Hello from Ally checking in from the port of Matthewtown in Great Inagua, Bahamas! We left Ocean World Marina yesterday in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic for a 22-hour overnight sail and arrived this morning at about 10:00 AM. We’ve had some trouble regaining our sea legs, but everyone is doing wonderful on this beautiful Monday!

For our writing workshop with Elizabeth, we began by trying to write with a “sense of wonder,” a term used by environmental writer Rachel Carson. Though it seemed difficult to get into it on our first day, we started by looking out into the open seas of the Caribbean. The mirrorwing fliying fish were welcome companions throughout the sail, glimmering above the water:

What does one write about when there’s only sea and sky?

Strokes and dots of whites and greys to distinguish the horizon. Miniature crests peak and disappear just as the fleeting flying fish do, while we quietly invade their infinite schools below the surface, gliding along above and through.

All of us have begun to use for the first time muscles we never knew we had. We’re sore and rather sleepy, but excited to get acquainted with Sea Dragon and our various stops.The calm, but large island of Great Inagua is an exciting visit, having one of the largest flamingo populations in the world and a major salting industry for Morton’s Salt back in the United States. We’re eager to go and explore the land tomorrow. As it is Easter Monday, everything is closed and quiet except for the echos of celebration from behind the tree line ashore.

Our workshop today has centered around nonsensical terms for nature and finding ways to name the nameless. Steve, with the help of our boat captain Eric, has contributed a wonderful array of concepts to share:

Cloud cover is 8ths (today is 4 out of 8)
Light to moderate chop
Turn buckles and cotterpins//ringalings or ringdings?
Vocalized squal, but never a huge amount.

Lion book cook fish
Angry bug makes shout

Isobar, buys ballot law
in Northern Hemisphere – but back to
aloft (true) wind point to left
center of depression.
Albedo, a reflection from planet/or body’s surface.


We went on a snorkeling adventure and found many starfish, conch, barracuda, triggerfish, and even a lazy lion fish. Eric speared it in a free dive at about 22 feet, and then Shanley helped to remove the poisonous spines and filet it for a welcoming, albeit small snack which Eric prepared for us and even wrote a haiku about! What a multi-talented captain we have on board!

A Haiku
By Eric

Ate a lion fish
It was a delicious meal
Or was it a snack

We will be at this pleasant anchorage through tomorrow and will then take off for our next stop! We’re daydreaming of swimming pigs. Hopefully they will soon become a reality.

That’s all for now!

– Ally Nobles, Writing at Sea, April 6, 2015

No barracuda
a trigger or a lion
could replace a star

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