Monday, 10 November – Day Nine

It, the archaic ship, shall have lost itself
on seas where my unchecked dreams will bathe,
and its immense masts shall have become indistinct
in the fogs of a heaven of Bible and Sacred Song.

And this won’t be the Greek bucolic
that’ll sweetly play among the naked trees;
and the Holy Ship will never have sold
its most rare merchandise in exotic lands.

It doesn’t know the fires of Earth’s harbours,
it only knows God, and ceaseless, solitary,
it parts the glorious floods of the Infinite.

Its bowsprit’s tip plunges into the Mystery;
on its masts’ trucks there trembles every night
the silver, mystic and pure, of the polar star


Antonin Artaud, Marseille,1913.

Around 8:30 AM we motored briefly south along the sea side of Northwest Point on Great Inagua to examine anchorage possibilities to its west and found a fine patch of clear sandy bottom about a quarter of a mile offshore in some 25 feet of water — certainly a sound spot for Columbus’s anchorage of 19 October with an early north wind veering later to east.

Today we motor sailed with faint wind north to Hogsty Reef, arriving inside the atoll to anchor over a sandy bottom in 16 feet of water at a quarter to three in the afternoon. We positioned ourselves inside the horseshoe reef of the atoll to seek protection from a sizable swell driven by a northeast wind. Since the internet weather prognosticators forecast a wind shifting to north this morning, we fancied that this would be favourable for sailing to Castle Island the next day.

At about 1:30 at night a squall struck. As Destiny pranced over the choppy water and rain drummed savagely on her cabin, bolts of lightning struck the sea around us with deafening blasts of thunder. Fortunately none struck us. By dawn all had calmed down, and the wind, as forecast, blew gently from the north, too feeble for sailing to Castle Island.