In the early 1800s Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner which could be read at face value concerning a ship voyage or you might construe the poem as a metaphor for other ideas. Regardless, and while the poem is worth reading for its own sake, it will alert you also to some of our routinely heard expressions which I now realise derive from Coleridge’s original word concoctions. For example,
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
On the Windeward Bound we didn’t sail through snow, nor did we feed or kill an albatross but the sun followed similar paths. We sat idly but not through lack of wind rather it was circumstances associated with resources and weather that kept us moored in the one place for most nights. And, in the absence of a useful wind for sailing, we had the privilege of an engine to motor us between Hobart and Port Davey and beyond. As the poem becomes gloomier, no connections remain and any resemblance to our south west voyage disappears.
The poem has no direct link with Tasmania, but the Ancient Mariner’s ship does sail south and describes seas which can be found at any time in the Southern Ocean. That I have returned from a voyage in the Southern Ocean on a sailing ship of the type in existence when Coleridge wrote, has given me courage to include excerpts from his poem here.
And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land!
Thank you for taking the time to chronicle and write this trip up on your blog. It brings back lots of pleasant memories and evokes the timelessness and peace of the landscape
Thank you – I am so delighted you could re-feel the peace and timeliness of the landscape. For certain that is the enduring feelings for me as well. I hope you will be able to return to Hobart sooner than later and that we might catch up. Cheers, Helen
This has been a very enjoyable journal, thank you. I still have [on vinyl!] an album from the early ’70s called The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by David Bedford; I keep meaning to listen to it properly, but never quite getting around to it…….. 😉 Cheers, Jon.
Perhaps my blog post will be the catalyst for you to listen to that album. :)Cheers, Helen
Thanks Helen. I feel as though I have been on a journey after reading your account. The photos are awe inspiring, even on my little phone. Alex
It was an epic journey then an epic write up for the blog post. But it means they photos and story are out there for others to be inspired by now. Thanks, Helen