Today I bade farewell to my new friends on North Island and headed out into the open ocean. It was a slightly odd occasion, and it was hard to figure out what the etiquette should be.
What should I say to people who 2 days ago had never heard of me, yet had taken me in as if I were their own kith and kin? Not only had they supported me through the nerve-wracking hours as I waited to find out if my voyage was still viable, but I had also been with them through their own drama. Their lifeline to the mainland is the carrier boat. It delivers provisions to the island, and then on the return leg takes the crayfish to Geraldton. On yesterday’s run it had run out of fuel, resulting in a heap of dead crayfish and a huge financial loss to the island’s fishermen. It had been an intense 48 hours for all of us.
So it was with very mixed feelings that I departed this last outpost of humanity and embarked on the Indian Ocean, with a rather lame “Bye… see you later!”
Within a few hours the golden beaches of North Island had disappeared from sight, and at last I finally felt the freedom of the open ocean, and at the same time the confinement of my little boat. For the next 4 months or so, these 23 feet of purple-painted carbon fibre will be my home, my transport, my life support capsule and my prison cell.
Inspired by the royal wedding (I spent my last hour ashore flipping through gossip mags fresh off the carrier boat, featuring gushy descriptions of the recent nuptials)…. for better for worse, for rougher and calmer, in sickness and in health, it’s you and me, Sedna.
A final thank you to my new friends on North Island, particularly Cath and Mike Davidson. Cath packed me off today with 3 rounds of sandwiches and an apple. It felt a bit like I was being sent off to school rather than out across 4,000 miles of ocean.
Thanks to Sam, Ella and Nell for this limerick:
Little oarsman set off from Canaries
Crossed Atlantic then Pacific, her course varies,
Forwards, back, sideways and yaw
We ask what is she doing this for?
She must be away with the fairies!
There was also a BRILLIANT one from Joan in Atlanta, but I can’t find it right now. But just wanted you to know, Joan, that I loved it!
I was sorry to hear that Richard of DFW had been taken ill. Richard, I hope you’re soon recovered. Glad you’re still well enough to post comments!
KevinUSA – I laughed out loud at your comments on “The Cruel Tea” and “One Flew Over The Crow’s Nest” – thanks for the light relief!
Gracecloud1954 – thanks for your lovely message. I promise I’ll be careful!
UncaDoug – thanks for continuing to spread the word. WOM is the most powerful powerful tool known to humankind – even more than Facebook!
Will, Jacob, Stan, and everybody else who has posted comments. Thanks so much for your support.
Grateful to Beverly (Jonathan) Bignell, Bruce Gervais, Patrick Harney and Diane Freeman for today’s miles.