After several days of light winds and clear air, a mist encloses the Europa as we sail south. The mist changes the atmosphere in more ways than one as it thickens, giving us a strange, limited and constrained world bounded within a stone’s throw in every direction. While we are still in the middle of the great ocean, psychologically we are now a ship in a small pond whose grey edges are undefined. Peculiar.
The limited visibility does something else. The anachronistic nature of a tall sailing ship in 2017 is emphasized. We can dis-assemble that word “anachronism” as “out of its time”. In clear air and long views, the Europa is a modern equipped ship, in a modern world with a modern crew. But as she ghosts along in the mist has our voyage become a journey in time without the context and clarity modernity? Sea fever encourages a febrile imagination, and becomes untethered. My fellow crew are the same people but I notice strange and secret phenomena. A beard from the 1800s, a weathered smock in a style from an earlier age, a phrase from an antique mariner’s language. Ghost vessels are nonsense and fabricated, of course, but tonight as the light falls, the Europa is no longer sailing in a rational world. As we dissolve into the fog, past and present are blurred and blended. Our compass is now a clock and the wind is pushing us through the mist in degrees and seconds, and centuries. We are fiction, a spectral ship in our own imagination, travelling south in time.
“I notice strange and secret phenomena”. Hey, Trainee, wise up. Check out your tweets and you’ll see that you noticed these when you were still a Landlubber. It’s your speciality!
Gary | 18-11-2017 00:19 uur
Lovely that you see more in your mind when you can't see with your eyes Roger.
Glyn | 17-11-2017 18:22 uur