by D. Robert Hardy
"Suddenly, without warning, they spun on a fin and started charging the boat. My thrill turned to real panic. Killer whales attacking a boat. Had there ever been such a thing? A paralysis gripped me. Now, within striking distance, they slipped into an arrowhead formation just below the surface. If the leader of the pack didn't bring the boat down, his flanks would."
"At about 20 feet off the bow, the frontrunner broke the surface, peeling waves off his rostrum as he continued his commitment to engage. Bracing for impact, my hands squeezed into the railing..."
Travel with me aboard MV Lady Guinevere. Witness being charged by transient killer whales, stalked by wolves and walking creeks so pristine you feel as if you were the first human to experience the wonder of nature.
"You have succeeded in bringing the reader on the voyage with you and into the deeper experience of transcendence and heightened awareness. Some of your experiences are literally skin tingling, many will leave your reader thinking and remembering for a long time to come." - Sid Tafler – Writer, Editorbr.
"Don Hardy’s RAVEN’S APPRENTICE is a great and compelling story, both nuanced and vivid, that will leave readers wanting to head off on adventures of their own."
- Heather Stockard - IndieReader
Just as I stepped off the boat, a raven landed on one of the pylons. Not just any raven but the biggest I had ever seen. You don’t realize how big they can be until they are in your space; they could take your dog if you had one.
Crows are different. They will do anything for a meal. They are small and noisy and love to perch overhead and relieve themselves just as they take flight. But this raven knew he was intimidating. His presence was commanding. He was so close I could see his aged feathers were nipped and frayed. A long white scar exposed a break that had healed badly and he favoured his right leg, catching his balance with every hop. His affliction reminded me of a shaman and his rite of passage. A shaman had to withstand tremendous hardship to transcend the physical world. Through these trials he would become aware of the hidden realms he must learn to work within.
The raven had a quietness about him that deepened the silence all round, forcing the dock noise, harbour traffic and the rumble of the city to fade into the background.
The word “Nevermore” drifted into my thoughts and planted itself there. I immediately thought of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven. The word was foreboding. Was it a premonition of my journey north? That I would be “nevermore”: that I might not make it back?
It was a twilight moment, and, in retrospect, things seemed to slip sideways from then on. There were lessons unfolding that required reflection and time to digest. I felt I needed to pay attention.
The raven tucked himself in and burst into flight. The din of the city noise returned. I looked around. I felt … transported, like I had just returned but never left. It was surreal, I was living in the same world but … not.
I gathered my thoughts and bearings and continued walking down the wharf to the Fisheries office, oblivious to the planks announcing my departure. I was lost in a moment of survival and travel and if I had a future. I began a reflective conversation. “We’d never ventured past Trial Island, which was not that far from the Victoria Harbour. I had no experience – no training! A couple of night school classes didn’t make me a skilled navigator.”
“YOU said you wanted to work for the Fisheries as a patrolman, YOU wanted to contract your boat to them … did it not occur to you they might want to hire YOU?”
My response to self was small, “Sometimes I dream out loud … not expecting anyone to respond. I sent a letter off to a faceless address … I guess part of me didn’t expect a reply.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born in Halifax Nova Scotia. Grew up in small-town Cumberland, BC. but could not wait to get out and make his mark. Toured throughout Canada and the US as a professional musician until he realized he hated touring. Settled in Victoria, BC. Wrote six unpublished screenplays until he had real success with a stageplay called "A Garland for Judy." It toured down the west coast from Bellingham to Los Angles but topped the bill in San Francisco for six months to sold-out shows. Eventually settling into technical writing and developing online courses for most of his working life. Raven's Apprentice is a memoir that captured the imagination of a retired CBC executive who said, "You must bottle up all of this adventure into a book! ...being rescued by transient killer whales encounters with wolves, spirits in the kelp ... it's all too exciting!" And so it is done.
Connect with D. Robert Hardy:
BARNES & NOBLE
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER
D. Robert Hardy will be awarding a $20
Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.