Sunday, May 27, 2007


After a long slog to windward the sailor is rewarded; he reaches his home port and he is snug and dry, although exhausted. There’s a great sense of achievement because the battle with nature’s forces has been won. The solo sailor is the victor, but he knows there may be a time when the sea will win. What would be his fate? Better to die at sea than in bed with the pain of old age. Nothing ventured, nothing gained has been his motto. Take the opportunity when it arises.

Building a boat with substance is very much like a battle with the elements. Take that bit of obstinate Douglas Fir with variable grain; planing it was a nightmare; first this way, then that, but what a joy when it was finished, gleaming in varnish while displaying gorgeous patterns revealing growth over the years into maturity. The yuloh for which it was destined comes alive when wriggling to and fro at the transom at the behest of the Captain. His tiny craft silently edges along quiet waters as fish break the surface and the undulating moon path snakes towards the wooded river’s bank.

So the builder sailor looks forward in anticipation of excitements and adventures as he and his creation join together upon the water for the first time. Does the Master launch and christen his Dream Ship in solitude away from prying eyes, or does he make a show of it by throwing a party and festooning his Pride and Joy with bunting? Who would he choose to pour Champaign over her bows while asking for a blessing upon all who sail in her?

Anticipation is the name of the game. I have all but finished my Paradox micro-sailboat; she only needs a coat of antifouling before entering her element for which she craves, the environ where sea and sky caress one another and horizons beckon - vast oceans leading to countless havens, magnificent vistas, exotic islands where pearls of riches may be found, even if they are the grains of sand sifted and refined by centuries old currents and the crashing sea waves.

With anticipation there comes a little anxiety; will ‘Faith’ meet what is expected of her and will all go well at the launching? Those are questions waiting for answers. Anon, until I can provide replies.