for her emotional makeup, but if then one can miss her spirit, and then miss her essence.  Her omnipresence comforted me. I discovered she was powerful; she brought her healing arts and helped me mend some wounds. I must say, she was never a bother; in fact, I could never get enough of her. Her scent sent me daily reminders. Her sounds and movements turned me on. I looked forward to each moment with her. Life can be like that when you experience the light of day and night.

 A battered mainsail still catches the fresh Floridian breeze on the return from the Exumas in 2016. Note how the lazy jacks ut loose and rge sail cover sags from the boom. Flow can be forceful when she wants.

A battered mainsail still catches the fresh Floridian breeze on the return from the Exumas in 2016. Note how the lazy jacks ut loose and rge sail cover sags from the boom. Flow can be forceful when she wants.

To say I was into her daily would be understatement. She was into me as well. I could tell by her attire. Every day a new ensemble. Her dress addressed and undressed me; whenever I was restless, she calmed me. I was awed by her strength and character.; her nature permeated my soul. She was much more than a companion. A friend, lover, confidante, herself; she was an Everyman's dream. Not because she could be controlled or made to do or be someone she wasn't. She didn't fetch my food, do my laundry or satisfy my every sexual desire. She displayed her inner beauty and oh what a show she put on. She undressed my tightness and massaged my muscles. She knew how to touch me outside and in. She was free to be...see became the one who left me and returned each day. Her words always warmed her welcome. Sometimes tempestuous and windy, sometimes an approaching squall, a full and fuming cloudburst, sometimes a rainbow in her hair, sometimes the radiant energy that stirred my passion. I could not help myself until she show me her way. You would know if you went steady with Flow.

She let me in with her acceptance and love. She was within me now more than ever. I was no longer her plaything. I became her lover when she accepted me unconditionally. We made love nightly and I slept like a baby. But never cried a moment because she was always there. And now is still the now of yesterday and tomorrow. We are still going strong and steady ahead she goes.  Last summer she was wondrous and wonderful. She couldn't have been better company.  So natural, so easy to be with. Never gave me a hard time. Dare I say, it felt natural to be with my second nature?

 A 30-knot breeze pushed Mystique at 8-10 knots from Highborne Cay to Nassau in 2017.

A 30-knot breeze pushed Mystique at 8-10 knots from Highborne Cay to Nassau in 2017.

I have not forgotten her lessons...she taught me well.  I can still hear her voice whispering in my ear. I can still taste her treats. Her eye candy always sweeten my day, but it was her presence that impressed me the most. Her omnipotence caught my attention, but what kept me glued to her was not her ass but her asking me to show up  awake and aware.

 Mystique met FLOW motoring up the Miami River before my 51-day solo to repair a broken propellor shaft. The inbound, rising tide almost took Mystique into a slow top open bridge.  If not for Mikiel's timely rescue, Flow would have met an untimely collision. Gus in the bow keeps watch.

Mystique met FLOW motoring up the Miami River before my 51-day solo to repair a broken propellor shaft. The inbound, rising tide almost took Mystique into a slow top open bridge.  If not for Mikiel's timely rescue, Flow would have met an untimely collision. Gus in the bow keeps watch.

While some who don't recognize her, thinks she speaks a foreign tongue, I understood her simple meanings and messages. She's not one to take for granted or demand respect. But if you knew Flow, you would not only admire her for her body of work, but for her creative and life-affirming talents. She possesses amazing energy and can be quite forceful and persuasive. And whether or weather you know it or not, she has influenced all of humanity. Though there are many who do know or heed her character, they will rue the day they don't appreciate her light.

Flow was no stowaway who invited herself upon my life. She could never sneak aboard my Mystique; because I sailed aboard hers all along. Truth be told, I snuck aboard her vessel many years earlier, but just woke up and became aware, she has been steering me since the beginning.  While she lives all around my boat; as I she keeps me balanced and buoyant. (Boy-ent) While she is not me house-keeper or cleaner; she has her Earth to maintain.  , but So now you see, we sail as lovers upon her sea. If you find her, she'll sail with you too!

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Marine Nurture

Marine Nurture

Sea Who You Are

Sea Who You Are