In the morning, we went to the Whitsunday Cairn, 4km return. There was no paved path or defined trail, only red triangle marks leading the way. It was not easy but we enjoyed the wilderness, and fun crossing the dense dry rain forest and grass tree bushes (Black Boy). The first 1/3 section was the steepest. We had to trek among rocks and tree roots. After this section, it was a lot flatter so we were able to see some strange flowers, long vines and tall trees around us, just like entering the Labyrinth of Pan (I did see a stick bug fly by).
Speaking of grass tree, it is a plant unique to Australia. The trunk is hard and textured with lizard skin-like texture (made of the base of leaves and resin), it’s dark in colour (also called Blackboy), the leaves are long needle-like, and they droop after withering forming grass skirts. It grows very slowly. It takes 600 years to a grow only 5 meters. Its flowers are at the top of a spear-like stem several meters high, with sweet nectar. This tree will not die from bush fire, but thrive with more flowers and fruits.
Passing through the thick long hair of black boys, we came to the top, overlooking the seascape and several small islands we had sailed through. There was a giant rugged boulder on the top, which is the Whitsunday Cairn.
While we were admiring the beautiful scenery and eating snacks, it started to rain, so we began to turn back, this time the dry rain forest turned into a wet one.
We moved to another place in the afternoon only 1.5 nautical miles away, so we won’t be annoyed by the noise of the mooring buoy banging the hull tonight.
We didn’t catch any fish tonight, so we had Fajita with vegetable mince.
It was less windy today, so we pulled up the anchor at 11:30am and left Chalkies Beach which we had been staying at for several days. We sailed pretty fast with the southeast wind despite it being a bit rolly.
We were hesitating if we should sail to Butterfly Bay north of Hook island or not, considering that if the southeast wind was too strong next week, it will be difficult to come back from north. Later we decided to stay near the channel between Whitsunday Island and Hook Island, where we can check the weather. Arrived at the destination at 2pm, we picked up a public mooring near the shore. The water flow in the middle of the channel was strong, but the mooring was close to shore so not much flow here. We sailed 11 nautical miles today.
In the evening, J caught a small fish and I pan-fried it. I poured the remained hot oil on the vegetarian version of ‘ants climbing tree’(a Sichuan spicy dish traditionally made with vermicelli and minced pork). It was incredibly delicious.
Today, we were still staying at Chalky Beach for shelter, so I finished painting the dried wolf herring head, which looked gothic and wicked, but the texture was fascinating. My mum commented that why the fish head looked angry was because I ate its meat but complaining it had too many bones.
I finished the book “What is a wellbeing Life” (it’s not a self-help book but a morality philosophy discussion book) last night and benefited a lot, it felt like I was infused with a spirit of goodness. I would be more confident in speaking righteous words and doing justice things in the future, also I have a clearer vision of how to live a full-filled life by self-creation.
Professor Chen Jiaying is very good at reasoning. Many things I wanted to say but don’t know how to make sense when I was debating with others were clearly worded by him. One example is the question when China would be ready to implement democracy. He stated the importance of models : “We do not start our own practice from learning theories, but from imitating models.” “We learn democratic politics, not by studying theory, but by knowing how western politicians deal with political affairs, and how do people deal with daily public affairs around them.” There’s a program recently said that no country was fully prepared before implementing democracy, just like parents can’t be proficient in parenting before they have children. Isn’t citizen education and daily practice the best way to cultivate the soil for democracy? On the contrary, lacking democracy and freedom of speech will rotten the society and bring out the evil side of people to pursuit power, and we will fall into the horrible mire of censorship and self-censorship. Some people would say that democratic elections brought US populist politicians like Trump as an example of the crisis of democracy. But why do they need such a person good at ‘rally round the flag’? Wasn’t it because those socially accelerated centralized countries(Highly efficient developing at any cost) are creating panic for those inefficient democracy countries?
The book’s discussion on the eternal topic of ‘is human nature good or evil’ is great. He exemplifies Mencius and Xunzi’s theories from different dimensions. We can immediately point out which one is more reasonable and realise the importance of cultivation. Later he mentioned Zhuangzi’s “too much cultivation is against morality, and best morality is the same as the beginning of human nature” because in one’s life, the person is inevitably corrupted by a set of etiquette, and it takes a lot of efforts to refuse being sophisticated and smart. It is actually a hard work, a higher kind of cultivation.
This book should really become a must-read book for young people to help them finding universal values in this world of prevailing relativism and nihilism. They should be brave to believe, and follow the path as it goes.