Date

Day 27 – A warm welcome from my Spirit Guide

The light this morning seemed different. Clearer. Full of colours. Dazzling, almost.  It was a contrast of blues and yellows that I’d always imagined seeing in the Pacific, but which was missing the past few weeks when the predominant theme was a spectrum of grey. There were a few cotton ball-esque clouds on the horizon, but otherwise the sky was a clear and soothing shade of blue, contrasting with the deep, deep blue of the ocean.

Simply put, it was a beautiful morning.

I slept well and felt rested physically in the morning, though as my nervous system has been on overload the past few weeks, I could feel the emotional fatigue that is starting to have the confidence to show itself. What I need in the coming days is plenty of mental rest to allow my system to regain some balance and ensure my cognitive abilities recover in time for the Coral Sea crossing in 8-10 day’s time. The winds for the Coral Sea leg are forecast to be 20-30knts so this is the time to recuperate and reenergise and get the boat repaired so I can be ready for the final blast home.

Heeding this sensible advice, after my chores I spend the morning reading, captivated by the humour and the prose of a Gentleman In Moscow. It’s the story of a Russian aristocrat sentenced to spend the rest of his life in the Metropole Hotel in Moscow in the early days of the Soviet Union. I relate to how one’s life transforms when their living area becomes significantly reduced. Rather than finding this suffocating and depressing though, the book shows how this can be an exercise in becoming acquainted with the beauty of the minutia and the hidden worlds we overlook when our horizons are vast and options endless. The humility and grace the protagonist accepts his new circumstances with is uplifting and it’s a lesson in how to live in the world we’re given and to enjoy all it has to offer, as opposed to constantly hoping for a world that’s unattainable and being forever disappointed.

Just as I giggle at yet another wonderful series of sentences, I hear a splash. I immediately look up and I see a large dark creature mid-air. My first thought is that it’s a seal, but then I put that thought to bed quickly, realising that we’re far too far from land for it to be a seal. Just as I realise it can’t be a seal, I see another jump and the unmistakable site that it’s a pod of dolphins. They’re making a beeline for Ahyoka and I and seem to be jumping with joy at the site of us, not dissimilar to the greeting your dog gives you when you’ve been away for a long time. The pure joy at knowing you’re home and that they have company again. It was certainly a joy I immediately felt. I’ve been alone for weeks now and didn’t realise how much I craved contact with another living soul. That was until these beautiful dolphins came smiling into my morning. I grab my camera (yes, it’s all on film – yay!!) and shout in pure joy the warmest of welcomes, tears streaming down my cheeks. As they come alongside the boat, their smiling faces looking up at me I realise they’re the ones giving the welcome though. Amazingly, they’re welcoming me to the Southern Hemisphere. After weeks of absence, my Spirit Guide is back and I’m in awe.

We make our way to the bow where my dear friends surf the bow wave, constantly looking up, our smiling eyes meeting as they jump out of the water and our souls connecting at the deepest of levels. The whole scene lasts only about 5 minutes, but it will last a lifetime in my heart.

As I wave goodbye to my dear friends, I’m reminded by something my mum said to me a few days ago. “Just keep hope alive. Sometimes the most unexpected thing happens when you least expect it.” And she was right. Sometimes the most unexpected things do happen when you least expect them. I was just welcomed to the Southern Hemisphere in the kindest, most beautiful way imaginable by my Spirit Guide and his family. What an experience.

Someone is certainly looking after me out here. It doesn’t matter what name they’re given, I felt it this morning. It may have been mysterious, but it was real, and I feel blessed.

My cup, as they say in the movies (and the bible), runneth over.

 

Postscript:

@James

Thanks Buddy. I can’t see land yet, but knowing PNG is only about 30Nm south feels good. Given PNG is also one of the most dangerous places on the planet it’s more a “curious” good than a “comforting” good though.

@Eileen O’Farrell

High fives to my fellow Shellback! Nice to join the club 

5 Responses

  1. *smiles while reading this post*
    So glad to hear you’ve had such a relaxing and rejuvenating reunion with your spirit guides – seeing dolphins in any scenario while sailing is always a joyful experience and I can only imagine your jubilation at sharing such a beautiful moment on the bow and can’t wait to see the footage!
    PNG – ah yes the comfort but with caution. It is a very unpredictable place. Coincidentally I just watched a video on YouTube yesterday on western PNG (opposite side) and what a political and social nightmare those people have endured at the hands of both the Indonesian and Australian governments. Something I knew nothing about or had even heard of before. Very sad.
    But as you begin your decent down the hill in your second half l, I wish you all the best of luck and glad you’re able to prepare for the coral sea!
    Till tomorrow!
    Xo

  2. #2
    Just looking at your tracker it looks like you have some small islands ahead and that you’re actually much closer to home than I was expecting when I look at your total journey. Looks like you’re approaching some islands of png to navigate through on your leg towards Cairns…I will check your passage plan, but good luck and stay alert!

  3. Rory,
    Great to hear the Dolphins came to greet you in the Southern Hemisphere. These are such intelligent, playful, happy and fun creatures to have around. Oh… to have been born with such a permanent smile, and a joyous disposition, let alone the ability to swim at great speed, dive, fly, surf, spin and squeak!

    I would be up for reincarnating as a Dolphin, and spending my life in the Deep Blue, receiving smiles, shouts of joy and tears of pleasure from unsuspecting Mariners. 😊

    Whether Bottlenose, Porpoise (often in the Clyde), the Pink Dolphins of the Amazon, Spinners, Striped, Humpback or whatever variety, they cause Sailors to abandon their duties, to observe and follow them on the Bow – Causing great excitement, and leaving a Yacht with happy, grounded, comforted and blessed crew.

    The reward… or recognition perhaps? by Dolphins for these strange Mariners who take on the challenges of their natural environment?

    …It seems like your Russian Aristocrat perhaps endured and experienced a pre-cursor to “Lockdown”?

    As a result of Lockdown, Social Media, Mainstream News, and Jo Public are all detailing how so much more aware people are, of their local habitat and the inter-dependencies of our environment.

    There has been a surge in cycling, (and Re-cycling or Up-cycling), walking, jogging, gardening and fruit and vegetable growing. We are all becoming Fitter and Green Fingered! Planes in the sky area an unusual occurrence, and other forms of transport are less frequent and less noisy.

    There is also a greater sense of Community and appreciation for the NHS (Healthcare), and for all the essential support services, who have kept us going through this uncertain period.

    The big question is – Will the world as we knew it, change for the better in the long term, or will we revert to the old norm?…. Perhaps the ending of the book will give us some insight? Or the Dolphins …if we can learn their language, and benefit from their wisdom?

    In the meantime, take some rest, enjoy the respite of the Doldrums when they appear, and prepare yourself and Ayohka for the next chapter of your journey.

    Fair Winds
    Foggy Scotland

  4. Yes that book is a remarkable and beautifully observed piece of writing. “I suppose a room [boat] is the summation of all that has happened inside it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More
articles

Rory Hunter
Sailor

Bio

Entrepreneur. Chief Executive Officer, Song Saa Collective. Pioneers of sustainable development in South-East Asia. The collective includes Song Saa Resorts and Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago. 2006, co-established the Koh Ouen Marine Reserve, Cambodia’s first-ever marine protected area. The reserve has since expanded to 400 square kilometres and has gained the support of Monaco’s Prince Albert II. 2013, founded the Song Saa Foundation, an independent NGO dedicated to preserving Koh Rong’s underwater sanctuaries, providing alternative means of livelihood for its residents and bringing much-needed healthcare and education to the region. Speaker at international conferences, including the G20 Summit in Brisbane in 2014. World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organisation. Former advertising executive and worked for multinational firms including Saatchi and Saatchi. Graduate, Harvard Business School; studied sustainability and resilience, Stanford University: Global Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; BEcon, Sydney University. Completed the Coast to Coast in 2015, one of the world’s toughest endurance races, set in New Zealand, in 17 hours; offshore sailor, downhill skier, long-distance runner and proud dad of two boys.