Wednesday, February 19, 2014

From Another World

Today I was trying to tiptoe outside to catch a picture of the ducks on the lake. They were back! But by the time I got dressed, then ran outside with my camera, the ducks were gone. I was sad.

The last time I saw them, about a month ago they had just appeared on the lake. There is even a sign by the lake "Duck Feeding Area". I thought, well I will get dressed, go outside and photograph them. While I was dressing, some park employee came along with his little truck, pulled over and started weedwacking around the lake. Incredible.

Bye bye ducks! That was weeks ago. Every morning I look for the ducks and every morning the lake is empty.

I was a tad angry at that deranged landscaper. Was the park employee a duck hater? The lake didn't even have much in weeds around it to start with. Plenty of areas of the park had big tall weeds he could have whacked away at. But no, he chose the very lake the ducks had just arrived upon.

So when I saw the ducks again today, I hurriedly finished dressing,  put on my shoes, grabbed the camera, tethered the dog, then ran outside to snap their photo.

But they were gone. Not a duck to be found.

I took this photo anyhow, then walked to the lake, saw no ducks, then walked back to make some coffee. Later I downloaded the pics from the camera.

Apparently I caught something else in the shot. Look on the left side of the photo. What is that? An angel? A fairy? A spirit? A ghost? A mermaid? A gremlin?

I have no idea.

But here it is enlarged.

Even stranger, while doing research, I stumbled across this book:


It made me start thinking about all the times I've encountered angels or spirits or ghosts or perhaps somebody from another world. The most astonishing encounter was one day when I did something foolish.

I lived aboard my sailboat which was anchored off Cruz Bay, St John in the Virgin Islands. After weeks of working nonstop on charter yachts, I had finally come home to my little boat for a few days of much needed rest. The next morning I eagerly hopped into my dinghy to take a ride around the point to the beach. The sun was barely up. I had not paid attention to the weather or sea conditions. A very foolish thing to do. The protected harbor I was anchored in was calm.

In those days, Solomon Beach was reachable only by dinghy or an hour long hike through the brush. (At that time the beach was also infamous for being clothing optional since it was difficult to reach.) 

The engine on my dinghy was a tiny one horse affair. It basically pushed one through the water at the speed of a row boat without having to do the rowing. Furthermore, it was an old Avon dinghy that was an inflatable but had a soft robbery bottom. You surely could not stand up in the boat and you had to be very delicate about getting in and out of the dinghy, so that you didn't topple out of it into the drink (the ocean).

I had bought the dinghy from my doctor, who also lived aboard his sailboat in the harbor. He had it packed away for years as a spare, while they cruised around the globe, but now that he and his wife were setting up a practice ashore, he no longer needed it. What he needed was extra cash to help set up his office. (They don't even make dinghies like this anymore.) There was a hard piece of wood with an angled bracket that attached to the back of the little inflatable boat, so you could hang a small engine on it.

As I approached the beach, I realized my folly, a large sea swell was rolling in so rapidly that the waves were huge and crashing on the beach with the sound of thunder. Not at all serene like so many days before when I had come to the beach to rest my weary body from the toils of crewing on charter yachts.

Realizing my mistake, I turned the motor to go back to the safety of the harbor around the point, which was protected from the swells due to the direction they were flowing.

The little engine was no match for the swift current. Suddenly I was being flung ashore in this flexible rubber dinghy, my engine swamped by the waves and it cut off! I was literally going to be shipwrecked right then and there. 

I was trying to frantically use a paddle to get back out to sea, as yet another wave swamped the dinghy which was rapidly filling with water, but due to its unsinkable inflatable design, I was still floating above the water, but I was sitting in water at the same time. You could say I was now in a bit of a panic. Between waves, I yanked with all my might on the little engine cord, willing it to purr back to life, then I had to grab the paddle to try to paddle and steer again, because now the waves were flinging me towards the big rocks at one end of the beach.

It looked like disaster and I debated what to do next. I wanted to save myself, save the dinghy, save the engine, but any second we were all going to be smashed into the pile of rocks. 

Right before my very eyes, a young man appeared. He didn't walk, he didn't swim, he just suddenly appeared on the beach running towards me into the water. He shoved me and my dinghy a hundred feet or so out to the safety of deeper calmer water, then he somehow reached over, yanked on the starter cord and the engine roared to life. The same engine that had cut off when it was overcome with sea water. The entire time, he appeared to be only waist deep in the water.

I had no choice but to head out to sea, yelling "You saved my life! Thank you!" The man scurried back ashore, as if he didn't hear a word I said.  I saw him start to walk out of the water across the beach, he had taken maybe three steps on shore when POOF. He just vanished from man to mist. 

I was in the dinghy, bailing out the water, making a slow retreat while my tiny engine noisily puttered along. I had plenty of time to study every inch of that beach. But it was empty. Not a soul there. 

I had been to that beach many times. It suddenly occurred to me that the waters I was in were way too deep for him to have run out into while remaining only waist deep the entire time unless he was over twelve feet tall, which he appeared to be maybe six feet tall when I first saw him appear on the beach to come to my rescue.

He was super skinny, I could see every bone in his body. His skin was weathered and leathery. Wrapped around his hips was a small piece of very tattered cloth that might have been white at some point but now appeared rather discolored and torn with a knot holding it up on one side. It basically covered just his privates and not much else. The hair on his head was wild and sort of curly, sticking out in all directions with some of it falling well below his shoulders in tangled dreads, it was gray, brown and white. While his emaciated body and hair looked old, his face appeared to be very young. Like a 90 year old man with a 20 year old face.

I've thought about that man a million times over the years, wondering who he was, where he came from and where he went.

Whenever I was at the beach, I would ask people there about the man. The beach attracted mostly a regular crowd of locals, tourists rarely ever went there due to the difficulty in reaching it at the time. I asked all over town, Cruz Bay being a very small place in those days where everyone knew most everyone else. Folks laughed at me and my inquiries, no one fessed up to knowing anybody that fit such a bizarre description. 


  1. Could he have been one of the merpeople? But then they can't exactly walk, can they?

  2. For years I went to that beach at all different hours between sunrise and sunset, trying to find that silent man with the wild hair and bony body. There is more to the story, but I tried to keep it somewhat concise, but I never found anyone that even remotely resembled him. I still ponder about this to this day.


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