Actual Freedom – Occasional Lifestyle Articles
A Vignette Of The Boating Lifestyle
This one thousand-word article was written especially for a yachting magazine (page 4, ‘The
Coastal Passage’; Edition No. 23, 2007) so as to provide a vignette of what the boating lifestyle can be about when one comes to
one’s senses (both literally and metaphorically). It is written in this manner because, whilst there is a plenitude of articles
in that magazine of either a technical or informational nature, there is a marked shortage of descriptive passages pertaining to
that which draws people into the boating life in the first place.
It is an early midsummer morning and the little ship’s tender, powerfully driven with the directional thrust of its eighteen mechanical horses, is planing northwards along the dead-flat calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait, marking its passage with a creaming white wake as it skims effortlessly over the sapphire-blue surface. There is nary a breath of wind, the sun having risen a scant hour ago, and the emerald-green islets to the south, far beyond that plume of frothy white water streaming aft, are sitting upon a shimmering mirage, as if floating on a cushion of wet air above the mirror-like surface.
Looking ahead again, with the sun’s warming rays gently caressing my bared back and shoulders, and the wind of our way ruffling my hair and beard in a delightful manner, I grin at my wife, my continuous companion for the last decade, perched topless in the bows.
‘Ain’t life grand!’ I exclaim. ‘And it surely doesn’t get any better than this’, I add, as she joyfully grins back in response, her eyes gleaming in appreciation as they drink in the fullness of this splendid moment of being alive.
We had nosed the three-metre tender out of the Big Tuan Creek anchorage shortly after daybreak, with the express intention of crossing over the straits into the rising sun, passing between the Reef Islets now far to the south, so as to make our way to landfall at a narrow white beach on Fraser Island’s western coast. But the glorious vista northwards, being well-nigh irresistible in its sheer brilliance, had beckoned us ever onwards into this exhilarating high-speed joyride to nowhere in particular.
Thin sheets of lacy spray cascade outwards, starting from well abaft the beam, and the hiss of the triple keels can be vaguely heard, above the steady cadence of the outboard, as they lightly kiss the tranquil water.
The air all about is filled with the ocean’s unmistakable fragrance and the taste of the sea is fresh upon the lips as yet another red channel-marker, delineating a safe passage south, flashes by to starboard.
It is a magnificent morning in all respects; it is one of those magical moments where life and everything all about is experienced as being perfect and, moreover, in this moment of perfection it is patently obvious that it has already been perfect all the while and always will be for evermore.
I am reminded of an occasion further to the north whilst sailing in a north-easterly direction, out of an overnight anchorage in Shoalwater Bay, before a following breeze. I had both the mainsail and the genoa set athwartships, in my most favourite of sailing situations, and was idling along completely at ease, with one arm draped languidly across the tiller, as a well set trimaran can more or less steer itself in such a condition.
As the wind lessened more and more, until becoming a mere zephyr, the yacht ever-so-gradually lost way on an iridescent azure sea stretching boundless in almost all directions. By mid-morning both wind and way had ceased altogether and the becalmed yacht drifted silently on an utterly limpid surface.
It had become one of those weather-perfect mornings where it is virtually impossible to discern the horizon; where the absolutely calm ocean so perfectly mirrors the vaulted sky above that one is suspended, apparently weightless, in the ever-present centre of a brilliant blue sphere.
Such scintillating moments last forever, so to speak, as in the world of the senses time has no duration – it is already always this moment here – and all the troubles and travails, which epitomise the human condition and subsist only in the world of the psyche, have no existence in actuality.
Up ahead of our tender a large power-cat is steadily making its way north, hugging the channel-markers as it does so, and I ease the tiller arm to starboard so as to cross behind its stern and thus pass along its portside. The little craft lifts and plunges as it careens across the larger vessel’s spreading wake and that widening wave reveals the darker blue of the gleaming depths below.
At the rate we are travelling it is soon to fall far behind and we are now leaning over into a surging arc to starboard as we round the northernmost marker of that reach and, with Turkey Island sparkling in the sunlight to our port, are heading in an easterly direction once again with Fraser Island proper clearly visible now as a long stretch of dense green vegetation off in the near distance.
A light northerly has wafted into being and, as we clear the sheltering island to port and turn to the north, a faint drumming comes from the boat’s keels as they skip across the now-rippled surface. By the time we come abreast the old logging depot of Ungowa, with its derelict wooden wharf, the breeze has picked-up somewhat and the ensuing chop renders a stopover there eminently sensible.
We pull in towards the rustic, wooden boat-ramp and I cut the engine as we slowly drift to a stop. In the abrupt silence, apart from the occasional ping of cooling machinery and the drip-drip of water droplets from the tilted leg, the dulcet sound of myriad bird-calls in the forest to our front are a sweetness to the ears.
There is something quite fascinating about age-weathered wood; its delicate shades of grey are emphasised by the deeper tones of knots and the grain itself; the abandoned jetty’s obvious aging process, bespeaking its longevity, is a feast for the eyes.
It is so pleasant, to be reclining at our ease on the chequered picnic blanket, in the dappled shade of stately pine trees, whilst waiting for the billy to boil on its flaring gas-cooker. The freshening breeze is soughing through the trees, in that specific manner only pine needles make, and the air is friendly on the skin.
Amidst the healthy smell of dank soil and decomposing vegetation the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee comes welcome on the wind ... and the bird-life, having momentarily fallen silent at our approach, are in full voice again.
My companion, having been gazing past me out across the turquoise-flecked waters, now locks eyes with me over raised mugs.
Nothing need be said for we are palpably together in this.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust:1997-. All Rights Reserved.