The Sign of the Awen

Image: Sunlight beaming down on our new home.

Finally the northwest gales had caught up to us. We had deeked into the Broughten Archipelago, avoiding the worst of the gale winds, but now we were trapped. Just around the point from where we were anchored was Port Neville. Between us and our final destination were a few scant miles of water, but Johnstone Strait was in a distinct snit, and we could have had a million miles to go for all the difference it was making.

We decided to make a sneak attack on Johnstone Strait. Awake at 4:00 am, we ghosted out of our anchorage in the pre-dawn light. All was calm, silvery-grey, and mirror smooth. But would it be calm once we rounded the point and entered Johnstone Strait? That was indeed the question.

As we stuck our noses out in the Strait, it didn’t look too bad. There was a little sea, but nothing we couldn’t handle … yet. We made the decision – run for Port Neville. We were tired of waiting. We wanted to see our new home.

It didn’t take long for a little sea to become a little more sea, and then a little more sea than we wanted. Soon we were bouncing up and down again, with the Awen tugging at her tow line. Tension started to pervade the peaceful morning. We sweated … but the distance was short. Up ahead, we could see Milly Island, which is at the mouth of Port Neville inlet. Surfing along, we rounded the island and slid into the inlet, breathing a sigh of relief as the wind and waves let up.

The early morning sky was a mix of dark, rapidly scudding clouds and small patches of blue sky. It was hard to tell what the weather promised … rain or sunshine, dark or bright? Although it was much calmer in the inlet than on Johnstone Strait, we still had a bit of a lumpy sea and a fair bit of tide to contend with. However, we were on the homestretch now! As we made our way down the inlet, the dark clouds opened up and beams of sunlight streamed down ahead of us. Three rays of light, beams of inspiration, lit the way ahead of us, illuminating the place where we knew our new home was awaiting us. In Welsh mythology, the three beams of light from above are referred to as the “Awen” or the source of inspiration, wisdom, and creativity. Indeed, this was the name that we had given our sailboat. In spite of the strong wind and rapidly moving clouds, the beams of light remained over our new home until we entered the narrows just before the property can be seen. Coincidence? I guess it depends on your point of view.