INSIGHTS: Pacific Reflections

Anna Eriksson, behavioral scientist, executive coach and liveaboard, gives us an INSIGHT into how an ocean passage can affect us both physically and spiritually and how it helped her come to terms with the health pandemic impacting borders worldwide. Here she shares with Noonsite her photo story and some of her diary entries that she documented as she crossed the Pacific for the first time in March/April 2020 with her husband Arthur on board their 16 meter Amel Super Maramu ketch. For those of you who have not yet spent time on long ocean passages, Anna’s words and images will both inspire and encourage you. For those who already have experienced an ocean crossing, this INSIGHTS will provoke some powerful memories that might just help you steer a steadier course during these troubled times.

Published 2 years ago

This piece came to me when we had been out on the Pacific for some days. It started out with a cloud that caught my attention. It was like a follow up and bridge from our Atlantic crossing.

Then two weeks passed before the rest revealed itself. I started to be very present to the energy of the day. First with a picture – then with the text.

iridescent blue water with a shock of light dispersing within it and a vague shadow of the photographer reflected
The Light of the Planet – Anna Eriksson

This is my way to share how I experienced our first passage from Panama to French Polynesia.

The Cloud

Saturday 21 March, 2020
03° 47’N, 84° 26’W
Panama basin

twilight at sea with an almost purple sky and small white moon rising    The sky now turning more grey and yellow as the clouds thicken and the moon disappears

I feel immensely grateful to live on this Planet.

To be out here in the Pacific surrounded by the Ocean and the Sky gives me plenty of time
to just be and witness what is around me.

I love the Moon. It seems round on the picture – it is not. At this date the Moon is just a very tiny fragment – lying like a tiny hammock up in the sky.

In four days, she will start to rise again.

Suddenly something catches my attention – as this small rose cloud did early this morning. It must be the Sun that is on its way up – today as well.

sky turning pink as dawn breaks    pale dawn sky with smoky rising clouds and a flat sea

It always surprises me that the Sun comes up somewhere other than where I see the first sign.

sunrise with a darker sea and darker clouds backed by blue sky    close up of the intense pink of a sunrise and building clouds in a line above it

Now look how majestically this Cloud forms itself and how the Sun kind of plays ”Look out”
from behind the clouds.

flat grey sea, yellow sunrise and the sun coming out from behind the clouds    

The Cloud continues moving – showing us its array of alternative forms.


Look, I can even give you some rain. At the same time as Sun! Isn’t it magic?


The Big Blue

Saturday 4 April 2020
05°35’S, 116°24’W 
East Pacific

So many times I have spun on the Earth, Google Earth on my i-phone, trying to grasp that we – for real – are sailing to the other side of the world. Where it is summer when Sweden has winter, where it is day when it’s night in Stockholm.

The other side of the Earth is pure BLUE. Now we are there – in the middle of the big blue.

In the East Pacific area, 19 days from Panama and 10-14 days to the Marquesas. I look at the chart and see the depth – 3 to 5000+ m. Many thousands of meters deep. Horizon 360°. And it is very blue, pretty much the same blue as Google Earth.

Soft winds from our back – 5 to 20 knots. Waves from none to 2-3 meters. Current 0.5-1 knot. 30° in the air and 29° in the water.

The Oceans are a huge part of the Earth and on this side of the planet most of all. Think about how the Oceans create the balance that is so utterly missing in the crowds on the other side. Think about if all there is to remember – is showing its presence here – day after day.

The Stars

Saturday 4 April 2020
05°37’S, 117°48’W
East Pacific

Looking up at all the stars surrounding us, I have never seen so many – ever. Not even at Roque de Muchachos La Palma, one of the best places in the world to look for stars, where many countries have observatories.

Here out in the Pacific Ocean you kind of see all of them, even the small ones show up as a milky shimmer. Maybe the name of our galaxy, Milky way, was created by someone who has been here.

Instead of taking photos I use SkyView to find out the names of what I see. This particular night I found a new constellation – the Flying fish. We see these fish a lot – they are always swimming/flying just above the surface of the sea in a big shoal. Every morning some of them have landed on our deck. They say they are tasty, like sardines, but so far we haven’t tried any. The Ocean Cruising Club even has the fish on its Club burgee.

I see a star streak from Venus – named after the goddess of love and beauty. Also called Morning and Evening star as she is, after the Moon, the brightest you can see in the night sky with the maximum brightness just before sunrise and shortly after sunset.

I see a shooting star. Strong and clear, no doubt at all.

The stars remind me about the magnitude of the bigger system we all belong to. The brilliance of the stars is far too big to catch on a smart phone. You have no idea, they let me know, about what I don’t know that I don’t know.

Witnessing the Clouds

Sunday 5 April 2020
05°38’S, 118°58’W
East Pacific

Today is a day with good weather clouds. This one looks almost like a big bird with its wings spread. Can you see that too? As a kid I loved to lie on the lawn looking at the clouds passing by.

Drawn to the Light

Sunday 5 April 2020
05°38’S, 118°10’W
East Pacific

a view up the starboard side of a yacht with a poledout genoa and the sun behind the sail casting a shine on the sea

Tonight, when I came up for my watch at 2 AM, I found us sailing almost to the moon as it lay straight in front of us. The same feeling as sailing to the end of a rainbow, as if there is something at the end. Come, come this way – they are pulling us closer and closer to a big secret or treasure.

This sense of direction is empowering, like riding on a wave of light. Think about if we always had that clear path shown in front of us! Just to follow even in the dark. We can be lucky when it happens, all the other days we need to trust our own light.

Tonight I captured a photo with light coming both from inside our boat and outside from the moon. It’s like my eyes are always searching for the light. That is also what we are looking out for on our watches. Is there anybody else out there? Someone not using AIS, maybe not even having their navigation lights on. We want to keep our distance, keeping safety first. Still when a light shows up there is like an attachment – you keep on staring, observing every move – against or towards you. There is a connection even if you never will meet closer than this. If something happens, we will show up and help.

Maybe knowing that others also search the light is good to remember on days when it feels very dark. Someone takes care and knows that there is always light somewhere, even at the darkest spots inside and outside. We belong together.

There is Always a Crack 

Monday 6 April 2020
05°39’S, 120°35’W

Even in the darkest moments there are openings. Even the most thick-skinned have an Achilles heel. Leonard Cohen knew very well that somewhere there is always a crack.

In Japan they repair a broken pot with gold to mark the wisdom and the beauty that follows a crack.

Not only is the crack the opening – it is also the place from where the light – your inner wisdom – comes. Do you know your crack?

This Too Will Pass

Monday 6 April 2020
05°51’S, 121°53’W
Marquesas fracture zone

Dear existence, how shall I handle this crisis?

This too will pass.

In the meantime – your work is to be present and take relevant actions according to what shows up in front of you. A crisis needs extraordinary actions. Like when you are on the sea and suddenly it starts blowing more than expected – your relevant action is to adjust your sails to the new situation. Stay alert. Stay present and listen – if you need to do anything you will know.

To Be With Oneself

Tuesday 7 April 2020
06°11’S, 123°20’W
Marquesas fracture zone

By now, almost the whole world has been recommended (or forced) to stay in quarantine because of a worldwide virus.

A time to meet yourself, to be with yourself. Just be and face what is there. How do you react or respond when so much activities are on hold; when the outer world is in a way limited; when close contact with others is prohibited; when you are not allowed to leave your home more than the minimum?

I am sitting on our sailing boat, looking out over the huge blue ocean and the light blue sky. Not much is happening besides the waves passing by. What’s the meaning of life? If I ask the waves they answer – there is none. To be is what is. To be oneself.

Who am I then? What is my natural self-expression? I witness the waves moving. I am present to space. To freedom. Still in a feeling that this is almost unreal. What are you present to?

The Shadow

Tuesday 7 April 2020
06°18’S, 124°14’W
Marquesas fracture zone


It’s a full moon tonight. I am seeing a masterpiece. I hope you see it too. It’s magnificent!

I love the shadows from the clouds – gets more mystic, more real, like life itself.

How come we are so hesitant to show the shadow side of ourselves? I, at least, constantly choose the photos of me with a big smile.

There is of course so much more. For many years I used the lotus as a symbol (when I was working with Oceanic Aqua Balancing) – the long root down in the mud gave me nutrients, so going deep now and then was essential for me having a rich life. Still is. That’s how I learn to know myself more.

How do you embrace your shadow sides?

We Have a Choice

Wednesday 8 April 2020
06°29’S, 125°24’W
Marquesas fracture zone

We are in a no man’s land, not only are we in the middle of Pacific, we are also in between a lot of countries with closed borders. Maybe we just have to pass by islands we have sailed eight months to reach. What a miscount! Or? We do not know yet. Who are we to judge?

We have decided to take this journey wave by wave. We choose to be with what is right now. If not, we will miss this too.

We can re-frame the situation – we are in a magic land surrounded by very high energy from the Sun, Moon, Stars and the Ocean. We are riding on the waves feeling blessed.

Today is My Birthday

Thursday 9 April 2020
07°12’S, 128°31’W
Marquesas fracture zone

I send a rose to all souls living on the planet right now. Let’s continue taking care of the precious energy that is vibrating inside and between us.

I am so grateful being able to smell the fragrance of the rose, see the light shining through,
to feel the healing energy in my body.

I am so grateful being out here in the Big blue on a totally new adventure with my husband.

I am so grateful having family and friends to connect with.

I am so grateful being alive.


Friday 10 April 2020
07°30’S, 130°22’W
Marquesas fracture zone

It is Good Friday – the day when Jesus, over 2000 years ago, got crucified for his – at that time – provocative words. His words are still serving as a base for a big religion in the world. Think about what an impact he made.

Who is coming next? Who will bring a new vision for the world? Who has answers on the big questions of today?

Looking out on the calm ocean, the wind and waves have gone down. We are slowly gliding forward. The sun is making a broad road of glitter for my eyes to rest on. I am thinking about how nature solves things – in this area for example – with cyclones. There is a Harold running around south south west from here. People living here have to rise again and again, like we all did when we learned to walk.

The whole world is right now both aligned and at the same time separated because of the deadly virus Covid 19. Most borders are closed. No one knows when and how this will heal.
We learn to keep distance, to not hug, kiss or shake hands. Who will remind us to trust again?
Sun says: You will.

This is It!

Saturday 11 April 2020
07°42’S, 130°50’W
Marquesas fracture zone

Woke up to the sunrise. So calm. Since 2 AM we have been drifting without sail or motor.

This stillness – this is it! Like the dot over the i. Peace on the inside as well as on the outside.
Totally perfect as it is. A day to just hang in to, feeling grateful for being in this space.
Not moving or changing anything, just being.

I realize how big this is for me – so used to being very busy. I am surprised how much I like this stillness – as if it has been a strong longing that now gets space.

The Unknown

Saturday 11 April 2020
07°43’S, 131°00’W
Marquesas fracture zone

Today was the day when I let my body be surrounded by the blue, blue Pacific.  It was 31°, salt and 4500 meter down to the bottom. It is hard to grasp how much that is. It is definitely longer than it is to the visible horizon all around.

This is our Earth. So much that is unknown. Freud understood that it is the same for us human beings. That iceberg – wonder what metaphor they are using here on the south side?
Maybe it is enough just to be curious about what is under the surface and what the next depth could bring?

How come we still are so hooked on science as the most reliable knowledge? As we are not getting access to the unconsciousness via the conscious mind. The cool thing is that everyone that wants can train and get access to the unconscious. The unknown is there like a free resource to dive deep into.

My New Home

Saturday 11 April 2020
07°43’S, 130°58’W
Marquesas fracture zone

We are still drifting.

Another sailing boat passed by motoring. We had a small talk and they continued on. We stayed as we were living here – secretly. (You only get the approximate coordinates.) I just love being here, pacing the energy around us.

It’s like the Pacific has calmed down and invited us to stay, to hang out and enjoy the world out here. I am so grateful.


Sunday 12 April 2020
07°45’S, 131°32’W
Marquesas fracture zone

Feeling blessed.

The Guardian

Sunday 12 April 2020
07°51’S, 131°56’W
Marquesas fracture zone

What is it that scares me? If I would name the pain. What in me needs to die to make room for what wants to be born?

What words and metaphors are coming to me as signs of the new context? That helps me navigate even in the dark and unknown.

Dear Guardian – help me stay long enough to face what is there for me to see.

On Sail Again!

Monday 13 April 2020
07°53’S, 132°12’W
Marquesas fracture zone

After several days with almost no wind it came back and we are on sail again. I love the fact that we are staying with what is, not forcing ourselves or the boat to go faster than what nature is giving us. I am grateful that we can.

Trusting the cyclic movements in life. Seasons. The Sun is coming up every morning and always comes back after the rain. After stillness you want to move. After a dip it goes up again. The breakthrough is as close as the breakdown. And the other way around.

We are enjoying what is.

Rose Fluff

Tuesday 14 April 2020
08°14’S, 133°25’W
Marquesas fracture zone

Think about the possibility of always having rose fluff nearby – the days you need it the most.
Those days when you (or someone else) is hard on you or when everything goes wrong.
The only thing you need is someone who is kind and forgiving.
Who reminds us that a new day will soon rise. 
Who embraces us with a big warm hug while our tears let go.
Every morning is a new day.
The rose fluff reminds us to stay in touch and listen to our hearts.

The Power in the New Day

Thursday 16 April 2020
08°18’S, 135°06’W
Marquesas fracture zone

It’s an enormous power breaking through every morning. Like when a child is born. You see how it is almost a bubble on the horizon, like it really wants to burst out (as it does in a few minutes). What a gift and reminder for all of us to see the energy and possibility with this new day.

24 hours or 1440 minutes – new and fresh every morning!

What’s emerging for you?


Saturday 18 April 2020
09°51’S, 137°55’W
Marquesas islands

We are surfing on the waves with land in sight. Waves, wind, vista – all of us want to go in the same direction – forward! Feeling the excitement. Pure joy. 33 days at sea. ETA right when the sun will start going down.

Tonight we will drop anchor in a new country, in a new part of the world: French Polynesia, more exactly the easterly island Hiva Oa, Marquesas islands.

09°48’S, 139°02’W Hiva Oa


About the Author

Anna Eriksson is an executive coach from Stockholm, Sweden, who sold everything to sail and live on board with her husband.

She runs the company Avalona for CEO’s that are ready to raise their energy.

Avalona – Executive and Team Coaching


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The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of or World Cruising Club.

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  1. October 8, 2020 at 12:31 AM
    tecnoadictos says:

    Alucinante lo que se logra ver en este increible paraiso. Super ultra recomendado para todos!