Friday, 17 June 2011

Tall Horizon

This picture didn't really come out as I had hoped. If you click on it to enlarge you will see the horizon.

The tallship on the horizon is STS "Tenacious". She is the second tall ship in the bay over the last two days.

On my morning  break in the local outside cafe, whilst sipping at my morning coffee, I  realised that there is a tenuous link between the BMW and tall ships.

10 years ago I was entering in to a job that was to become an real burden. During that time my wife realised the effect it was having. Everything, almost, had taken second place to the relentless commitment to work that was all enveloping and oppressive.

So, with a huge thank you to my wife, I found myself stepping off a gang plank on to the square sailed "Phoenix" for a great adventure as a crew member, although only a four day trip, it was about to change my life.

with thanks to Square Sail Ltd Charlestown
Doing my best to look a "natural", ascending the ratlines to the fighting tops, gently coaxed by one of the many pretty young ladies of the full time crew, I 'm afraid I couldn't hide my real feelings as they giggled and pointed out "Elvis Leg" (the involuntary mad shaking of one leg with each step taken toward heady altitudes).
Soon I settled in to the carefree way of life on board, punctuated by reassuringly disciplined routines.
The eclectic mix of crew members including the girls on gap years, the older gentleman fulfilling a lifelong dream. The antipodean ex motorcycle drag racer and record breaker who now travels with the seasons and the sun from ship to ship. The Polish bosun, working his qualifying hours toward an officer position on an ocean going tanker. And, the mother of the ship, the ships cook, a rotund, tender, loving  and colourful lady, who settled and fed her family around a large wooden table below deck..

As I sat at the mast foot during a late evening watch, I contemplated the people that already seemed a family, I absorbed the relaxed lolling, creaking mood of this living wooden vessel and I made my decision!

Six weeks later I walked out and closed the door on the oppressive, life draining environment, leaving ruffled feathers but breathing the summers air, a new start.

 Again I became my own person, again my interests returned, I was back working for myself and alive!.

Well time I finish this coffee and get back on the smile inducing cafe racer and back to my little workshop, how lucky I am.......... Tenacious and Phoenix, very apt!


  1. I can understand completely having experienced the rapture of the sublime on BMWs and sailed through gale force winds with a 35ft sloop. The sloop experience prepared me to accept and adapt. Years later I would ride my BMWs through two hurricanes and one tornado. The comfortable reliability of the boxer engine and the visceral presence of wooden ship; the solid presence of the ship is much like the reciprocating power within the boxer... a phoenix being reborn within each cylinder, every cycle.

  2. Nice story Eric - glad you found your new path in life and what a way to find it.