The phrase ‘all at sea’
Comes from a time past, where ship navigation was much less certain
No GPS or accurate weather forecasts
I learnt to sail in the pre GPS days
In days of dead reckoning, bearing compases, cocked hats, noon sights, star sights and sextant
And you best friend was a lighthouse
At the entrance to ports, like the Point Lonsdale Light at the entrance to Port Phillip
Or looming large over dangerous headlands
Like at Cape Liptrap
Or at Cape Schank
While at sea
Companions at sea are the sea birds, terns, shearwaters and gannets
And of course the playful dolphins
Then finding that safe harbour
Or the sheltered cove
Birds Rocks Anchorage, Waratah Bay, Victoria Australia
Its good to be all at sea again.
March last year the yacht Futura after 30 years ownership, past into anothers hands.
I thought my sailing days were over
But a chance to crew with friends means that the 2021 adventures start on the bright blue sea.
Sailing down the channels Port Phillip
Past ships waiting at anchor
Keeping a weather eye
Before entering into Queenscliff the beautiful small boat harbour near Port Phillip Heads.
After a beautiful seaside sunset it a day for some final checks then out into Bass Strait.
1988 Hobart to Sydney Tall Ship Race
There is a certain romanticism of billowing sails carrying great ships across the sea
Distant shores unexplored
Harnessing the power of the wind
The power to cross vast oceans
The clouds of billowing sails
Masts reaching for the sky.
Ships from all parts of the world
Oman and the exotic east
The new world of the Americas
The old continents of Europe and Africa
These sailing giants covered the globe
As a young man I read and read
Joseph Conrad and dreamt of the sea
My mind full of imaginary adventures in distant and exotic ports
The exotic ports of the trade winds in
The loneliness of being at sea and the weight of command in
The Secret Sharer
The power of the weather and the sea in
To be amongst the tall ships and the sailing tales of the crew
To sail away
These images were captured during the
1988 Hobart to Sydney Tall Ship Race on colour transparencies. I have rephotographed these with my digital camera using an Emora slide copier extension tube attached to the my camera lens.
Its called a labour of love
The scraping and sanding
The careful preparation and maintenance
Maintaining a thing of beauty
In this case the labour of love was my dear old boat
Huon pine with precision and pride nearly 50 years ago
A finely crafted floating jewel box
So yes a labour of love
The fine sanding
The careful masking so the lines are crisp
The laying on of the paint and varnish
To bring her beauty alive
Yes a labour of love
Maybe it’s a metaphor for a life of love.