Beyond Beyond; Episode 49
Sunset the end of the seventh day from Fernando de Noronha The Odyssey sailed strongly 75 miles off the coast northeast of Porto Seguro. Rich was ready for shore, but if duty or necessity called he was willing to sail on. He did not want to possess the state of mind that the boat was his prison.
Rich bedded down in the main cabin and allowed The Odyssey to glide easily to Porto Seguro. Darkness still hung heavy when Rich awoke and climbed onto deck. Off the starboard stearn lights twinkled like fireflies on a July evening on a Midwest farm. He reefed the sails and crept toward the lights.
Soon the sun cast a glow upon Porto Seguro. As the sun rose higher and Rich sailed closer he saw what appeared to be a bright colorful and joyful place.
He noticed a few sail boats anchored 30 to 40 yards from shore. Rich dropped the sails and cast the anchor to hold The Odyssey fast.
A concrete barrier braced against the sea. The boulevard running along the seawall started to come alive with small lorries and a few cars. On the other side of the boulevard pastel stucco buildings lined along the way like shoes in a rich lady’s closet.
Rich bask in the morning sun with a coffee, waiting for pedestrians to fill the sidewalks. He shaved five days growth and showered away at least that much of the sea’s caked brine and personal stench.
Rich slid the dinghy into the water. Within a couple strokes of the oars it butted against the concrete wall.
Rich found a bank and exchanged $200. Then he found a store and restocked the larder on The Odyssey. Two trips were required to resupply the fresh water tanks.
English was spoken here, but poorly. Yet, it was not impossible to communicate.
Rich ate at a restaurant facing the seawall and overlooking The Odyssey. He ordered a salad. Some time passed since the digestion fresh vegetables. He bought an apple at an open air market and meandered along the sidewalk next to the seawall.
He sat on a sidewalk bench under a shelter. “Now that I’m here, what do I do,” Rich thought, “find a bar, get drunk, stagger into the sea, and drown. When you know no one or with no one it seems as though your safe options are limited to nothing.”
Even under the shelter the sun blazed hot and the air hung humid.
He walked down the shady side of a nearby street going into stores only to find them also insufferably warm, humid, and stuffy. He stopped at a barbershop for a badly needed haircut.
Next to the barbershop rested a small bodega. He purchased a Coke and sipped it while walking along the busy narrow streets. Each sip rendered sweet memories of people and places long ago lodged in the recesses of his memory. “If they could only see me now,” he thought. “Some might think I’m living the dream.” He smiled. “I am, I really am. I am free. I have no master, but the sea. And what drives me is survival. It is amusingly primitive.”
The next day Rich walked further along the seawall’s sidewalk. A beautiful white sandy beach dotted with people spread long and pleasing. He stayed there until early afternoon while enjoying a few dips into the refreshing cool waters.
Rich strolled into a shop. He leisurely looked at trinkets and curiosities. He inspected the post cards and played with the idea of sending one to Sam. “That would let him know my location,” he thought. “Maybe I could send one home. Likewise, my location could be compromised. No one can know where I am. Maybe Salty. No, it could still fall into the wrong hands.”