AN IRRESISTIBLE PIECE OF DRIFTWOOD
10 August 2011 | , Western Arafura Sea and another windless night to come
Last night, after struggling to catch every last little breath of wind, I finally gave up, turned the autopilot off and resigned myself to what has now become a routine - drifting aimlessly.
However, after putting my head on the pillow, I remembered that I had not done my final walk of the boat. With flashlight in hand, and no sooner had I exited the cockpit that the beam caught something swimming down the side of the boat. Focusing the light, I was horrified to see none other than a white water snake! and this fully 140 miles from land. It circled the boat, casually, despite my efforts to shoo it away. And then I noticed, in addition, two swimming crabs doing the same thing. How was this possible so far from land? And, more importantly, what else and how many was circling the stationery boat?
Well, that was enough to awaken my dormant, african-instilled fear of snakes. Rushing down to the engines, I fired them up and was away in a flash - well sort of, 3 miles per hour kinda flash. And as I slithered into the darkness, I came to the inescapable conclusion that to them, the snake(s) and the crabs, I was a haven in this endless watery space, I was none other than an irresistible piece of driftwood.