Tuesday 30 April 2013


I fell sound asleep with the gentle swaying of my boat.

All I remember was a crashing sound as the boat hit something, banging my head against the mast. Then nothing until I heard the waves splashing against the hull as I woke. I had come aground on an island, with the water washing over me, half in and half out of the water, like my boat. I felt hot, my head hurt, as I tried to get up from the warm salty sea. The sun was shining brightly overhead.

Remembering the warnings from the man who had sold me the boat, him giving me charts to navigate this archipelago, telling me there were many atolls and to keep the charts for a secure guide. This was my first time alone on the boat as I had always had people with me, I was apprehensive and not that sure of myself.

Looking around all I could see was glistening blue sea, white sand and lush green trees for miles, no landmarks and the only sound was my boat trying to move out into the surf without me at the helm. I pulled hard at the ropes and finally got the boat partly up on the sand. Grabbing my anchor I secured it to a large rock, hoping it would dig in with the tide. Small crabs scurried away as I sat down to catch my breath. I was amazed at all the different types of shells lying beside me in the sand. I listened to a tiny conch. Shell collectors would love this place.

I retrieved some dry clothes, food and water from the cabin, and headed up under the trees to find some shade from the scorching sun. I could see and hear birds flitting from tree to tree singing and squawking to each other. Noisy gulls hunted between the waves. Looking up I could see papaya, mangoes and coconuts hanging heavily on the branches. It seemed like hundreds of monkeys swinging from trees, jabbering away with each other, keeping me at a distance. Were they going to be my only company?  Would they share their fruit with me? Doubt nagged at me.

I threw a shirt down, lying back on the sand, warmed but out of the sun. Gazing out to azure waters I pondered, about this paradise I had found.  This had not been my destination. When I had started out, my idea had been to survive without the help of friends and I wanted to prove to myself that I could be strong alone on the boat for my holidays and look for inner strength within me. This was to be my therapy. I wanted to start being a leader not a follower.  Perhaps if only to lead myself. I drifted into the lull of the waves.

When I woke up the sun was setting, a red sky still bright in the distance. While I dozed, the monkeys had taken my food. Teaching me a good lesson, never leave food unattended. Those scavengers had a good meal that I was looking forward to enjoying later.
Chills sent shivers through my body and I knew I had to get some things from the boat for the night ahead.  I retrieved blankets, a snack, looking for a place to tuck in, starting a fire with some twigs and driftwood I had gathered, it would keep me warm and cosy for the looming night ahead. I sat and enjoyed the quiet, as everyone here seemed to retire early. This was becoming an adventure, a challenge, and excitement for me.
I felt calm, tranquil and relaxed looking up at the sparkling stars, so clear, without any illuminations, a rising half moon began lighting up the water. The waves seemed to dance before my eyes. Tomorrow would be a day of gathering wood and getting fruit from the trees. I would leave the provisions in the boat so they would be safe from the pilferers.

I would search the island to see what the rest of this beautiful place had to offer. Were there any other inhabitants or animals on the other side?  My elation and anticipation grew. A bit of trepidation was also in the back of my mind. My thoughts starting to organize. Could I survive here on my own if nobody came past? I certainly could get used to these glorious surroundings.The sounds of the ocean, swishing against the shores, gently lulling me into a deep sound sleep.

The squawking of birds woke me before dawn. It was going to be a great day to explore the ambiance that lay at my feet. I ate some fruit after listening to the monkeys show that they did not like me not sharing my breakfast with them. Taking my bottled water and heading off to comb the area, I came across a long pole that would be perfect for a walking stick. I had not gone far when two good size lizards ran across my path, wandering farther, I came upon a profusion of different flowers blooming, hibiscus, orchids and the most beautiful Birds of Paradise, all close as I wandered. The fragrance followed me. Circling the island I never came across anything, except a few scurrying mice looking for food.
I settled into a routine getting wood, picking some fruit and having a swim to refresh my soul, checking to make sure my boat had not moved. I sat and contemplated my life and started to wonder how long I could survive here if nobody came past this tiny atoll in a vast sea. This was a much happier place than I had left behind. Listening to the birds looking out at the ocean, I felt extremely content as I dozed off and on through the afternoon.

Waking, I looked out to see a ship on the horizon.

Just not sure I wanted to be rescued this soon.


1 comment:

  1. That was exquisite! I loved every word! I waited for an abrupt turn of events and much to my relief it was just as I hoped...a beautifully descriptive dream! Bravo!