Sailing - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
The sail stands proud,
As if a window to the clouds.
I watch them sail above,
And imagine sitting upon puffed bows,
Watching myself sail below,
On timeless seas,
In seamless time,
I never liked sailing, yet sailing with you was the pleasure of my life. The sea, the sun, the cry of the birds all melted away - leaving just you. I recall lying on the deck pretending to sleep; I watched every little thing you did. Your moving form, cast crimson by the setting sun was my elixir. Though I never noticed the salty air at the time, it is that seaside aroma that takes me back to sailing by your side. I wish I could really go back there - just so we could be together again. I recall what you said on those long voyages, "My love, we'll always sail together, in this life and the next, you'll see." Sometimes I hear those words on the wind, other times they call to me in a dream. So sail on silver darling, take the long route around the continents - I'll be catching up soon.
I wasn't one of those easy going kids that brought joy to their parents. I was a whiner and still thoroughly enjoyed throwing tantrums into my teens. Every time my father would take me sailing I would sit on the prow, arms folded like a little orange Budda in my life jacket. He would suck in that salty air, relishing the open sea. The boat would bounce along the waves sending cold spray onto the deck, invigorating for him, an opportunity to complain for me. Every time a new boat appeared he had to admire its sleekness, its paint, its funny name. To each mini-speech I would reward him with stoney silence; raising my eyebrows to the expanse of water. Even when he passed around the chocolate biscuits I would snatch at them and eat them with a sour expression. The more amusing he found my face the more sour it would become. Now his boat is mine. I swore I would sell it when the day came but I can't. He's there on the deck laughing at me with his cup of cold tea and old woollen hat.
My father would describe sailing as flying over water, dancing over the white crested waves, cleaving a path through the wind-whipped water. He would say it was freedom to him, to set sail into the wide blue and leave the duties of the land behind him. He said that the water called to him like a lover and whispered sweet nothings in his ears. He longed to feel the breaking of the waves on his prow as the boat headed out into the drink for a long voyage. And when he died he left instructions for his ashes to be scattered at sea so he could forever roam in the ocean he loved so much.
Under this low cloud that blackens the noon-hour our boat feels as insubstantial as the model I made my new son. The wind tears so hard at the sail that Micha brings it down, it's better that than risk it being ripped away in the oncoming storm. The waves are now crested with white foam and everyone had donned a life-jacket. I pass around the flare bags, waterproof and neon, there's no good floating if it's just a slower way to die. The exciting feeling of hitting the waves a little rougher than usual has evaporated and our folly is writ large across the sky. This boat was made for plain sailing, for leisure and calm waters. Now we are tossed high on each surging wave, tilting wildly one way and then another. Just when we think it can't get worse the howling wind drives rain at us so thick that we cannot see the person next to us, only a neon orange haze.
Sailing across the English Channel in the dead of night was either madness or desperation. They had heard tell of the monstrous waves that could come out of nowhere and smash even a sturdy boat to no more than splinters of wood. The had heard descriptions of sea serpents that dwelt beneath the waves, ready to devour lost sailors in the mist. But as they stood on the French beach with their enemies behind them, they knew that the only way was forwards into the salty brine, where the salt-kissed air would whip around them, whispering it's warnings, pleading with them to turn back. As the boat rocked on the waves they jumped aboard and hoisted the sail, which billowed, pulling them away into the unknown.
Winged by her own impetus and the dying breeze, the Casco skimmed under cliffs, opened out a cove, showed us a beach and some green trees, and flitted by again, bowing to the swell. The trees, from out distance, might have been Hazel; the beach might have been in Europe; the mountain forms behind modeled in little from the Alps, and the forest which clustered on their ramparts a growth no more considerable than our Scottish heath. Again the cliff yawned, but now with a deeper entry; and the Casco, hauling her wind, began to slide into the bay of Anaho.
The gentle wind billowed the sails and the deck warmed in the afternoon light. The Mayflower skipped across the white crested waves like a merry child in a field of daisies.