Thursday, August 20, 2015


by Ray Jason           

           One of the great joys of my sea gypsy life is the ease with which I can alternate between solitude and camaraderie.  Scattered about the Archipelago of Bliss are many friends living on the shore or on their own islands.  They often invite me to come and anchor near their home and hang out for a few days.  I frequently do so.  These are always delightful interludes.
            But when the lonesome call of contemplation beckons me, there are many empty lagoons where I can linger alone.  There, my only companions are the creatures of the sea and the sky and my books and my thoughts.  But occasionally I will be joined by another sailing boat that is – how can I say this – different.  Most people would describe them as “outlaw boats,” but I consider them “emancipated boats.” 
            These are sailors who do not bother to check in with the authorities, but who wander the Wide Waters as sea vagabonds without a country.  I can easily ascertain this by making an offhand remark about how easy and inexpensive it is to clear into this particular country.  If they agree with that assessment, I know that they have not actually checked in, because it is neither easy nor inexpensive to do so here.  Then I will make another casual remark about the “unfettered freedom of the cruising life.”  Usually, at this point our eyes will lock and they will know that I know.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


by Ray Jason

            It’s early morning down here in the Banana Latitudes, and I am savoring the languor of the Tropics.  Sitting in the shade, with my back against the mast, I notice a small cayuco emerge from a nearby creek and steer directly towards me. Suddenly it feels like I have been swept back to the era of Captain Cook when the natives would row out to the visiting ships to trade with the sailors.   
            However, this local trader turns out to be a seven year old boy - with a cargo of coconuts and chickens.  I happily purchase four green “drinking nuts.”  When he offers me a fine hen, I pantomime what a hilarious ordeal it would be for me to control an unhappy chicken aboard a small sailing boat.  He laughs vigorously, flashing beautiful white teeth undamaged by sugar and civilization.  It pleases me to know that when he returns from school later today he will not vicariously butcher hundreds of “bad guys” on some video game screen.  Instead, he will fish for supper with some line coiled around a stick.