It is our second day at sea on our journey from Sydney to Cleveland, a community southeast of Brisbane. As we sail up the east coast of Australia, we can see only hints of what lies beyond. Overlapping mountain ranges and sand dunes signal the mere edge of a continent more vast than we can imagine. Today we were blessed by a large group of bottlenose dolphins that surfed the waves with us for close to two hours. They were playful and curious, leaping from the ocean and bringing us much laughter and happiness! Some of our crew sat watching close to the manu near the bow of the canoe. The dolphins, just an arm’s reach away, were visibly twisting their bodies to roll up and look at us with their faces forever frozen in a smile. Dolphins are dear to Aboriginal people as they were one of the first animals with whom they could talk “head to head” or telepathically.
The sun graced us all day and we enjoyed fresh watermelon and taro kindly provided by the generous community of Sydney. They gave us beautiful gifts and bountiful food, and also, simply their mana. On our community sails and in prayer before departure, Captain Bruce reminded everyone just how much their presence adds to the mana of the canoe. Just a kind word is a blessing he said, and we are so grateful for the people of Sydney, the mana of whom travels with us, and forever in the canoe. By late afternoon, we steered further off the coast to avoid shallow shoals. As the sun descended, the winds died down significantly and we picked up tow to continue on our way towards Brisbane. We continue to strengthen as a crew, always improving our communication, moving towards the seamless ease of migratory birds, who seem to move in unison and work together in an unspoken way.
Night descends and as the clouds part we are reminded that Australia is a land of sparse development, reflected in the vast sea of stars each night.