Recently one of my friends went through a class and can now rent and take people out on a sailboat on her own! Yay! So last weekend we went along with her and some others to the Pacific ocean from Marina del Rey for the day. I'd been out on a variety of boats before, but never a sailboat, so this was a new and exciting experience for me. The winds weren't too high, the sun hid most of the day and there was a little rain, but we still saw plenty of animals including all sorts of birds, sea lions and dolphins and we all had an enjoyable time. On the radio we kept hearing reports of a baby blue whale near San Diego. The sailboat itself was a completely new experience to me, with the generous space down below the deck and plenty for all passengers to help out with up on top.
One thing that I guess became more apparent to me as I looked at these pictures is that so many things in life are these weird balances of boundaries and freedoms. In a boat, even if you can swim, the boundaries are defined by the boat. When you're done swimming, you want, or more like need, to get back on that boat eventually. And the freedom and openness feels like it's all that is around you, just not the exact spot that you are at the moment. You know there's tons of life just at the surface of the water, let alone in the 50 feet below you, although none of them live like a human, walking and requiring desalinated water. The landscape surrounding you is so monotonous, yet freeing with a giant open sky and miles of visiblity up and down the coast and away into the openness of the ocean, a deep contrast to the crowded freeways, buildings and stores on land or that bustling world within the ocean itself. You occupy a tiny space of the boat for the experience of that freedom brought by the human-life-unfriendly, yet human life sustaining, environment. For a period of time while on the boat, I leaned back, inverting the locations of the sky and ocean, letting myself get lost in the movement. And when I got home that evening, I simply had to close my eyes to see the vastness of the ocean, now confined to my head, once again.