The next morning I was on the waterfront suited up for snorkeling after breakfast. From the western side of the wedding gazebo breakwater it looked okay. The wind was blowing at around 25 to 30 kilometres and there was a higher surf. The current was also faster. There might be a correlation between wind, obviously waves, and possibly currents.
On the eastern side of the breakwater where I planned to splash down again and again there were three men who were trying to rescue a green wooden sailing dinghy that had run aground on the reef. If the men were roughly 1.8 meters tall then the waves breaking on the far side of the reef were, adjusted for distance, maybe 4 or 5 meters. The professional beach Mons hired by the resort were yelling at them so excited that they were using the dialect of English that they use amongst themselves which we cannot understand.
The men were taking a risk on an object that was obviously damaged and so old that repair would probably be impossible - risking their life and limb on the jagged reef rock hard coral.
After lunch we took a walk. I wanted to show Mary the place where I had body surfed my way to the inner reef through the channel.
It was about the same surf wind and current as the first day I explored the reef. I know I was almost as fool hardy and ignorant as the men standing on the reef. I was, two days later, still giddy from my adventure. There is something inherent in Tom Thomson's overturned death canoe that in the worldwide culture of indoor, garret studio artists puts the hockey bravado into the phase "Crazy Canucks" and landscape painting in plain air all year round.
Real life dramatic adventure has an element of hardy foolishness. I am a good strong swimmer but, I didn't know the nature of that particular reef. I have a general knowledge and a foolish spirit. There is one of two ways of learning; learn from an expert or dive into it. The local reef had no experts, the experts were organizing tours on a boat, with a meal, and drinks. The resort reef tour I explored did not carry with it a high profit margin and for conservational reasons (perhaps) was probably not supported. Shallow reefs are particularly delicate. I can only speculate because the resort, like all other institutions, has an order that is not clearly understood by the staff and the guests. Approach to an expert at that level of bureaucracy requires time, status, introduction, and an effort.
To Have and to Have Not.
I always, since childhood, wanted to be a professional beach Mon. I didn't know what grown up professions entailed. I had a knack for beach bumming and a longing to jump ship but, I had obligations and another imaginary profession. I didn't have the inspiration to present a proposal to popularise the resort reef like Jack Rabbit, NFB had promoted skiing. I was on my usual vacation sketching trip with Mary at base camp with a return ticket to the Land of Ice and Snow.
As a pastime on our balcony we watched freighters and cruise ships. The cruise ships steamed (actually with internal combustion generated electrically powered screws) steamed by at a fair clip. They normally cruise between 24 and 26 knots (48 km/h) and the fastest can reach speeds of 30 knots (56 km/h). reference
The bulk carrier pictured above with it's bow facing the land was actually moving from right to left in the same direction as the wind. The captain was using the wind to sail and the engines only to keep the ship broadside to the wind and underway only enough to provide steerage. Hemingway used that technique too.
Distance to the horizon: For an observer standing on a hill or tower 100 feet(30 m) in height, the horizon is at a distance of 12.2 miles (19.6 km). Wikipedia
It was almost full moon. I asked Mary to wake me when it could be seen from our balcony. Mary stays up late. After she woke me I returned to the wedding gazebo breakwater. While I was taking this photograph something fairly large brushed up against my leg. If I hadn't been preoccupied with photography, like painting and photography in a cloud of mosquitoes and black flies (midges), I might have flinched but I was trying to be very still. I hadn't brought a tripod.
I reached down and touched soft fur. It was the black kitten that I'd been feeding under the rotunda dining balcony table.
Directly above the rotunda tower was Venus but the moon was to high in the sky to include in any landscape. I was trying to capture moonlight on surf. I could only get long exposures of soft waves like those classic waterfall photographs.