From a distance, that great sextant calibrator of nuclear explosions pacifies Georgia, the crazy child. She decides to play in mother's sunlit days and release vistas of the snow-plastered peaks of Paget and the Allardyce.
On her shores, fur seals swing nervous glances but never a bite to the footsteps and shouts that once broke begging harems and bleating pups.
In the colonies, parents peer and pose while chicks flap to cool coats fit for kings.
The slow grind of glaciers sends snow petrels fluttering through katabatic winds. In rockpools, pintails dodge the whip and slide of keratinous kelp and twisting seals.
A steel wreck becomes a cormorant's nest and as night falls an elephant snores near sealers' graves. Two young males practice their mating battle with attacks that become lazy hugs. The nervous glances turn to glistening eyes and this world relaxes into huffs, bubbles, barks and burps.
The last coast of Georgia is far from the disappointment that met the Cook of captains.
Flocks of birds gather on the silky sea, then fifty Roman candles of humpback blows shoot up a hot breath that smells of creation.
And then Georgia is gone.
But up here on the high yard she's a tropical princess in the clouds with a saintly glow. We look back and Georgia lifts her veil again. Flying above the waves the sun is strong and the sky fills with an illusory ring of mist. There she is, directing while laughing with a glimmer in her eye. There she is, always ready with a song on her lips. There she is, climbing, chattering and learning. They're all Georgia in the sails.
And she waves us goodbye with alpenglow on every peak.
And in every dream we're flying some kind of Spanish galleon through mountains or with whales into the deep. Ice moves in. A four mile orphan is not a dream.
Through snowstorms and sunshine the wanderers skim the waves to signal our protection.
Darkness has lost its grip on the white desert and every night becomes a dawn.
These sealed trees and molten rocks have gone far beyond the forest now.
We ride in the belly of this centurion cetacean with fluttering blow, clanging metal and controlled explosions running on the firewind. Fin whales laugh at this beast that takes the rocky road and refuses to dive or sing.
As the wild packs of ice and squalls close in we must squeeze through our porthole to the island of elephants.
The sextant is laid to rest and our created stars beam the track.
A beat rises again. It is the only compass that knows the way through our ocean.