Rich watched all the excitement from the porch. He stepped inside the house. He found a pencil and a piece of paper. He wrote, “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding.” He folded and wrote “Ramona” on the outside. He walked out of the house and tucked the note in one of the bundles of her belongings.
Rich walked back to the dinghy. He shoved it into the turf and dug his paddle into the water. Soon he was back on board. He pulled the dinghy on board and secured it.
“One should bring a gift and leave,” Rich thought looking at the village. “It is the gift, not the giver. I don’t want to intrude or their happiness.” Rich smiled, “and I’m not going to share mine with them. I really have the greater. At this point, a goodbye will break my heart. I don’t know about Ramona, perhaps. I really don’t want to know. Knowing might kill me. It is best this way.”
Rich pulled the anchors and motored away from the island. Within five minutes he felt a strong easterly breeze and hoisted the sails. Rich set a 220-degree course. He did not look back. “The next time I see Reao it will be from over the bow.”
Rich stayed in the cockpit near the helm. For the moment the cabin seemed too lonely without Ramona. “If I go down there, I will be expecting her. I will wait until expectancy leaves my heart—it will—I hope.”
Rich let The Odyssey sail free, only holding the 220 degrees bearing. For the moment, he refused to enter the cabin for the sextant to take a reading. “Australia is a big hunk of earth. I couldn’t miss it if I tried or if blindfolded.”
The sun sat and soon Rich sailed into darkness. Thoughts drifted from one thing to another. “We are all sailing into the future. If it is unknown, it may as well be as black as the night over my bow. Something must guide us.”
Rich became extremely hungry, not in a ravenous way; in a way, beyond the normal time to satisfy his hunger. It wasn’t for fear of the loneliness of the cabin he did not go there. That has past long ago. It was more to do with his deep thoughts and what things he had learned over the last few months. “Where do I go from here? Australia, stupid. Of course, but you know what I mean. Yeah, I’m afraid I do.”
Rich stood and slowly climbed below. “That wasn’t so bad,” he thought. “I’ve done quite nicely on my own before and it shall return to that.”
Rich made a fried ham sandwich and coffee. As he ate he smiled thinking about the joy that must be still going on back in Reao. “I know every time I think of the island it will bring a smile.”
Rich cleaned up and sat at the chart desk. “I must get the task at hand. I have my friend, Dennis, to meet up with and it’s high time I get to it.”
Rich charted the course and figured the distance. “Oh my,” he murmured, “4500 hundred miles. I’ll stop a couple places along the way.”
“I hope Ramona likes the note.”