“Some years ago, never mind how long precisely, having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.” -Herman Melville
With that quote in mind and the infinite view of the ocean at hand, we aboard the Topaz – a beautifully maintained catamaran by the Sail Lanka Charter. We reached the Koneswaram beach in Trincomalee at around 7 am on a cool July morning. A life boat came to the shore to take us to our catamaran. A very welcoming area manager was already present that morning to make sure we reached the catamaran all okay.
Once we were on the catamaran, we climbed up the deck and looked around the sailboat. This ocean was going to be our home for the day. We set sail and started cruising towards the Indian Ocean. With a mix of salt, water and cool breeze for company, it was the perfect day to sail.
So, there I was with my tiny bum on this tiny deck hearing the wind whisper secrets to my hair. It was like I had stopped in time. The sail was slow and easy and blues were almost meditative.
The views were beyond breath-taking. The clouds seemed playful that day. They changed colour shape and form with every fleeting moment.
We were called for breakfast. It was the most colourful spread I had seen in a while. There were tropical fruits of all colours possible, eggs, sausages and coffee for breakfast. While I was still sipping the coffee that was rather hot, I heard someone shout, “Look, dolphins!”
Successfully managing to not let myself or my plate slip, I ran to the deck. All around the only thing that I could see was endless blue. Blue of the ocean, blue of the sky and blue of the dolphins. At first they looked like tiny galloping waves, and then they became clearer. At first, they came in pairs. Then they came in trios. And finally, they came in schools. At once, I could see at least twenty!
The best part was that I saw them in their natural habitat and not in an amusement park doing some silly tricks with an over enthusiastic crowd. Well, I was over enthusiastic for sure but this was something else. A complete sense of admiration had overtaken me as I continued to marvel at them. They swam all around, did a few jumps and sailed along with us. They would surface from any side of the sailboat almost as if escorting us to our destination.
A couple of hours later, we anchored next to rocky coast. Here we could do some sports like snorkeling, diving and stand up and paddle while the chef cooked us some really yummy lunch. We took our snorkeling gear and jumped into the water. After snorkeling for about fifteen minutes, I came across a huge shoal of shiny grey fish and they spiralled towards the end of where my eyes could see. They were as small as baby tomatoes. It was funny as how still they were considering the water current. And I realised, that when you are in water, you have no other choice but to go with the flow. So I had swim through them. I had to break the picture perfect formation they had created.
Back on the Sail Lanka Charter, our lunch was ready. The chef had whipped up a delicious looking grilled fish steak with some veggies. Later, we were also served caramel custard which was as tasty as the main course.
Looking back, it was the most extraordinary time I had in this country. The ocean waters stirred my heart, let my soul float under the blue sky. Which makes me say that I am a Thalassophile (n) : a lover of the sea.