Winter Mooring


The Sailing season is getting near. Taking boats from their sheltered areas, taking advantage of the warmer weather (if it ever comes) to put them back into the water. This winter has been particularly bad for us Brits and it is not over yet. People who had put their yachts in marinas have seen them smashed due to floods, tide surges and ice. I am not so rich and my small boat sits on the shingle of a beach, no protective walls for her! She has weathered the storms quite well I am pleased to say. The sea neutralizes most things and when the rivers burst their banks they flooded towns and villages but the sea absorbed the extra intake of water in its daily ebb and flow. When the winds threw the seas against the shore my boat got smashed around but was still able to rest when the tide drew shallow. When the cold weather froze the sea and I found her perched on top of a mini ice berg, the next day she was still floating even though her keel was badly scratched; the ice scoured her bottom like sandpaper the ice had rubbed away the protective gel that covered her metal parts. Salt water is very corrosive and in a few weeks there were signs of the rust starting to form on the bolts that kept the keel fixed to the hull.

They say having a boat or sailing is akin to being married, I think it is true. To remedy this particular problem I got on my hands and knees and tenderly and lovingly anti-fouled her where it mattered the most. When I had finished the new paint was vivid red as opposed to the duller pink colour that told of months being submerged in the sea. Love is something we do without really minding even though to others it seems crazy, it might have seemed crazy to any onlookers as I laid down in the wet sand and salt water, felt the icy winds blow on my back and hands, stones pushing into my ribs, paint dripping onto my hair and skin. All for what? When I had finished and stood back it looked like she was bleeding, the red paint was sliding down the keels. I had wounded her. I had saved her. Each time I leave the boat I miss her; I want her to have a good time, to be happy and content, is this love? Or is the boat showing I can love? Is it reflecting love back to me, showing me that I have love, caring, compassion within me? It is important to find ones environment, to experience this love in your own personal private environment. Environment is important for love to grow. In your own natural environment you can explore yourself with love, it seems effortless, easy, you feel happy and content there is no trying. Being away from one’s own environment is hard, it is destructive, and it is an illness. Sometimes I think society is sick, ill at heart.

So what type of environment do you live in?

Having this small boat has made me realize many things about who I am. It is a learning curve, a steep one. Recently I had the decision to buy a motor for the boat, there was a struggle within me of “how I want to live, how I want this environment to be like” I did not want to have or use a motor, after all the sails are my motor, but for safety I bought a small motor to push me to shore if the wind dropped. It is an electric motor and now I am thinking how to power the batteries that will power the motor! It never ends this constant buying to create our environment. I am looking into solar-powered battery chargers to let my need for natural energy poke it’s head through and to live alongside the mechanical. I want to charge the batteries with solar energy and by doing so I am choosing ‘the style’ of charge for my life style, to get the environment I want. It is a compromise and like all good marriages that last we have to learn to compromise.

I have been interested in solar, wind and sea power since I was quite young. My parents used to drive us to the sea at weekends and we used to pass a small windmill in a garden by the road that was used for generating electricity. Now I am planning to use solar energy to power my small electric motor so I can be safe on the sea so I can have the environment I am happy in, so I can work in, and love in. The path maybe a long one but I am sure I will get there in the end. I sincerely hope you find it too.

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