The Sea, My Brother

If nature is my Mother then the sea is most certainly my Brother; a relationship sustained throughout centuries past and one not soon to dissipate into the horizon behind blending colors of sunsets and sea haze. A lifetime has been spent by the sea with a short drive separating a landlocked life with one of salty breezes, sandy beaches, and a vast ocean of opportunity. “To make the sea your own, to watch over it, to brood your very soul into it, to accept it and love it as though only it mattered and existed.”

This excerpt from Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ exemplifies the relationship many a person has with the sea, whether they’re at home, out to sea, or those landlocked who have but a short drive to sandy shores. So on a sunny morning in mid-August a group of friends headed out to sea as a temporary exodus from their heated houses and city streets, just for a taste of that salty air everyone dreams of. A catamaran was rented, food and libations purchased from the local bodega, and we headed out to sea with the Captain no less trustworthy than Captain Ahab. Launching from the port of Long Beach and heading along the southernly lines of California, we joyfully exalted in the brisk air as swarms of our brethren swam around us and the seagulls floated effortlessly above; we were at home.

Palm trees were quickly replaced with white wash and crests along the endless horizon, the sails were set and the ship was off. We were at sea, and there was no other place to be. While many of us scattered about uncorking bottles, unwrapping cheeses and photographing the serene beauty you can only find at sea, a few took to the front net frolicking in the brisk water breaching the deck. We traveled kilometers along the coastline southbound and carefree, the sails filled with strong winds as we carried south with nothing but open ocean and endless coastline. Once midway through the journey and our captain began setting sails for home, we toasted our excursion with artisanal sandwiches most restaurants would serve; cheeses from all over combined with the freshest slices of protein, crisp pulls of lettuce settling atop the array of sauces and condiments. All of which toasted with champagne and brews, some sailors even taking to making their own custom libations from the well.

Headed back belly full and heads in the air, our captain pointed our ship to an island off the coast of Long Beach, where other seafaring people were enjoying the Southern California summer day by breaching the water. We anchored along the outskirts and just as we all had changed, the first of us splashed into the open ocean from a bow-side dive. We quickly followed and were overcome with relief as the water was the perfect companion to the warm air, joyfully swimming and diving off our catamaran we quickly considered purchasing and making our lifestyle.

The sea is my Brother, and we all hoped to see him again soon.

Kurt Slanaker