When you find yourself alone in Tasmania, with melancholia and homesickness beginning to creep around your edges, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and swap islands.
Although I was halfway around the world, I’d been invited by my dear friend Claire to join her and a few friends at God’s Pocket - a cold water diving resort near Vancouver Island operated by her relatives. She was taking care of the place during the off-season, and wanted to share its serenity and beauty.
I had planned to continue travelling in Australia (Dive with whale sharks? Ride the transcontinental Indian Pacific line? What about New Zealand? I was so close to New Zealand!). I was paralyzed by choice for some time, sitting in a park in Hobart, ignorant that the Trees had Eyes behind me.
In the end, I flew back for the gathering, and spent an idyllic couple of weeks frolicking, dancing, exploring, cooking, eating, sleeping and skinny dipping every morning in the freezing cold sea – the plunge making me forget everything I know for a clean instant. Those same piercing waters were lit up nightly with phosphorescence, and at the time it occurred to me that the ocean held a mirror to the starry sky, just as it turns blue on a clear day.
Here, a fellow God’s Pocketeer is being decorated by his fiancée, one of many portraits from that adventure. There’s plenty more where this came from, since (as you may know) face-painting is contagious, and I will be posting more as I sift through them, but this is one of my favourites.