The Boating Lesson

21 November 2021

By Philip Kuepper

The boat at anchor moved
with whatever motion
the sea brought it. The boat
did not fight the sea,
but rode the sea, bareback,
like native Americans rode horses,
nothing between horse and nature,
skin-on-skin.

So, too, the skin of the boat
on the skin of the sea.
They rode in communion,
which is why the boat riding anchor
had not been battered
by the storm that battered
the boats ashore. The boat riding anchor
was like a horse let loose,
before the storm come could
level the barn to the ground,
where stood the horse’s stall.

Often, the more freedom wrested from discipline,
provides for a greater chance
of survival.

(10 November 2021)

One comment

  1. Thanks for the poem and the concept.

    We apply this single point mooring for the loading and discharge of supertankers, with the vessel free to to weathercock to wind and weather. A large gearing for the mooring loads, and a multi-line product swivel are required to make this happen .(Day job projects for me.)

    The photo of the single person American style dory, anchored by the stern, intrigues me. (The painter is leading in over the bow.) The boat is of traditional construction, with clinker topsides and thole pins.

    The narrow planks will be to suit currently available timber widths. No explanation is offered for the varying widths of planks shown.

    Peter Edmonds
    Naval Architedt
    Perh, Western Australia

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