Showing posts tagged Atlantic Ocean

A narrow road snakes its way up the hill from the harbour — we’re on St Helena Island, 1690nm from Cape Town —we follow it to the top and stop to catch a glimpse of the cold Atlantic Ocean cradled between her breasts.  The swell is gentle and rolls in slowly while a bank of clouds hangs over the water like an albatross.  

Everything is still, but we’d rather be back on the boat.

I smile like The Cheshire Cat when I look back at these photographs.  

I smile because 

(a) I took them — which means I was out there.  We were out there.  We crossed the Atlantic on our 43’ sailboat.  Crazy.  There were times when I wondered why we were doing it.  It was rough.  We kept watch each night for weeks — without sleep — dodging squalls with wind gusts upwards of 35 knots.  The days were not much better.  We had a following sea and we could not let it catch us.  

We had to watch our back.  

We couldn’t slow down.

"There are perfectly good aeroplanes," I said to Robb one night after throwing the cockpit cushions down the companion way (for the third time) and slamming the hatch closed so that the torrential rain would not flood down below and then quickly grinding in the genoa sheet before the sail could be mauled by the wind, "there are aeroplanes."

"But I’m scared of heights," he said and smiled while his knuckles turned white with his grip on the wheel.

I smile because

(b) I survived to tell the tale.

Water, water … everywhere

I had never seen so much sea.

And sky

nor clouds

and sky

nor clouds

and sky

and sea.

Land Ahoy !  

St Helena Island : Deeply eroded volcanic rock.  You can’t anchor here - it is 4000m deep.

I sit in solitude

inside her belly, while we slice

through an ink-blue ocean.

Her wax-white wings billow

as we follow the buoy-orange sun.  

(5 January 2007)