04. Eternal Winds

Everyone has memories of unforgettable scenery in their hearts: the breathtaking sights of a travel destination, the views of your childhood hometown, and unique images of mountains, rivers, and seas that stay with you as long as you live.

For me, the vivid sight of the Trade Wind Zone is one of those.

-- This is a real story. --
trade wind sunset

A ball of light, half submerged in the tropical sea, blinding you if you look at it straight. A mass of intense orange glow, like a tightly packed flame.

The huge bowl of the sky, as if placed upside down over the sea, is tinted with the sunset colors from the horizon to overhead. The clouds dotting are already black cotton-wool shadows.

As soon as the sun dips below the horizon, nearly two minutes after the sunset bigins, a blue-violet curtain starts to rise into the sky behind me. The landscape soon turns a deep indigo, and the stars begin to shine overhead.

These massive changes in light and color, projected onto the vast sky canvas, almost make me hold my breath. I stare at it up until my neck hurts, just like in elementary school.


Half a month after leaving San Francisco, Aomi is now in tropical waters, having sailed about 2000 km south across the Pacific.

The trade winds blow day and night with constant strength and direction across the dazzling sea of eternal summer. The following wind pushes the sails under a clear sky with a shining sun. The blue sky is like a child's drawing, dotted with torn white cotton-like cumulus clouds.

The wind is blowing at force three on the Beaufort scale, the waves are only a few tens of centimeters high, and Aomi sails swiftly with a refreshing sound of water. The warm wind brushing against my bare skin is unbearably pleasant, so pleasant that I can't help but scream. I have never known such a gentle and happy sea.

There is nothing on the water around me: no islands, no ships, no birds. Just the trade winds blow constantly, without a break. When did this wind start blowing, and when will it stop? Maybe it will blow forever.

For tens of thousands of years, the trade winds must have been blowing across the seas just as they are now. Perhaps nothing has changed, not even the blazing sun overhead or the cumulus clouds on the horizon. The fact that humans have built civilizations and fought many wars throughout history has nothing to do with the view in front of me.

There is no distinction between the present and the past, not even a hint of which era it is. On the sea, where the trade winds are constantly blowing, the sun rises and sets, repeating itself endlessly since ancient times. Perhaps nothing has changed here..

In fact, time seems to have frozen. The first sailors who came here hundreds of years ago during the Age of Discovery must have looked at the same cloud, watched the same sunsets, and thought the same thing as I do.

What century am I in, all alone at sea? It would not be strange, even if I saw a pirate ship from a distant era.


The next encounter is further south, in the Sea of Equatorial Doldrums.

It is, by no means, a windless sea. Trade winds from the northern and southern hemispheres collide here and become updrafts. It is an east-west band several hundred kilometers wide from north to south. It is also a place of unstable weather, with fickle winds coming and going.

Almost every day, squall clouds accompanied by gusty winds visit the calm, swell-free surface of the water and bring down large drops of passing rain.

Shivering naked in the unexpectedly cold tropical rain, I catch the water dripping from the sails in a bucket at the mast's base and pour it into a small plastic tank. I add a few drops of disinfectant chlorine solution to the bucket for drinking.

After the passing rain, the calm returns, leaving Aomi motionless on the windless, waveless sea for a half to a full day.

Some days, sharks circle around Aomi, slicing through the water with their triangular, menacing, dorsal fins. Through the crystal clear azure water, I can clearly see their sleek, jet fighter-like gray bodies.

Some sharks can grow as large as whales, reaching lengths of over 18 meters. I once heard a story of a sailboat colliding with a shark, directly from a man who had experienced it.

shark in pacific

Oceanic sharks are said to be forced to swim constantly because they cannot breathe when they stop. From the moment they are born, they are fated to move day and night until they die.―Just like us, living our lives in the never-ending rush of each day, pressed for time, within a herd of humans we call "City."

pacific map track of Aomi

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Patagonian map Antarctic map

Looking for Writing Tips from Native English Speakers

Hi! Thanks for reading my story. Since English isn't my first language, I'd love to get some tips from native speakers on how to make my writing smoother. If you spot any weird phrases or anything strange, I'd really appreciate your feedback. Thank you!

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