There are oceans of notions to keep a digital nomad on the road.
It’s the tantalising thought of another awe inspiring landscape that is just around the next bend.
It’s the quivering anticipation of a surprising new adventure, often dreamed of. It’s the hunger to learn and discover and experience the world, first hand, not through other people’s memories.
It’s the chance to meet different people who challenge your beliefs and impress you with their innovations and adaptations to a life of travel.
There are few moments in life when the natural beauty around is so astounding it causes the observer to sob a breath of joy. Those are the moments that keep a nomad roaming.
Now is one of those moments for me.
Middle Percy Island and The migration of the Butterflies and Memories.
A six dimensional memory is unfolding about me at dawn at White’s Bay on the southern face of Middle Percy. The air is clear and crisp and our vessel is glistening with the heavy dew from a starry, windless night. 60 nautical miles off the mainland with not another soul in sight.
I’m on the back deck trying to absorb it all at once. The vast glassy blue ocean rolls a deep ground swell gently under our hulls. The faded purple lumps of odd shaped rocks splatter the distant horizon sweeping 240 degrees around us. They are the Northumberland Island Group, Queensland, Australia.
We picked up the Mackay local AM radio station with The Little River Band swinging their 80s classic “Reminiscing”.
I start to sing lustily along with my old mate Glenn Shorrock, but I choke on the lyrics. The whole embrace of this morning event overwhelms me and catches my voice in a tangle of sad and squeaky delight. The melancholy lyrics didn’t clenched off my vocals.
What stole my emotion was the delicate wave of a million and more butterflies, drifting through my space. Blue and chocolate/black, wings laced with the stamp of their species. From off the sea they hurtle in slow motion, across my face, around my head and freely beyond.
They flitter in the rigging and under the tramps, dancing around the cockpit and over and under the awning.
A million or more butterflies on a breeze from the south east. And then came more.
And still more came in clouds of black and brown and turquoise blue. So casually they whim and tumble on their mystifying, death defying flight across the Coral Sea.
Island hopping, they home in on the meeting, mating place of gentle Blue Tigers. They follow an invisible path in a swathe, miles wide, on a course at 345 degrees.
As noon rolls upward and we drag the net onshore for bait fish, the butterflies flitter above. We swim and fish and rest in the shade, butterflies fanning. A light wind shifts undecidedly from corner to corner and back around. The butterflies keep coming.
As day settles down to evening again, three fat freckled dolphins visit alongside, curious and shy. A lone sea eagle keeps watch from a tall native pine clinging to the stoneface cliff. It points seaward into the butterflies “Turtle”… bob, “turtle”… bob.
They come in droves, in flocks, in swarms, unperturbed by the warm offshore headwind. No predators hunt them on the wing. Thousands of butterflies, millions of butterflies. A sea of butterflies.
From our anchorage, the sweet and tangy perfume of fermenting blossoms mingle with the salt and early dewfall. Up in a grotto of tropical vines the shaded forest is silent with a million or more butterflies intent on ensuring their future. Deep black green of the mating hallows is lit in spots again and again by flashes of blue, slow fanning wings.
Where the gully rises gently up the lightly wooded hill the leaf litter is soft and deep. The forest floor is bejewelled with a million or more spent bodies of the blue and satisfied tiger.
By sundowning, the white horizon is backlit by a pink evening sky and the silver sliver of a new moon. We prepare our fire on the high tide line, still more butterflies approach, ignore and pass us by.
The daily miracle of nature is what keeps a nomad from settling down. There are few moments in life filled with such astounding beauty , the observer sobs a breath of joy.
Now is one.
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Have you been moved by a natural beauty like Middle Percy or Whites Bay or swarming butterflies? Please share your story below.
Go well from Janelle,
Founder of The Cashed Up Nomad.com Where You Can Earn Our Freedom Online