There is a rhythm about the sea. It is not always as romantic as people would have you believe, but it is always there. Nothing stays still, not the surface, not the deep, not the colour, not the fronds of kelp anchored in the shallows. There is a sound too, a resonance of wind and waves. In a storm you can’t hear it, it is blasted away by the fury. But to feel the rhythm, to feel its tremors, you have to be borne through it on a ship swept by the wind. Like walking on a wet sandy beach, you have to take your shoes off to know its there. Untamed, wild, strong, wilful, sometimes angry, occasionally missing; but it is the wind that makes the sea, that gives it rhythm, that moves men who live upon it. When the wind is absent, so is the rhythm. The sea is languid, listless, lacklustre; it has no spirit. Yet even so the tide moves it; sometimes imperceptibly, unseen by the human eye, unknown to the fish that swim in it.
The wind and the sea are siblings, sometimes at peace, at their best working together, occasionally quarrelling but always together, each leaning on the other. On a long passage the boat is the world, an entity independent of all else. Where nothing matters except making way, the integrity of the planks and trust in yourself and the boat. The boat feels the rhythm, the boat knows and will speak to the Captain, all the Captain has to do is listen.
At night horizons diminish; life is a small comforting self-supporting haven in an ocean of blackness and danger, searching for lights, red or green or white. How close, how far? Put in a reef or shake one out? Decisions; small in number, big in consequence. Protect your haven, its all you have. The sea cares only for itself, go with it, disrespect it at your peril; Fiddlers Green awaits.