Segeln in Norwegen, vor allem in den Ryfylke-Fjorden. Navegando a vela en Noruega, sobre todo en los fiordos de Ryfylke. Voyages à la voile en Norvège, principalement dans les fjords de Ryfylke. Seiling i Norge, mest i Ryfylke-fjordene.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

On the Art of Sailing. Aphorisms by Hilaire Belloc

From On Sailing the Sea, p. 90.

Aphorisms from Hilaire Belloc’s, The Cruise of the Nona (1925)

 …for it is in the hours when he is alone at the helm, steering his boat along the shores, that a man broods most upon the past, and most deeply considers the nature of things. (Nona, xii)

…all that man does makes up a string of happenings and thinkings, disconnected and without shape, meaningless, and yet full; which is Life. (Nona, xii)

…I have always thought that a man does well to take every chance day he can at sea in the narrow seas. I mean, a landsman like me should do so. For he will find at sea the full model of human life: that is, if he sails on his own and in a little craft suitable to the little stature of one man. If he goes to sea in a large boat, run by other men and full of comforts, he can only do so being rich and his cruise will be the dull round of a rich man. But if he goes to sea in a small boat, dependent upon his own energy and skill, never achieving anything with that energy and skill save the perpetual repetition of calm and storm, danger undesired and somehow overcome, than he will be a poor man, and his voyage will be the parallel of the life of a poor man – discomfort, dread, strain, a life all moving. (Nona, xiii)

Indeed, I think that as we go on piling measurements upon measurements, and making one instrument after another more and more perfect to extend our knowledge of material things, the sea will always continue to escape us. For there is a Living Spirit who rules the sea and many attendant spirits about him. (Nona, 3)

For all my life I have made discoveries close at hand, and have found the Island of Britain to be infinite. But who in our times knows where to look for vision? (Nona, 30)

…I am full of nothing but the coming of the course and an eagerness for the line of the sea against the sky and the making of a further shore. (Nona, 37)

I say that the sea is in all things the teacher of men. (Nona, 47)

For time on the water is quite different from time on land. It is more continuous; it is more part of the breathing of the world; less mechanical and divided. (Nona, 56)

For it is true of the sea here as everywhere, that it is the symbol of life, and of our ceaseless duties, and of death. We must never expect long quiet in the business of our live, nor any long security in any passage of the sea. (Nona, 63)

Is all the universe to arrange itself simply to your convenience, as it does for the very rich – so long as they keep off the sea? Will you not be content with sailing unless just that wind plays which is exactly trimmed for your miserable barque, neither too strong, nor too light or too far forward so that you have to beat, nor so far aft that you fear a gybe, or pooping from a running sea? Will you never repose in the will of your Maker and take things as they come? Why, then, drift round Skomer like a fool? (Nona, 64)

And I knew very well that though I had three million pounds and some odd pence over I should never have a tidy boat. I could not sleep in such a thing. (Nona, 92)

No man living can understand the tides. And the mystery of the tides is as good a corrective as one could find to our deadening pride in exact measurements, and to the folly of attempting to base real knowledge upon mere calculation: our pretence to a universal science, and to a modern omniscience upon the Nature of Things. (Nona, 93)

No one can at sea forgo the human reason or doubt that things are things, or that true ideas are true. But the sea does teach one that the human reason, working from a number of known premises, must always be on its guard, lest the conclusion be upset in practice by the irruption of other premises, unknown or not considered. In plain words, the sea makes a man practical; and the practical man is, I suppose, as much the contrary of the pragmatist as the sociable man is the contrary of the socialist, or the peaceable man the contrary of the pacifist. (Nona, 98)

Aphorisms from Hilaire Belloc’s On Sailing the Sea (1951)

Go out some day and run before it in a gale. You will talk less and think more; I dislike the memory of your faces. I have written for your correction. Read less, good people, and sail more; and, above all, leave us in peace. (On Sailing, The North Sea, 101)

The common hour is serene or dull level enough, and though it impresses less, such routine of life forms the bulk of it; and indeed much of life is sleep. So with the sea. (On Sailing, The Silence of the Sea, 133)

…the sea makes characters and men, not books. (On Sailing, The Silence of the Sea, 134)

In good time the sea will recover all its heritage of Silence: the works of Man will have ceased, and the rattle of his mental contrivances. Then the Silence of the Sea will return. (On Sailing, The Silence of the Sea, 135)

But the whole point of weighting anchor is that he has chosen his weather and his tide, and that he is setting out. The ting is done. (On Sailing, On Weighting Anchor, 151)

One might think, save for experience, that waves and the behavior of a small vessel among them, would be much the same in any one of half a dozen types of weather, or less; that one would have for such and such a weight of wind, for or against the stream, such and such a sea. / But it is not so. ( On Sailing, Armada Weather, 170)

There is in this aspect of land from the sea I know not what of continual discovery and adventure, and therefore of youth, or, if you prefer a more mystical term, of resurrection. That which you thought you knew so well is quite transformed, and as you gaze you begin to think of the people inhabiting the firm earth beyond that line of sand as some unknown and happy people; or, if you remember their arrangements of wealth and poverty and their ambitious follies, they seem not tragic but comic to you, thus isolated as you are on the waters and free for it all. You think of landsmen as on a stage. And, again, the majesty of the Land itself takes its true place and properly lessens the mere interest in one’s fellows. Nowhere does England take on personality so strongly as from the sea. (On Sailing, Off Exmouth, 201)

But of all those sacramental sights the chief is the landfall from very far away. When a man after days at sea first hesitates whether some tenuous outline or level patch barely perceived, a vast way off, is land or cloud and then comes to the moment of certitude and knows it for land, all his mind changes; the ship becomes a different thing; the world, which has been formless and simple, takes on at once name and character. He is back among human things. (On Sailing, Off Exmouth, 203)

For the tide is of that kind; and the movement of the sea four times daily back and forth is a consequence, a reflection, and a part of the ceaseless pulse and rhythm which animates all things made and which links what seems not living to what certainly lives and feels and has power over all movement of its own. (On Sailing, The Tide, 225)

For it is with the headlands as with the harbours, if you have machinery aboard, your craft is gone. (On Sailing, Headlands, 245)

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