Down At The Boat

An Elfje sequence:

Morning.
The marina
comes to life.
Calm waters belie increased
activity.

Martins
twittering, flittering
around the boats,
among the rigging, playing
catch.

Hardly
a breath
of wind, barely
a ripple disturbs the
water.

Decks
wet with
overnight dew. Drying
sun beams down, set
fair.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This Elfje Sequence has also been posted today on ‘Simply Elfje’ here.

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Blow Wind, Blow

Blow wind, blow,
blow the clouds along,
sweep away the rain showers,
bring sunshine and birdsong.

Options

Today the day just can’t decide
what it wants to do.
Cloud, drizzle, wind or sun?
Checking all the options!

In Their Element

Riding
the wind,
silently soaring, swooping
effortlessly, in their element.
Seagulls.

Downhill

Downhill
at speed
on my bicycle,
the wind behind me.
Elation.

Scuttle and Swirl

Residue of Autumn’s fallen leaves
scuttle like rats along the road
at the behest of the gusting wind,
or swirl up in the air
like flocks of small birds
taking flight.

Kite

Oh what a plight,
for the last two days
no wind in sight.
Grandson’s new kite
cannot take flight.

What can I say?
Bring out the kite,
wind’s on its way,
better luck today,
let’s go and play.

As The Saying Goes

I am now into my thirteenth year of editing the bi-annual magazine of a sailing association that we belong to. When compiling the magazine there are often little pockets of space, usually at the bottom of a page, where it doesn’t seem sensible to start a new article when it would look better beginning on the following page. This means that I have to find ‘fillers’ for these spaces.

From the first issue that I produced I began a series of ‘fillers’ which I called “As The Saying Goes”. For this series I take a well-known phrase that has its roots in the glory days of sail and explain how the saying came into being and what it means. I try to find those phrases that are less obviously nautical and that I think will be of interest to the members. Another advantage of this series is that some sayings need longer explanations than others so I can pick and choose appropriate ones to fill the space available.

Having just completed and sent out our Spring/Summer issue for this year I thought it might be of interest to post here the saying that appears in the current issue:

“By and Large”

The expression ‘by and large’ is used in common parlance today to mean on the whole, generally speaking, all things considered, but it is yet another expression of nautical origin. To understand this we need to understand what is meant by the nautical terms ‘by’ and ‘large’.

A ship is said to be sailing ‘large’ when the wind is blowing from a compass point somewhere behind the direction of travel, either directly behind or on the stern quarter. Conversely to sail ‘by’, or ‘by the wind’, means to be sailing as close-hauled as possible into the direction of the wind. To ‘sail by and large’ required the ship to sail not only downwind but also against the wind. The 19th Century windjammers like the Cutty Sark were able to maintain progress ‘by and large’ even in bad wind conditions by the use of aerodynamic triangular sails and large crews of able seamen.

So there you have it!

Fingertips

Deceptive
bright sunshine,
bitterly cold wind.
Winter still hangs on;
fingertips.

Chill Wind

Magnolia buds
unfurl into the chill wind.
Winter’s dying breath.

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