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Saturday, 11 May 2013

Reflections on Rowing Round Cornwall

Many thanks to family and friends who supported this event and also for generously supporting CASPA.
Rowing out into the Atlantic in a 12 foot.6 inch boat, even only two miles away from land, definitely creates a mild sense of anxiety even if it wasn't mine but my family and friends. I see fear as a welcome reaction in this instance, helping me to take care not to do something stupid.
I was aware that around the west coast of Cornwall there are numerous shipwrecks and people have considerable respect for the sea. Chatting in the pub at the Bridge Inn near where I stayed in the winter to help explore the coastal path, one local described how a fisherman had recently drowned and his body was found several miles up the coast. There was concern about my plan to row round the coast and I found myself reassuring people about my caution and level of experience.

In a small Norman church in Zennor close to the Cornish coastal path I found this card:

To me, it sums up the fear of the sailor. There is a Portugese proverb - "if you want to learn how to pray, go to sea."
Fear can also bring with it contentment for some.
"I tasted once again the greatest joy which small boat cruising can offer: the satisfying contentment of an anxious passage successfully achieved. Eric Hiscock, Wandering under Sail.
Not to be complacent, of course.

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