Have I Lost It, Or Just Found It?

December 9, 2006. - In the middle of the Atlantic.

We have been at sea for a while now. I am gradually getting into a mood, where I feel more than just 'at sea'. I feel at home, in harmony with everything around me. At those moments, it is as if I feel the ship talking. It is more sounds rather than words. At times, I hear her giggling when she loves the excitement of a fast sail. I hear her hum a melody when she is happy with the sail settings and the wind. There are times where I hear her cry when something is wrong, when the swell and low winds make her sail flap and the boom bang to and fro.

Last night I was woken up when she was crying in pain, and screaming. The winds were low, and the side-swell had her boom bang every 10 seconds. The ship shivered with every smack of the sails. The foresail emptied and filled again with a loud whack like a giant whip. She was tormented.
I came on deck to find the crew on watch chatting. They had not really noticed the banging. I gave them a piece of my mind 'can't you tell, she is hurting?'. They gave me an awkward look as if to say ‘What are you talking about?’. I hooked on my lifeline and went onto the foredeck, tightened the ropes of the headsail, changed the course harder into the wind, and trimmed the main sail to avoid the banging. The winds were low, maybe 6 or 7 knots. The swell was 2-3 meters high, rolling in from the side..

I put on some soft classical music in the cockpit, to soothe her spirit. I emptied my mind and sniffed the wind, closed my eyes. As the music went up in rhythm, I could feel the ship talking to the wind, and the wind whispering back. It was like they made a pact. The wind gradually picked up, sending shivers down my spine. The hair on my arms and legs stood straight up. I could just feel that I was in tune with it all. And everything was in tune with me. The wind picked up, gradually, bit by bit, and over half an hour, it was up to the ideal speed of 20 knots. With every push of the wind, I could feel the ship starting to sing and leap forward. She giggled with every push. I took the wheel and made her surf on the waves. She sung for me. Out of joy.

This did not happen once, but several times, where I came on deck, or on watch, and the wind was low, or from a foul angle. Every time, I could get into tune with the elements and it was as if I could have the swell, the wind change, to make the ship happy, singing again. It was so obvious that often when I came on deck, the crew on watch sighed 'oh ok, now we will get wind again. Make us some wind again, Peter.'. And every time, I could blank my mind, and get into tune with the elements, and get the right balance again of wind, ship, swell and sails... Often, I could see on the instruments the wind had fallen right down again when I went off shift. Sometimes in a matter of minutes after I went below deck... Weird stuff, no?

She loves me, this ship. She loves what I do to her. She loves it when I switch off the autopilot and steer her manually.
The crew jokes about it: 'The ship, she likes her little machine -the autopilot-, but she likes Peter's hand job much, much more!'. ;-))

Sometimes I think 'I lost it', but more and more I get convinced ‘I just found it'..

Top picture courtesy of Thomas Mallet

Continue reading The Road to the Horizon's Ebook, jump to the Reader's Digest of The Road.


Post a Comment

To avoid spamming and profanity, comments will only show up after I (manually) clear them.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Kind people supporting The Road to the Horizon:
Find out how you can sponsor The Road

  © Blogger template The Business Templates by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP