Photos from India

Friday, September 28, 2007

Prehistoric Morning

After a night of constant rain and the duty of tending to the rain catcher in order to fill our tanks on board, I awoke to a soft warm and rosy colored light pouring into my cabin. Standing up, I could see out the back of the boat that the sky all around was glowing as if the sun had become a blanket of gold and covered the entire sky. Emerging from the bottom of the boat, the day welcomed me with a glorious sunrise that could take anyone’s breath away. Having not seen Bill in his bed, I walked outside on deck to find him at the bow, staring up in the opposite direction of the sunset to a complete rainbow overhead. What an incredible way to start the day!
After a few sunrise photos, I put away my camera and pulled up a cushion on deck while Bill went down below to get some water boiling for a few cups of coffee. I took a deck cushion out and propped it up on my hatch and sat back to enjoy another beautiful start to day. While lying there, I began to wonder about the bats I had seen the night before. At sunset, they gradually emerged from the nearby trees until the sky in all directions was covered in a swarm of what must have been more than a thousand giant fruit bats. I figured they would return around sunrise, I just wasn’t sure exactly when. Maybe it was before the sun actually rose and I had already missed them. Maybe they came a bit later, as the day began to warm up. While pondering these questions, wondering if these enormous bats with wingspans greater than the furthest reaches of my fingers had already returned to their trees, one by one the first few began to appear. At first I wondered if these were stragglers coming in a bit late, but within a few minutes, the sky, as the night before, was again filled with thousands of bats, each flapping their wings and swooping down around the boat before departing for the safety of the treetops. To be anchored in a small bay without other people around and to have seen this entire colony of bats depart at sunset the night before and now return at sunrise was miraculous. Bill and I just sat there sipping coffee and watched them circle the bay until one by one they disappeared into the trees.
An hour or so later with Monica and Michal still sleeping, Bill and I were watching the shoreline for any sign of crocodiles. After unsuccessfully locating any, our morning coffee discussion began to drift to other random things. I had just finished telling Bill of a dream I had the night before where I was in my backyard at home and it was covered in crocodiles. I was looking at them, trying to figure out how to get around them when I noticed a bunch of my carvings I acquired in the Solomons sitting on a log near one of the crocodiles. I yelled to my carvings to look out and suddenly, the giraffe (I haven’t actually purchased a giraffe carving, he was just in my dream) sprung to life and rapidly consumed the small crocodile. Having locked down on the crocodiles jaw by surprise, the giraffe easily began to swallow him until the crocodile began flailing about. At that moment I saw panic in the giraffe’s eyes, and suddenly awoke! With Bill laughing out loud at the story of my dream, I looked over his shoulder and noticed something moving across the bay. It was hard to tell if it was a crocodile or not, but a quick glance with the binoculars would reveal the true form of one of our prehistoric friends slowly making his way across the bay to the opposite shore. I can never get enough of seeing these animals in the wild. They look so different from any other animals that are alive today. When moving through the water, you can see their head just barely above the surface followed by a gap in the water where their body is followed by a long and spiny tail creating a small wake that follows them gently through the water. After such a colorful sunrise, seeing a colony of bats overhead and watching a crocodile swim past the boat would make anyone feel like they were lost in time.

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