The Eye of the Beholder

Thank you, Max, for your comment. I have taken it on board. This is for you.

I stopped writing the blog for a while because the rest of life took over. Now I’m looking back again and wondering where the cumulative experience lies – what am I learning? Hence the following:


I slipped the mooring and motored the mile down to the Citadel. There was no wind, and very few boats out this early. I had Plymouth Sound more or less to myself.

With sails set – mainsail and genoa, we barely made headway, the tide doing most of the work. I poured a coffee from the flask and found a biscuit. Time to enjoy the moment. Time to reflect.

Two or three fishing boats emerged from Sutton Harbour, hustling their separate ways past me and out to the open sea.

This one caught my eye.


They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, there is beauty here but not necessarily the beauty of lines and colour, not in the magazine-image sense anyway. The beauty here comes from all that has gone before and all that is to come from this boat. It’s not so very different from the Ceres that I have posted on a number of times. We do like her lines but, in reality, she was a Westcountry trading ketch – it was the work she did that made her. (Tugster will understand this).

Passing in front of me now was someone’s livelihood – with all the political, economic, environmental, maritime safety, health and safety, technology and science issues that surround it. Those same issues that are increasingly pressing on you and me.

But, even in the face of all that, there were still elegant lines. For this one moment, for me only, this slightly ungainly metal workshop had created an almost perfect wave in an otherwise table-flat sea. And it was beautiful.

It’s those moments that I go to sea for – not to forget all the other stuff, (how can we?), but to add to the total experience of life.