Location: Lizard Island
I’ve changed my mind. At one point, I thought my greatest tangible fear would involve drowning, getting lost scuba diving, getting hypothermia, or getting attacked by some underwater monster. Now my eyes are opened to a new possibility: That I will stay an invalid forever aboard Argo. Yes, an invalid stuck in my bunk. You see, I’ve come down with a bit of the sniffle. Amidst my tiredness, however, flows at least one coherent idea. I’ll try to express this new perspective I have about the 90-day passage. Let me set the scene. Actually, you can probably look at one of the photos, but in case they are lost in the digital realm somewhere, I will divulge the basics. We are currently anchored off Lizard Island, home to a research center for marine biology, an airstrip, a 5-star resort, and house of Captain Cook’s famous lookout point.
Two nights ago, sitting at my night anchor watch with Xander the Great, I noticed I had a sore throat. Arrhh, I thought, noticing the sailor in me, tis nothing but a dry throat from all the salty air, and with the moon rising, I clambered back down to my bunk. Then yesterday, I arose and, feeling slightly under the weather, decided to trek to the Research Center with the rest of the crew (see 9/23/08 blog). Along the way, I noticed my condition begin to worsen. However, I pushed onward up the sandy trail, explaining to Chris how I previously learned to be aware of over-exerting myself. If there was ever a walking contradiction and hypocrite, I was it then. By the time the journey was complete, I was not feeling well. I made it back to Argo and, fortunately, had Captain Simon to make sure I got my needed rest. And rest I did. I awoke later in the evening and felt well enough to partake in Mexican Night, with all the beans, rice, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, and tortillas anybody could crave. It felt great. Now I am on the road to recovery, and I realized something somewhere between a bite of beans and rice. And it is not only that my fear of staying sick forever has subsided. As long as you have people like the crewmates and sailors aboard Argo to care for you and help you when you are down, nothing is truly impossible. As long as you can sleep, eat, and remain somewhat mobile, you are lucky. Realizing how much I had relied on the people around me when most ill, I felt a surge of gratitude and friendship. Despite their own exhaustion, each shipmate helped by covering my watch, telling me to sleep, taking my temperature, keeping track of my drying clothes on deck, and, well, generally keeping everything shipshape. So there you have it. My few coherent thoughts jumbled in a long tale of a sick sailor. Who knows if it makes any sense. Perhaps time will tell.