Logbook Tres Hombres (May 9, 2012)
The story of a trainee's stay on the island of Faial in the Azores.... a fantasy (part 3) by Charlie trainee a/b
Part 3, Departure.
We wake to a pile of wind. We muster and the captain describes his plan for our departure. I wish my friend Mott was here. He would get it. I wish that everyone who had ever sailed this boat and loved her were here, they would get it. I understand it has taken me four weeks aboard to begin to get it, but now I get it.
In the last weblog Taeo described the manoeuvre of our departure. I want to do so from a novice's perspective. We were moored against the inner harbour wall of the yacht marina of Faial. The entrance to this inner harbour is no longer considered big enough for the new generation of billionaire's yacht. It is mostly used now by the 30 and 40 footers... Occasionally a bigger boat edges in, all 8 or 10 hands on fender watch, computer balanced engines all running.... but none of these are anything as big or grand as the Tres Hombres. Nothing, not even the smallest fifteen footer was seen by me to sail in or out... motors all.
But under Jorne's command, assisted by Taeo the 32 metre, 120 ton displacement brigantine sails from her mooring.
Nearby stood the Stad Amsterdam, proudest of all the current Dutch full rigged ships. Her crew and officers watched. The harbour walls were lined with spectators, many of whom perhaps did not know they were watching something they would never have seen before and will never probably see again. And next to us Albino and Gonzalo in a whale watching inflatable, should we need a push, and the harbour pilot boat filled with those Azoreans who would be whale hunters still if they had their way. Beautiful, strong, open, generous men all.
Eight tacks in perhaps twenty minutes between the inner and outer harbour walls, the wind not so much in our teeth but we were snaking up its beard, and then we were out. 10 courses, 1000 degrees turned, a volunteer crew. I got it. I got it. I got it. It was great...
As we sailed on I was given the wheel and I thought and thought and thought about life and how people learn to love it till I turned my attention to something else to see what I had learned.
"My country is Kiltartan's Cross
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them richer than before.." Lines I think are close to those from Yeats'amazing poem An Irish Airman Forsees His Death. And the beauty, the elegance, the courage of these lines, I realized had been increased many hundred fold to my perception.
from the foc'sle.
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