For love of a boat – Teignmouth, Devon, UK

Teignmouth to Shaldon Ferry, late afternoon, December 2008 (and a short clip)

I was going to describe the ferry trip, but then I found this:

“. . . I too many and many a time cross’d the river, the sun half an hour high;
I watched the Twelfth-month sea-gulls-I saw them high in the air, floating with motionless
oscillating their bodies,
I saw how the glistening yellow lit up parts of their bodies, and left the rest in strong
I saw the slow-wheeling circles, and the gradual edging toward the south.

I too saw the reflection of the summer sky in the water,
Had my eyes dazzled by the shimmering track of beams,
Look’d at the fine centrifugal spokes of light around the shape of my head in the sun-lit
Look’d on the haze on the hills southward and southwestward,
Look’d on the vapor as it flew in fleeces tinged with violet,
Look’d toward the lower bay to notice the arriving ships,
Saw their approach, saw aboard those that were near me,
Saw the white sails of schooners and sloops  –  saw the ships at anchor,
The sailors at work in the rigging, or out astride the spars,
The round masts, the swinging motion of the hulls, the slender serpentine pennants,
The large and small steamers in motion, the pilots in their pilot-houses,
The white wake left by the passage, the quick tremulous whirl of the wheels,
The flags of all nations, the falling of them at sun-set,
The scallop-edged waves in the twilight, the ladled cups, the frolicsome crests and
The stretch afar growing dimmer and dimmer, the gray walls of the granite store-houses by
the docks . . .”

taken from Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, by Walt Whitman


Different ferry, same feeling – a deeply memorable description.

Enjoy the Christmas break.


For the origin of this series – here