A privileged visitor to the worlds of others’ – Andy Coatsworth 2 December 2017
We wend our way through the territories of male fur seals back to the beach. I am a trespasser. A metre in front of the Antarctic tourists three King Penguins make an expert, though ungainly, transition from swimming to walking as they return ashore to find an unexpected species . After a brief though curious examination the penguins appear to accept the temporary intruders, and pass between us to return to the heights above the beach.
A twenty year old deck hand expertly brings the Zodiac close to the shore, and other professional crew members help the mainly much older voyage crew (a generous misnomer) board.
“Are you up for unfurling the fore lower topsail?”
A little later the bosun instructs me to unclip from the foremast and reclip to the lower topsail yard. I look at the deck below my feet, which bear my weight on a rope strop. I turn to her and apologize, “This not for me”
“Thank you for trying”, the youthful bosun replies.
I retrace my steps down the second tier of shrouds, over the futtock shrouds, and down to the foredeck.
I am a privileged visitor to the world of other’s