This is a traditional sailing canoe used by Carolinian islanders for the past few thousand years. In them, they can sail over hundreds of miles of open ocean navigating using only the stars, waves, and sea life to navigate.
In an earlier post, I wrote briefly about this and published the photo below of me at the helm of one, but now its time to get serious as regards writing about it. My next book, this year's project, is an adventure story concerning traditional sailing and navigating in the western Pacific.
So the process starts like this: I've learned a lot about traditional navigation and sailing in the past seven or so years as a member of the Traditional Seafarers Society here on Guam, but I've got a long way to go as regards a more profound understanding of island society and culture. I'm lucky to have all this at my finger tips; I can immerse myself in it. Today is Saturday (it's still raining--pouring--has been all week), but I'm planning on driving up to the utt (thatched hut) that is the meeting place for the Society and get reacquainted with my old friends. I'll pick up some more books about island history, life, culture, and start making notes. On my long daily walks (I'm up to six miles nearly every day), I can start to visualize plot ideas, let scenes blossom in my mind's eye (that's what it feels like--a flower blossoming), and get excited about all the possibilities that the imagination offers.
Right now, though, I'm procrastinating getting out my SCUBA gear and diving the boat. The bottom needs cleaning, but I don't like diving in the rain because on cloudy days the water is dim and it's hard to see what I'm doing. But, get a move on, Dougie, and get it done.
Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal (http://bit.ly/1mMT6ZC). The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1j3axVk) and Crossquarter.com. Visit the author's website: douglasarvidson.com