Friday, 10 September 2010

They built ships

It must be in my genes. My ancestors built ships, shaped the wood that made their frames. Back in the 1700s, before photographs. The records are giving up snippets of information and my imagination is busy with the rest. Wondering.

The port is very different now, with most goods being shipped in huge containers bigger than a house, but there are some older ships to see in Albert Dock. Tall masts and rigging that I always wanted to climb, reminders of holds full of cargo, and gutsy tug boats nosing the bigger vessels into berth.

I'm always fascinated by the huge coils of ropes, broader than my limbs and by the factory that still makes them, with a boot polished floor half a mile long, waiting to stretch each line out as they are twisted.

Give me water to gaze into and you might not see me for a while.

Marker buoys, port and starboard lights, the patience of a freighter waiting for the tide, an endless horizon running through my mind.