Musings on the Dog's Watch

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seadago
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Lowestoft, England

Musings on the Dog's Watch

Post by seadago »

Estepona Lighthouse
Estepona Lighthouse
estepona lighthouse.jpg (5.3 KiB) Viewed 430 times
What is a lighthouse?

It’s a navigational aid. Yes, sure, but then again, it is so much more than that!

In the dark nights at sea, nothing is constant. Every indication can also be a deception. The water plays tricks on you. It reflects your navigation lights, in fleeting flashes of red and green, out of the corner of your eye, in the crest of a wave, in the rolling wake of your bow.
But there is nothing there except the anxious breath of your imagination. Beyond here, there be monsters…

The stars will shift, they will rise and fall. The moon, inconstant, will set. The lights afar and dim will make you wonder where the horizon really is, and how far, in the empty panorama before you. In this bubble of hollow darkness, the only sure thing is the soft light of the compass showing you the way.

And then you see it. It’s like the greeting from an old and missed friend. It is the smile the girl you like gives you, out of nothing, like a spontaneous gift. You see the wink of the lighthouse and the spell is conjured. The monsters retreat to the depths. Proportions become again part of the fabric of the universe. The horizon takes its rightful place in it, and like on the second day, the waters separate from the heavens.

You look for it; for its song. The rhythm of this one is “short-short-long”, every seven seconds. You whisper under your breath: one-one thousand, two-one thousand…

Yep, that’s the one! You look at the compass. You look at your watch. You remember the course you laid, the day before, on the chart. Yep, more or less where it should be, more or less at the right time, give or take.

And now, your place is again certain in the dark bubble. Your position in the universe of uncertain, deceiving lights and declining stars, is once again assured. Things kind of make sense again.

Is it time for the next watch yet? Maybe I should go below and brew a cuppa.
Rafael
s/v Nausikaa
SSR 30570, sail GBR 4619L
F30 CK (Hoyt), wishbones, centreboard, G10 rig. Built by Fairways Marine, Humble, UK, '82
Beta 16 hp with two-blade prop

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newt2u
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:24 am
Location: UK

Re: Musings on the Dog's Watch

Post by newt2u »

Nice one!
Rockin - F21 twin drop keels - located Milford Haven
Wintered in Shropshire where I am when I’m not sailing

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