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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

French Polynesia: The Strange World of Sailing

A sprouting coconut
Coconuts can occasionally be seen floating in the ocean, and once they land, they sprout, like this example on Makemo; it's all part of the play

On the Pacific, my dreams have become rather numbed (and by 'dreams' I mean my aspirations rather than REM sleep, of which there is precious little to be had). For some reason, my usual concerns – destination, cash flow, cultural experience, maintaining a reasonable social life, wishing I'd been around in the sixties, the normal sort of thing – become both irrelevant and disconnected when I'm surrounded by sea for weeks, with no contact for so long. The desert was never like this, because however desolate the outback might be, it's teeming with folklore, wildlife, mountains, gorges, strange plants and, above all, amazing people and settlements. The Pacific is totally different, and although I wasn't expecting the sea to be anything like the desert in terms of psychological effect, it's surprised me to feel so detached.