I had left Melbourne in early July 1997 and headed northeast after a friend, Nick, had told me of the two places in Australia that he loved the most. Cairns and Margaret River. For me to get to one, I chose to go to the other first. Being winter in Victoria, and something akin to summer in the far north of Queensland, it was a no-brainer for me to head towards the sun. It was an inspired move in so many ways that I won’t detail here, but some of the most memorable moments of my life were spent in Port Douglas from August-November 1997. On the way to Port Douglas as I hitched north, I was picked up and then taken to Hervey Bay by a lovely woman around my age. She told me about Hervey Bay’s winter migrants (Humpback Whales) as they moved towards warmer waters to calve their babies. Hervey Bay was on my compass because it was the entry point to Fraser Island, the largest sand island on the planet, and an expedition I wanted to make on my way north. I stayed with the woman who picked me up, and her uncle took an immediate disliking to me. His animosity drove me out of the house within a day and I was on my way to whale watch the following storming morning before making my transit to Fraser Island.
It was windy that day I went out on whale-watching boat, a big swell tossed the craft about as we endeavoured to find the oceanic visitors to the region. Venturing outside the colour of the people onboard was a shade lighter than dark green, and then going back inside, the folks in there had that missing hue about them as they vomited into sick bags. One would have thought that gastro had taken hold on board as there were only half a dozen people who weren’t being sick. I spent much time going inside to avoid the spume splattering over the edge of the boat but was eventually got into my wet weather gear and decided to stay outside as I saw breaching whales at the entrance to the harbour, with a whale-watching boat nearby. I said to myself in that moment, ‘Spirit, how can I make these people inside the boat not sick?’ The response was immediate. Clairaudiently, I heard the reply, ‘Bring whales to the boat.’ The thought of toning in that moment washed over me along with the spray coming over the side of the vessel soaking my clothing. I walked up to the furthermost point on the starboard side of the boat and there started to breathe deeply, and then allowed the resonance of the push from my lower belly, exhaling the air to create a bass sound. I continued this process, moving up naturally with each breath, elevating the tone. The resonance travelling through the cavity from the lower abdomen to the throat and head. I watched the breaching whales off in the distance, wondering if they had heard me when I saw two whales in the distance come to the surface to breathe, seawater rushing skyward as they exhaled. They were heading straight for the boat! When they were a couple of hundred meters away I rushed inside and told everyone that there were two whales were heading towards the boat. I said it looked as if they were going to swim beneath our craft so some passengers could come to the front starboard side and the other the rear port side. Begrudgingly some of the passengers got to their feet and made their way outside, others simply got up from where they sat making their way outside just as the two leviathans were in sight of the boat.
Those upstairs saw the whales first, the shrieks of delight alerting those in the lower decks. The whales dived beneath the turbulent vessel and then came up to breathe on the other side of the craft allowing those who were waiting at the rear on all levels of the ship to see them. It had worked! I was in awe. No one resumed their vomiting after the whales had vanished into the depths. The jubilance that I felt had spread through the ship, everyone was abuzz with the sight of the two whales. As we made our way back to into the harbour at the end of the trip, I perused some of the books that were for sale at the information desk. In one of them was a photo of two albino humpback whales being escorted by eight pairs. A pair at the front and back and two pairs flanking either side, protecting them. I received a download in that moment. One that would germinate inside of me until I wrote the book as my novelist character Harmon Sueno. That book is Sanctum. In there I reveal what was told to me about these incredibly rare beings gracing our planet.
I had no great understanding about how I had brought the whales towards the boat I was on. All I knew was that it had happened. Toning was as new to me as was the idea that this lifetime on Atlantis wasn’t a figment of my imagination, but a real experience. It would be at Redgate Beach in southern Western Australia in late January 1998 that truly solidified the power of this knowledge and my inability to wield it safely. The experience there would show me that I was way out of my depth and I needed to stop pretending that I was capable of wielding such enormous power without the correct knowledge to use it wisely.