Swallowed by the fog

setting out

After a coffee and a bit of last-minute cuddling, Kris took leave of our houseboat, SonOfAGun. He rowed over to his sailboat, Kehaar, pulled her rag (sail) up, dropped the mooring lines, and was off. He sailed past me on the way out, and I busied myself with taking pictures so that I wouldn’t burst out bawling. He’ll be gone for about four months, this time, and although we are often apart—he goes on adventures and chases down dreams, while I take more ordinary trips to visit parents and friends—I still snuffle, snort, and weep at departures.

sailing past

Going to Asia in THAT?!

You bet. Kehaar has done 47,000 miles of sailing. She’s been up to Vladivostok, to Busan (Korea), spent years in the fishing harbors of Japan, hopped the islands of Southeast Asia, traversed the Indian Ocean, wiggled up rivers in Madagascar, done some trading in Zanzibar, and lolled in Jo’burg…in fact, we came to Darwin together in this small boat, 6 years ago. These 14 years of unconventional sailing came together in the book Monsoon Dervish, which we finally published (ourselves…the first and second printings were even bound by hand!) in 2009.

The boat has a quarter-inch steel hull with bilge keel, a Chinese junk rig (unstayed). She has no engine or propeller, nor any sort of electronics on board. Hardcore sailing, the old-fashioned way: a concentrated elixir of wits, skill, nerves, patience, fear, and self-reliance.

A heavy fog rolled into the harbor as Kris was sailing out, and my photos went from ‘clear morning sunlight on the water’ shots , to grey and hazy milk-soused scenes, in a matter of minutes. Before I knew it, Kris and his boat had disappeared into the sea smoke.
swallowed by the fog

Bon voyage, my love.

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8 thoughts on “Swallowed by the fog

    1. Hey David, let me take the time here to say thank you for the comments you leave, here and on Flickr. Forgive me if I don’t always reply, it’s a slow connection and I get so impatient (Time’s a’wastin! Things to do!) that I often give up and log off.
      Anyway, thanks, I got lucky with the shots…how about that fog, eh? Weirdest thing, so unreal to be surrounded by thick fog in Darwin. Thrilled me, to be honest, I haven’t lived many places that get any sort of fog. No, Kehaar is never put out to dry, or stashed away somewhere. She is Kris’ first love, and his “escape pod”, so he keeps her maintained, painted, and ready to go at a moment’s notice. The day Kris lets Kehaar fall into disrepair and disuse, if that ever happens, will be a very bad sign. It is the symbol as well as the means by which he defends his independence and his spirit. ^_^

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      1. Having read Monsoon Dervish it’s kind of an iconic symbol for me too. 😉
        Vicariously enjoying every image of this wonderful vessel.
        Wasn’t that fog amazing!

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  1. wow, what power
    to be able to do that is fantastic
    I gather there will be little or no contact for the 4 months…those connected by technology every minute of their lives need to try this… I would have cried tooNat….. but the trust in his abilities and his needs to roam will see you dreaming of his arrival home and stories of his travels…happy stitching Shazzy

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  2. oh Nat.. ❤ Keehar is beautiful. but you seeing this, being there, sharing this is a burning reminder that Life is indeed lived everywhere and in every way. (thin greyish film over the eyes dissipate)

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