|Alan worked fast on this one; he worried Chloe might get bored and leave before he got back to their camp!|
Alan woke up to a rather chilly but sunny morning, and decided to stroll out to the end of Lizard Point and get a look at Vanessa Island.
Last night it was nearly dark when He and Chloe arrived at the wide grassy promontory surrounded by rocky bluffs. They could hear the thunder of surf breaking nearby, but couldn't see much at all. Chloe had strapped on a tiny headlamp that gave enough light to help them to pitch their tents and put together some supper. They shared smoked fish with crackers and raisins for dessert. She then produced a small bottle of wine, opened it, and as a toast, she said dryly, "And here's to getting this far!" and they clinked their cups.
Her tent was zipped-up and quiet this morning, so he assumed she was sleeping in.
He could see that the light was probably the best for a morning view of the island, which was about the same distance offshore as it was from Capetown. Vanessa Island dominated the western horizon here, and it's sandy shore and dunes were lit with a lovely early-morning glow. He didn't see a sailboat, so the Westend Surfing Assn. must have gone home.
He returned to his tent for his sketching supplies (no sign of movement in Chloe's tent), and walked back out out to the point to set up. Large waves were hitting a big offshore rock, plus he could see another big rock/tiny island near Vanessa Island. The island itself looked pretty rugged and brush-covered, then grassy, then sandy in places. Hmmm, this one is going to take a while, he mumbled.
He was sketching a rough outline when Chloe walked up to him.
"Hi." She said.
"Ah. Good morning." Alan put down his pencil. "I hope you had a good sleep."
She sat down near him. "Well, I woke up a couple of times - I'm still not used to sleeping on the ground. And by the way, you snore," she grinned.
Alan liked that, and continued drawing. "I guess our tents have thin walls," he said.
For some time, Chloe watched him as he sketched, glancing both at his hands and his progress on the paper, then his hand drawing the lines, again. She realized she probably shouldn't talk. Alan was aware of her presence, but he felt he could ignore her, perhaps because her attention (for once) didn't seem judgmental.
When he had composed the pencil sketch to his liking, He stopped and said, "Hungry?"
"Yes, and I need some coffee," she replied.
So they went about making coffee and a breakfast of Muesli cereal and raisins with canned milk. While eating, they spoke very little, instead taking their time looking out at the brilliant blue ocean and the surging waves. "Great coffee, Alan. You're hired," she said as they finished up. Alan, feeling more elated, said he needed to get back to his painting before the light changed altogether. She offered to clean up and then she took a long walk along the bluffs, then into some sandy coves below. By lunchtime Alan had finished the watercolor, and saw her coming back along the bluffs as he returned to their camp. Ahh, I needn't have worried...she's still here.
She held out a sea-snail shell that she found among the rocks in one of the coves. "Here, this is for you. I stuffed a note in it, and I don't want you to read it until after we've gone our own way!"
Alan took the shell and Chloe felt happier right now than any other time on her trip. Alan wasn't sure what to think, but he felt something new - a quiet surge of energy that seemed to calm his ever-fretful mind.