Thursday, 31 May 2012

Talassa, talassa, or The Sea, the Sea

Sea thoughts from the crew...

Each day is different, and immeasurably long. Especially when you wake at 4 a.m. in order to journey before the wind gets up -- this is when force 5 on the Beaufort Scale is forecast for the afternoon.
Some days unroll into exceptionally blissful afternoons and evenings; the sea's surface remains gentle, never a wave over half a metre, the wind is not sneaky (i.e. on the nose or right on the stern) and although at times we need the engine's help to get to our destination before dark, the chug-chug need not be too frantic.

But there are also times when a sudden gust heels the boat onto her side, causing unseen objects to crash within, or when the instruments unaccounatably stop registering, or when the engine overheats and smoke puffs over the stern.
And, at such moments, I wish I were not here (or there, depending on your perspective...)
It is, understandably, great food for poems: I compose powerful lines while cowering in the cockpit (or, when very scared, I retire into the boat, lie down and shut my eyes!).
This will doubtless sound very familiar to many a sailing-wife (or captive companion...)
On the other hand, as one might say, sitting in the cockpit with a quiet sea, watching the mighty mountains growing purple in the evening shadows, or at noonday, observing the rocky islands with their noses dipping into the water like somnolent dinosaurs (and bare rocks like a plucked chicken's back, sprouting a few black feathery trees) with the occasional swooping seagull and the clouds shaping like dragons' heads... well, this brings such peace into my soul (you know what I mean) I do not need to sing!

Here is a pic of the sleeping dinosaur:
And this is the unforgettable anchorage near Porto Germeno. A half-moon lit the water after the sun went down, the waves lapped softly against the white rocks, the stars came out, the wind dropped, the air was warm.
You can't get it much better than this...

So here is David feeling happy.

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