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