A Tall Ship and a Star to Steer Her By
I do love being out on the water, and the trip on the Jean de la Lune today was beautiful. It was a perfectly clear day, bright and sunny, and out on the water it was cool enough to keep comfortable without being too nippy.
It was a short trip as these things go, but I really enjoyed every minute of it. I kept watch out for mermaids (I think they may be too clever to hang out in the North Sea, even in summer) and just generally enjoyed the view.
I sometimes dream about living on a ship like this one, which probably makes me sound a bit nuts. If it didn't have internet access, I might go nuts. But the idea of being out on the ocean, of being in a different place every minute, appeals to that wilder side of my nature, the part of me that really would just flip a coin and decide heads Africa, tails Asia. I want the type of freedom that I think being on a ship would give me.
I like that dream, I take it out sometimes and wonder what it would be like. I suppose I could live part of it by working on a cruise ship for a summer or two if I wanted, but I don't think that's the same thing. Working like that isn't freedom. It certainly isn't deciding that New Zealand sounds nice, maybe I'll head there this month.
I do love it, though. Maybe when I'm retired, I'll do it....
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
By John Masefield (1878-1967)