The passenger compartment in the boat, although open to the elements at the rear, was stiflingly hot and airless. We were all arranged along either side on padded benches with the hard upright walls as support and a pile of luggage on the floor in between. The roar from the three Mercury 200 outboard engines was horrendous and together they raised an impressive ‘rooster tail’ of wake almost as high as the boat itself. The only saving grace on this infernal journey was that the sea was smooth apart from a very long-interval swell which came at us exactly side on and thus did not cause any stomach unsettling motion. Continue reading
Watching the lightning bugs flicker outside the window I realised that after 8-months on the road we had only 8-nights left before we would board a plane and head for England and home. Except this time it is different because our ‘home’ is no longer ours to return to, it is rented and will remain so almost indefinitely.
It was Saturday evening and the last place I had expected to find myself was in a cell in the main police station in downtown Papeete, capital city on Tahiti in French Polynesia.
I like to spend time on the edges of oceans. There is something about this marginal coastal territory, this meeting point of two totally different environments, that fascinates me. To walk from solid ground into the water and then to float, swim and dive is a form of flying, a feeling of weightlessness and fluidity, a near liberation from the pull of gravity. It is also a departure from all that we know and are accustomed to and for some this is alien and fearful.
It rained all night. Every time I awoke it was to a relentless drumming on the tin roof and the occasional chirp from one of the six geckos stuck on the underside of the foil insulation.
Well, I wanted to write something that was hot off the press and of the moment and the opportunity has finally arrived! Continue reading