B.B. Boudreau

Novelist | Singer

Crossing the Stream

Just passed the half-way mark. There is a definite sense of going up hill to the middle of the Gulf Stream, then downhill to the finish line. A feeling of awe leaves me numb, unable to do anything else but just BE HERE.
The Stream, as it is known to mariners is a living, breathing animate creature. Its character can shift in an instant from spiritually gentle to deathly frightening, thankfully not at the same time. Those of us who have crossed multiple times have felt both the benevolence and ferocity.
We’re riding on that thick deep blue you can touch. It is akin to sailing through gel, above and below the water. Attuned sailors can sense when they enter, not too far from the Florida coast. A fluid warmth raises straight off the water. Even a brisk morning departure from Biscayne Bay becomes a tropical flight as the Golden Globe of Life ascends to the peak of the ocean stage. The Atlantic endlessness stretches before the bow of the boat, and we are coupled with Earth’s liquid.
Though the wind on this particular day is from the north, it is light. Long, steady 3 – 4’ swells roll from the port quarter and thrust us gently eastward. Otto Pilot is at the wheel and my husband Al is playing Sudoku from the
This is my 11th Gulf Stream crossing. The magic number 11, signifying vision, balance, invention, refinement, congruency, fulfillment, and higher ideals. Encountering the number 11 on a repeated basis indicates a psychic understanding, carries a vibration frequency of balance and male and female equality. Right now with the Sudoku King monitoring Otto Pilot and me sitting on the bow of the cat with the my feet periodically sloshing through the cerulean flow, we are at opposing ends of our sanctuary, in perfect harmony. With a turn of my head, I catch his eye and he smiles the smile of a 4 year-old.
Flying fish hurtle through the air, buzzing into flight as they skip off the wave tops. Miami has slipped under the west horizon, so satisfying. On a dark night, the lights of that monstrosity can be seen from Bimini. Horrible.
Three bottlenose dolphins visited this morning, riding the bow wake with little effort, turning their heads to look up at me with puerile smiles. I whoop and holler, then in reaction they surface to breathe and get a closer look. They are gigantic. My body trembles in response. Their greeting is so purposeful, so organic.
Magic – pure magic. Sensation that cannot be described. It must be felt, experienced with such tactile synergy that it rattles your soul.
The wind shifts to SSW at high noon and gybes the big sail. The Stream flattens in response and soon begins to roll from the south, aided by even a breath of wind. This is the direction choice. The white hulls swoosh and gurgle. No one, not one boat in sight.
The gap between us and our destination is narrowing. We are sliding downhill and I struggle to make it last as long as possible. Our ETA is 4:30 – just in time for Happy Hour and the Kalik Gold that has been awaiting me for 4 years. Verbal communication is not yet allowed. This is supreme happiness. Oh, to bottle that sensation and keep it for a lesser day. Special moments are special due to their fleeting nature. But at our end on this trip is the bravura Bahamian Islands. We are off.

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