Sailing with Giants

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part III

As we began to plod our way through the Doldrums, I started having a recurring dream when I settled down in my bunk to sleep after my night watch was over.

Land Ho!

My habit was to lie in my bunk fully dressed, because I didn’t trust James. He never did anything after that first attempt to molest me (Part I), but once was enough to freak me out. It soon became a non-issue, seeing what happened as I fell into sleepy-land.

Maybe ‘recurring’ isn’t quite the right word – episodic would be more like it. I’d go to sleep almost immediately, and merge right into the dream I’d had the day before. Only instead of the dream being a repeat, it was a continuation – as if I hadn’t been gone at all.

Instead of being the single crew on a 31′ boat crossing the Pacific east of Hawaii, I was amongst a tribe of giants, crossing the South Pacific on a colossal, ocean-going, double-hulled sailing outrigger canoe, the pontoons of which were so big you could have fit five boats the size of ours into it.

The only real difference in each dream was what I was. The first time, I ‘awoke’ inside the body of a rat. Inside of one of the pontoons. Talk about scared to death!

It changed each time. In one dream, I’d be a child. In another, one of the pigs, or one of the dogs. Or one of the adults – sometimes I was the mother of one of the children I had ‘played.’

After being embodied in these dreams as rat, pig, dog, and people of all ages and genders, I got used to changing bodies.

If I was a person, I’d either be a male covered by a simple loin cloth around my middle, or a female wrapped in a tapa cloth sarong.

As a rat, it was easy to emerge up on deck from a wee hole I’d chewed through the timber deck above. But I had to hide from the people or they’d try to kill me. Rats were very definitely not welcome.

As a pig, I had to stamp my little hooves and squeal and bleat to make enough commotion to be heard, and then endure the humiliation of being roped and hauled up by my feet out of the pontoon onto the upper deck.

As a dog, I was whipped soundly. I hid for days afterwards, starving and thirsty, my wounded back festering, my tail firmly tucked between my bleeding back legs.

As a child, I was scolded and roundly punished for having somehow gotten into the pontoon, making a ruckus for being trapped in it, and having to be rescued.

More than once, I put off going to sleep, dreading what would happen when I got to the other side this time.

It was such a relief when I finally started dropping into the dream as an adult, somehow able to just appear on deck. I guess the Dream Gods took pity on me, because inhabiting all those critters being dragged out by the feet and being beaten for getting into trouble, and then a child being punished for getting into the pontoon, was unbearably hard.

. . .

We were a tribe of giants. If I, at 5’6″, was to stand next to one of them right now, the top of my head would barely be even with his knees.

The people were unmistakably Polynesian. I’d never heard of any race of giant Polynesians, but they had all the physical traits, as well as identical cultural items – drums, nose-flutes, tapa cloth, gourds, haunting indigenous songs and dances and accoutrements.

They had the right kinds of animals. They’d built a semi-covered cage amidships, protecting the coconut palms, star fruit, mango, papaya, lychee, and breadfruit trees. They had somehow preserved taro, and grew other tropical plants they’d brought with them on which to survive. They even had mulberry trees, the bark of which they used to make tapa cloth.

. . .

We/they were hunting for a New Home.

Despite the beatings and punishments, the bulk of my time with these folks was what you might expect when you’re part of a group of people who lived aboard a huge ship. They lived, loved, worked, and played together all day and all night, week after week after week, just as anyone would on land.

. . .

One afternoon, I awoke in my bunk with a feeling of intense sadness. I couldn’t figure out where it came from. It seemed to occupy every cell of my body, like a dull, full-body ache, or maybe a permanent, indelible stain. I finally got that it was from the giants.

When I was with them, I understood their language. I started listening closely to their evening sing-stories. They had been expelled from their beloved ancestral home by a nasty rival family member who took violent control. They left, rather than be ostracized, imprisoned, or eliminated by the new cartel.

There was a sense of unending stretches of time, like they had been searching and searching and searching, not just for months or even years, but for eons. With no land in sight, ever. The yearning was physically, painfully, palpable.

That they could survive as well as they did was phenomenal. They had everything they needed except more space, and they handled that by making long stop-overs when the weather was fine. They set up sea anchors to keep the canoe in one place. They put out safety lines with floats to create safe swimming areas for the wee ones. They’d dive and swim and play and race each other, right there, right in the middle of the vastness of the ocean.

. . .

In each dream, I was there for weeks at a time, even though I was asleep ‘here’ for but a few hours.

Over time, I gravitated to ‘being’ this one little old lady. She was the Old One, the wrinkled, grizzly, potty-mouthed healer. She was the oracle, diviner, sooth-sayer, wise woman, shaman – sha-woman – whatever you want to name her role. Always on the edge of things, never part of the group as a whole, unless as an officiant.

I learned from her about healing, relationships, plants, and manifesting. Rituals, dances, healing chants and songs, uses for natural elements, fish, shells, plants, and animal parts. She was sharp, keen, and one of the funniest, drollest people I’d ever encountered.

. . .

All through every ‘occupation’ coursed a terrible, wide river of sadness, a thick melancholy, a dread of never finding what they sought, a helpless resignation that they would be on this sea voyage forever and ever.

One morning as I slid into my bunk, I took a minute and asked my own inner guidance if it would be OK to help them change their circumstances if I could, to somehow aid them in finding their Home. I asked because I didn’t know if that was their assigned Fate, or if it was mutable. I didn’t want to interfere and bring them more grief than they already carried.

The answer was an immediate brilliant explosion in my whole inner being of YES! Help them!

Now if I only knew how…

. . .

This time, as I found myself in one of their bodies, I was a young man. Supple, fit, strong … and, despite the deeply embodied consciousness of generational despair, I/he was hopeful and alert to any changes that might bring them closer to their dream Home.

I could see in his memories that he had often been laughed at for thinking a single piece of straw speeding by them on the waves meant land ahead. Or there would be a feather, or a strange species of bird overflying them, or some new kind of fish.

So one day when we climbed to the platform at the top of the short, sturdy mast to get away from the jaunts and jabs and teasings, we did see land. There it was!

Clouds over open water form differently from clouds over land. Far ahead, there were flat-bottomed formations typical of land-hugging clouds.

We shouted, “Land! Land! Land!” We almost fell off the platform in excitement.

“Look!” we cried out, “There it is!”

We screeched our lungs out until our throat felt shredded by a million shards of glass.

No one paid a lick of attention. How many times before had we ‘seen’ land, and it turned out to be some floating mass of seaweed or flotsam?

Not a single person even looked up at me/him. It was then that I knew I/he had the unusual ability to see farther than anyone on board. The others just couldn’t ‘see’.

But I/he wasn’t going to give up. We stayed up there, looking, looking, watching the sky, the sea, the waves. Those clouds. We got closer and closer, the land getting bigger and bigger, clearer, greener, mountains and cliffs…

At last, we sailed within normal sight length, and suddenly they all could see for themselves – land! An island!

I had a million questions now! Would there be people who already lived there? My size or theirs? Or no one? What was it like? What …

And damn if I didn’t wake up in my bunk in this wee little boat, out of breath and choking on a sore throat. James standing over me asking if I was OK and what was all the shouting about?

I never was able to get back into the dream, try and try as I did. I’ve wondered for decades what they found. I hope they are happy now.

to be continued…


Thanks so much for reading my story.

This original story and its illustration are NOT in my book, INSIDE SECRETS, Stories I’ve Never Told Anyone, Volume II. I will probably include them in a best-of book I’m planning.

Stay tuned for Part IV.


Sailing with Giants
27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part III

© Angela Treat Lyon 2023

Image: Land Ho!
© Angela Treat Lyon 2021

Land Ho! is an original pen and ink drawing I did using a beautiful smoky black Japanese Sumi ink on heavy watercolor paper. The original is not available. If you’d like a framed print of it, please contact me.

You can get all 7 books in the INSIDE SECRETS series in print on amazon, or get the ebooks at


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