An excerpt from my book Kurofune: The Black Ships
My dearest Ruthie,
All is well here, Ruthie, and we’ve been very busy. Training has
increased substantially… (redacted)… and we are also continuing
with our various construction projects. The weather is fine, no, spectacular.
It may be some time before you hear from me again… (redacted)
I went for a long walk yesterday. In fact this letter is being written
at one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen on the island, not
far from our camp. From my perch and vantage point high up on one
of the hills, I can see out across the crystal clear waters of the Pacific
Ocean, which are strikingly blue, with glaringly white, feathering
spray flying off the tops of the whitecaps. The wind here, being such
a constant force from the northeast, can whip up the sea into a
dangerous dancing cauldron, while at the same time cooling and
caressing one from the tropical heat and humidity. The waves inshore
appear short and long: running, cascading, then breaking in a line
from right to left, like some horizontal plane of falling dominos, and
crashing with such force onto a beach of the blackest sand you could
ever imagine—as black as a moonless, starless night in Bremerton.
The contrasts are breathtaking and out of this world.
The beach is surrounded on three sides by low-lying dunes, as if
protected somehow from the small hills and overhanging cliffs that
envelop, protect, and calm the waters as they flow from their seaward
mouth into the throat of this broad bay. The transition area from the
beach to the high tide line and brush is skirted by the greenest,
fullest, and tallest coconut palms that I have ever seen, standing and
swaying like mythical guards to protect this idyllic place from evil
spirits. For it is a place of happiness and peace. If only you could be
here with me now to complete this awesome picture of nature’s splendor.
It is a scene that could only be surpassed by your natural, wholesome
I can just see a small boy and his father in the distance, throwing
their nets from a black volcanic outcropping that juts out into the bay,
as if taunting and challenging nature’s strength with every cast. As
each and every wave responds and crashes into it, spray goes everywhere.
It is so very peaceful, so very beautiful, so very natural.
I can only imagine the folklore, the legends and myths that are
part of the culture of this wonderful place. Dark tales of lost loves, of
jealousies, of death, of rebirth, and of eternal joy… of Pele, Lohiau,
Pehe, and Makakehau, and other mythological supernatural beings
of this strange but beautiful place. It is here in this spectacular setting
that I bear witness to all of these strange icons of local legends and
mythology of this sacred place to ask you for your hand in marriage. I
can’t be there in person to ask this of you, as I long to be, but I can
write these words to you as I look out at one of the most beautiful
scenes that I have ever seen and ask you to be my wife, and I your
husband, forever and ever. I love you, Ruth, and this mystical, magical
place will be my testament to you forever.
Always, in my heart,
Love it….sailing. My next book for sure.
Check out Kurofune by clicking the link at the top of this page. Thanks…John