Hakan Öge
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Golfo de Corcovado, Isla de Chiloé (Puerto Quellon)

We turned back, not able to advance.

For the third time, we turn back. We found the most ridiculous anchorage ever, in the mouth of a river its current and the waves from the channel conflicted and created havoc. We have fought and after a while secured ourselves in the chaos. We ate a little and looked upon our precarious and uninviting situation.

We slept holding on to each other during the afternoon. Then sat holding on to each other and talked, the night set, so did the wind. How and when would we turn the flow and get back where we belong? Crrrrrrrrrrr crrrrrrrrr the sound of the anchor chain on the riverbed. Then the sound of something touching the hull. We get out, I take the torch, and don't believe what I see. We are, there is no longer any doubt, being tested. Our resistance, our endurance on trial. In balance on the chain a huge tree is being pushed by the river current. A 20 or 30 meter trunk pushing on Mardek.

I can't believe in coincidence, so what is this? Is this the edge? Is it now we must jump? Is it our passage to salvation? Must we chose a side, port or starboard, and only one will bring us back to harmony? And how do we know which to choose? The tree is in perfect balance on our chain, we get no answer from the laws of physics. By ropes tied around the monster pulled by the dinghy, by jumps on the chain and more rope pulling, after more than one hour the tree slides along portside and disappears in the night.

Was this the edge? Did we chose the right side and did the side even matter? I'm in Mardek, I don't feel relieved, I fall in deeper doubts, I feel exhaustion fill me and see no window for rest. Desperate, yes desperate I lie in bed, eyes wide open I stare in the night.

It is time to wake up, Hakan hugs me to consciousness, the heaviness of last nights feelings are still perceptible. I drink tea and eat cookies, I look outside and everything is calm, there are no huge waves, not even in the channel, there are birds in the trees and ducks in the water.

We have not moved geographically but this is another world. We take Mardek to the channel, smooth and beautiful the water wrinkles around the hull. The light is extremely soft, the contour of the mountains paints shapes of peace for my eyes. I see beauty and I don't look where I'm going, I'm just going and absorbing the light, the shades of grey, the rainbow on the other side. Mardek finds her way trough the floating algae. We?re sailing the same waters than yesterday but everything has changed. We are not being battered, we don't get stuck in the algae, things flow. And this is not just a question of weather. Could it be that the tree really was the passage and that we have jumped to the other side?

I feel peace inside... could it be we have rebalanced and took hold of our new and still humble position in the universe? Oh, let it be so.

17/03/2006

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