Trincomalee, Sri Lanka 1975
The sun lowered and began its descent. Time to stop for the day and go
to dinner. Alon insisted on staying with the boat, and urged Dylan to
go with us and enjoy an evening out. Dylan agreed, if we could stop on
the way and check on the navigational charts at the ship’s agents office.
The clerk was on the phone when we stopped by. Dylan suggested he
wait and meet us at the Chinese restaurant.
He joined us a few minutes later and announced, “still no charts.”
“Unbelievable,” Mia said, “We’ve been waiting for weeks.”
“What are the charts for exactly?” I asked.
“Nautical charts of the Indian Ocean, from Trincomalee to the
Seychelles,” Dylan answered. “Maps showing water depth, buoys,
obstructions; information which ensures safe passage.”
“They sound essential,” I said.
Mia nodded in agreement and rolled her eyes.
“I’ll give them another week,” Dylan said.
A smiling waiter took our drink order.
Dylan and Charles ordered beer. Mia ordered tea.
“Wine for me, please!” I said.
Since Mia and Dylan had eaten here many times, we suggested they
order their favorite dishes.
They did and more too; wanting of course to have plenty to take back
to the boat for Alon.
“Can you sail without charts?” I asked Dylan.
“Best not to,” he answered, “but if necessary, I can navigate by the stars.”
“Celestial navigation,” Charles said. “I’m impressed.”
Dylan looked excited at the thought, and smiled.
“Your eyes sparkle like Sinbad the Sailor at the idea,” I said.
“You’ve read about him?” I asked.
“Of course. He was a gutsy dude.”
“And story teller,” I added.
“Famous for his adventures and navigational skills,” Charles said.
“He saved a ship and found a map to the hidden treasures of Alexander
the Great. And he had all those fantastic adventures without charts,”
We laughed, clinked our glasses of drinks and toasted, “L’chaim!
The food was amazing. We left fully indulged, and I wondered if our
cuisine would be as tasty in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Somehow,
I doubted it.