I will always remember the first time that I saw the Southern Cross.
Amandla and crew were on day four of an eight-day passage from Las Perlas, Panama to Isla Isabela Galapagos. We were 3 degrees north of the equator. I was standing the 0300 hours – 0600 hours watch. The Captain was asleep below. There was nothing around but the rolling sea and the starlit sky. The Milky Way shown more clearly than I had ever seen it before, like prints on wallpaper that I could reach out to and touch.
And then I saw it, the Southern Cross, shining brightly off the starboard side of the boat.
I thought of the Crosby Stills & Nash song and I thought of how often during my life I had dreamed of seeing this constellation. And now, here it was. Here I was. My eyes filled with tears. What a moment………
It wasn’t until after we had arrived and anchored off Puerto Villamil that the Captain pointed out the real Southern Cross to me. Apparently, I had been admiring the constellation Volans for several days rather than Crux, the Southern Cross.
When I first started corresponding with the Captain in July of 2010, he wrote ‘I know what I am not: I am not your average couch potato or your average MBA & BMW. But I can show you the Southern Cross and I can be there for you, if you can be there for me in times of need….
…. and he did. And he was, well sort of, eventually, after some time, but that is for another story
Post photographs courtesy of Christopher J Picking © www.starrynightphotos.com