National Geographic : 1969 Apr
how they made bread from manioc root. I liked the place, too. It wasn't crowded the way cities are, and there was dense green for est all around and a fast-running stream with huge rocks sticking out of it. You could swim there, too; piranhas don't live in rapids. Just as we got back to the jungle airstrip, Patti flew in. I was standing there waiting, with a tame parrot on my shoulder, but when I saw her, I just threw him off so I could run out to her and hold her. We hadn't seen each other for two months, exactly to the day. As Dove heels hard to port off Barbados, Robin holds the tiller with one hand and grabs the boom for balance with the other. Making a test run off the Caribbean island, Dove bowls along in a fresh breeze. Though it looks as askew as the blue horizon, the knotted rope-used at times as a handhold -a ctually hangs straight down. We flew back to Paramaribo, and during the next three weeks Patti and I worked on Dove and explored the city. We bargained for food and vegetables in the native market, where people laughed and pointed because I went barefoot. I don't suppose they'd ever seen a European go barefoot. Most of the time we lived on board (page 489), but it was so hot and humid that we were glad to spend a week in a hotel with clean sheets and a bath. You couldn't swim in the dirty water where Dove was anchored. Dove Objects to Standing on Her Keel Once we took Dove up to Paranam, the big bauxite-processing center upstream from Paramaribo. There was red dust everywhere. The plant looked like something from another century. We tied up at a dock and went to bed aboard, not knowing what high tides there were that far up the river. In the middle of the night we were violently awakened when Dove fell flat on her side-a heck of a maneuver for a sailboat. It seemed that all the water had gone away, leaving Dove bal anced on her keel, leaning gently against the dock. Then something upset her balance, and over she went. We slept the rest of the night on the cabin's side. Time was running out again, as it seemed to do all too quickly in every port I put into. There was no good reason to stay longer in Paramaribo, and I didn't really want to. But I didn't really want to go back to sea, either. And this time-for the first time-I had no clear-cut plan about what I was going to do next. For a while, the closest thing I had to a plan was the strong feeling that I'd end my journey then and there. I had logged 22,300 miles. I was three years older than when I started, and a little taller. Dove had never been big enough below decks, and I sensed her smallness more and more. In a way, I'd outgrown her. Also (and I hate to say this) I didn't trust her any more. I knew every fault she had-maybe I exaggerated them in my mind-and I couldn't believe she'd weather a bad storm.