Life has the annoying habit of dragging one down to the depths of mere existence, of reducing one’s horizons to merely making ends meet, living to an agenda set by others. Some Coldplay lyrics spring to mind:

Written up in marker on a factory sign, ‘I struggle with the feeling that my life isn’t mine

And then one day the luckier ones are reminded that, whilst never truly free, those with a sailboat ready to sail have the potential to be freer than any human ever could be.

Anna Freud, sixth daughter of the infamous Sigmund, once said “We are imprisoned in the realm of life, like a sailor on his tiny boat, on an infinite ocean” but I think not being a sailor perhaps she was mistaken. That’s the weirdness of a sailor on a sailboat, all at once a prisoner on this tiny little floating capsule but in reality freer than ever can be, the vast ocean horizon the only limit.

Despite the ever-present reluctance to drop the lines and set sail, the ever-present “It’s not worth the effort” or “the wind is too light” or “the wind is too strong” or “the conditions are not perfect” weighing on the skipper’s mind, this Friday last saw Ocean Blue slowly puttering through the harbour dragging the reluctant Skipper in her wake. Bursting free of the harbour limits there came a tangible sigh of relief from ‘Blue and a slowly widening smile from the Skipper.

Freedom at last!

And with the bow now gently rising now gently falling to the western swell, driven ahead by 10 knots of Nor’westerly breeze, a lazy aimless day once again cemented the bond between jaded Skipper and dock-bound boat. A reminder that dreams of distant shores perhaps remained worthy dreams to nurture.

The four aimless hours spent traversing the bay a far cry from the adventurous voyages of the fleet cruising to Knysna. No drama, nothing worthy to note or even write about.  And a happier time, insulated from the demands of a world gone mad, could hardly be imagined.

Most definitely free at last!

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