Thursday, 3 September 2015


Sleeping in Onawind blue has never been comfortable, though deep slumber has often been achieved through a combination of fatigue, food and drink. On this trip I was determined to get off the hard surfaces of thwarts and centreboard. I recently had a few cosy nights—on an 4 day, 800km tour of Catalonia on a 49cc moped—cocooned in a hammock in various copses and woodlands, happy to let the life of the forest floor go on below me while not actually having to lie on it myself.

The small beach upon which I had hauled OB was part of a diminutive island with a small lagoon in the middle surrounded by reeds and samphire. Its solitude and inaccessibility would have satisfied the most discerning hermit though the lights of Sant Carles were visible which, I suppose, would have irked the true loner.

I ran a taught line from mid point on the main mast down to the ring on the stem, then stayed the mizzen in a similar fashion and hung the hammock between the masts. I eased myself in and the spars took up the strain with no ominous creaking or bending. Satisfied that my bed was sorted I got on with my evening. Expecting clouds of mosquitos to arrive for cocktail hour I spray painted myself with some truly repellent repellent and sat down to a cold beer and a small plate of black olives while I waited for the pasta water to boil. The moon, full to bursting, rose while I was eating, the wind dropped away completely, the water stilled and the wildlife, disinclined to go to bed, kept up a commentary.

Leaving the housework for the morning I climbed into the hammock and luxuriated in its silk embrace. In no time I was fast asleep. Later, when the moon was much higher, I opened an eye. Just at the stern of the boat, perfectly still in the mirrored water was a heron standing tall. I watched as it took a few paces, paused and took a few more. Poised, elegant, bathed in silver light it focused the spectacular night into one crystalline image of beauty. Out on the lambent lake fish launched themselves skyward, reaching for the gleaming orb. There was enough light to read by and I dug out my book from under me to prove the point to myself. “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” ...ermm... “He was lying on his hard, as it were armour-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed-quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely.” ...ermm... “his numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.” Erm, thank you Franz.

Snug in my cocoon sleep again washed over me as I wondered if I too might wake metamorphosed.  

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