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  I decided I would try to conjure up a piece of written work using a single word. I chose the word vista, and described a day at sea on a voyage aboard a sea-going ship.


Image © John and Margaret


by John Yeo

The watery view was endless, waves as far as the eye could see from the side of the ship to the far distant horizon or skyline. Where the sea meets the sky a natural black line separates the two. This is known as the water horizon. The foam-flecked waves were hypnotic, a cerulean blue that was the reflection of an almost cloudless sky on the wavy water below. Almost cloudless, except for the few straggling fluffy white clouds drifting freely, moving slowly as our ship sailed on.
Very few seabirds fly out this far, perhaps a few adventurous Gulls, always on the alert and on the hunt for food. These avian hunters usually fly out within reach of their colonies, especially during the breeding season. The closer to land our ship reaches the more birds are visible, following the vessel and congregating on the shore. On some very rare occasions a solitary migrating bird will land on board ship to rest and search for food or fresh water.
We encounter a number of other vessels on our way, mostly cargo ships piled high with containers. Much of the worlds goods for trade is now transported on board these huge ships. Sometimes we will encounter a small fishing vessel sailing out to follow the fishing routes, usually the closer to land the more small craft we will meet.
Suddenly there is a ripple as the waves seem to open naturally and a grey smooth, powerful, shiny, bottle-nosed dolphin, leaps to the surface from beneath the waves. Then another, and more, as a pair break the surface of the water together. This pod of dolphins numbers at least seven and their greyish blue glistening bodies shine as they leap above the surface of the sea, too fast and unpredictable to get a decent photograph.
Then the wind picks up and the waves get higher, rocking and rolling, testing the ships stabilisers. The beauty of the white-topped waves is clear, white foamy broiling waves with a dark grey reflection from the now stormy looking cloudy skies above.
As we travel through this almost endless vista of deep wavy water as far as the eye can see, the spray and bubbly spume from the now broiling almost stormy sea adds a dramatic frame to the hypnotic splendour of a very unforgiving picture. The mind seems to take flight into the depths beneath the surface, how many sunken ships from many centuries lie rusting and decaying beneath our modern vessel as we steam onwards to our destination? How many lives have been lost to this unmerciful, powerful sea?
The journey continues as the sun sinks beneath the distant horizon in a glorious orange red and golden sunset. This is a memorable beauty that can be preserved and the camera captures the magnificence for later re-living of this superb vista.
A silvery light then illuminates a much calmer sea as night falls, and a full moon lights up the night sky and the waves below, reflecting the moonbeams that now dominate the endless vista of the restless sea.


Image © John and Margaret

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.


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