Lord Tennyson

Back in Sydney

After deep and pathetically indulgent exploration of my navel I am not at all happy about casting aside Tainui, my wonderful sailing companion over the last 15 years. What will the sale foreshadow? – I’m fucked if I know, although if someone will buy her there will certainly be another boat for me.

Immortality becoming ever more relative with age, there comes a time when you need to prioritise your prospective adventures. There’s still time for plenty of them, but which ones? Just shy of 70 I am becoming loath to dance around on foredecks wrestling with storm staysails and getting wet. Tainui relishes that sort of sailing though, hence my decision to move on and pass custodianship to younger sailors. I only hope they have the same grand adventures with Tainui that I did.

I am reminded of Ulysses in which, if you’ll forgive a bit of pretension, Tennyson examined the same issues:

….’Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 

Push off, and sitting well in order smite 

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds 

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 

Of the western stars, until I die. 

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: 

It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles, 

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. 

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ 

We are not now that strength which in old days 

Moved heaven and earth; that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts, 

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


In other words, you’ve just got to keep at it, because after that you die!

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