Going down to the sea

September 11, 2007

P9063506.JPGSunday evening Huw and I were walking around the harbour at Caen waiting for embarkation on the night ferry to Portsmouth. We had just eaten well (Moules and Frites for me, Pizza boy had, well pizza). Earlier we had witnessed 16 glorious minutes of Rugby with five Welsh tries (pity about the other minutes but we still won), found the car again after some desperate minutes of searching and arrived at the port with plenty of time. We were contented, to add to that contentment, he sun was just setting, and we could see the channel lights, red for port, green for starboard stretching out into the English Channel before us. The harbour lighthouse was now in operation and we were able to experience that strange silence that accompanies dusk by the sea. A trawler was moving through the sea lock in order to prepare for a full night and we stood and watch in maneuver into the wharf. I love the sea, and one of these days I will return to live by it. Harbours and boats provide a human interface with the ocean and trawlers are something special. I took this picture a couple of years ago in Wellington during a blustery walk along the sea front. The shapes and colour create a wonderful texture, an apparent chaos from which order and functionality emerge in use. A trawler has a small crew of people who, by nature of their work and practice need to trust each other. To the outsider the picture is incoherent, but to the experts each rope, winch and shackle has a specific function and purpose that can not be taught, but has to be learned. There is a lesson in that picture of many an organisation.

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