“Swreeee, skreeee, squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!” woke me from the deadest kind of sleep. “Where am I?” I thought for a moment…
Opening my eyes, a squinted toward the sky, a mess of flapping wings. “Swreeee, skreeee, squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I sat up, wrapping the sheet around me in the cool morning air… I’d slept in the cockpit. A frenzied flock of Black Noddy terns circled and dove all around.
The school of baitfish hiding below Swell was under full attack. From above, the hungry hoard of birds dove and hovered for a chance at breakfast, while a school of jacks, and a lone 2 ft needlefish darted at the baitball from below, sending the itsy black school fleeting in all directions and erupting the surface with a frenzy of bubbles and fin flaps. I looked around. The other 6 or 7 boats in the anchorage bobbed silently in the soft light of dawn. Swell was in on the morning chaos! FUN!?!
The terns reminded me of Bernard Moitessier–of his grand friendship with the courageous little seagoers while he made his infamous tour de monde, nearly twice around the world without stopping (read The Long Way!). Maybe this was Bernard’s way of congratulating me for my safe arrival?!?! Whatever the case, I thought the squawking and darting and leaping a fantastic alarm clock.
Looking around again, I abruptly stood, filled with joy…”Oh yeah!!! I MADE it!?!?! I’m here!!?! I survived another adventure!?!” I shouted to my morning company. They seemed more excited about baitfish, but I didn’t care…I bounced up and down on my bed, telling the birds…
“It’s a new day!? In a new place!?! I’m safe!!! Woooooooooooooo!!”
The sea and sky were alive. Smiling and shrieking when the feeding frenzy climaxed with an attack from above and below, I smiled up at Bernard in heaven, reveling in a moment he surely would have enjoyed. Nature’s drama–simple and real—life perpetuating right there on my turquoise doorstep.