Sunday, 19 May 2019

Creek Cruising Life


Sailed into a creek on an ebbing tide (presently big tides) and passed a motor cruiser sitting on marsh. Thought a little strange as it looked to be drying but thought perhaps they are staying there and can walk across marsh: viz rural creek with no-one around but the cackle of duck. Sail up and back down creek and see same boat being pulled off salting by heavy launch, and saw a flush of ramblers had appeared from nowhere, popcorned, nose ointmenting the boater's misfortune in an otherwise sleepy creek...

A few moments later, as I sailed on, the two boats motored off and ramblers, having eaten the last of their popcorn, went on their way. Creek back to silent again. Sailing, I saw someone else on sea wall walking toward that same area none-the-wiser of earlier creeky excitement...

Is there a message for us all in this type of creeky goings on? Well, I think there may be for in life timing is everything. A minute earlier and that person's presumably intended quiet stroll along the the lonely sea wall would have been quite different than planned.

And this simple scenario makes one think of the life that has gone before us along our watery wildernesses, which we can only wonder at, as we come across the old bones of a wreck buried deep in mud with just frames pointing through, as if grasping at life - perhaps a hundred year old barge hulk or a smack. Or soggy timber posts from a former farm quay, or marks of an ancient ford standing sentry; a Red Hill or Decoy... Who owned these things, who were the people using them in their daily lives, what were they like...

Historians give us some of the answers but many we can only guess at. One thing we can be sure of is life moves on and as much as I enjoy contemplating it, it is to live.

2 comments:

Stephen said...

Hi Tony,
I've finished reading your book, Sea Country, I'm looking forward to more. I do my creeksailing on the other side, Medway, in a Mirror Dinghy. I have dreams of crossing the estuary in the summer. We'll see.

Alden Smith said...

With New Zealand at the beginning of a four week lockdown, amongst other things I am doing some catch up reading. I am up to chapter four 'Cockles at Leigh' of your book 'Sea-Country' and enjoying it immensely.
Last year on a visit to our daughter and family I made some trips by car out to the head of some east coast rivers (Deben, Orwell, Crouch). I was itching to get in a small boat and go exploring.

Take care and stay safe in these troubling times.