Pulling out

Sometimes in the early morning the water can be so still it is like a laid flat piece of glass across the Bay. When it is still like that it draws close the land on the other side, the green and brown of the hills, closer, so the colours are clear and picked out in the light.

It is tempting then to take a boat out, to row beyond the rocks and let the boat sit still in the water the oars lifted out so the only sound is their rocking and the clear drops of water falling from them. The ripples from those drops and the faint movement of the boat in the water are the only things to ruffle the surface. When it is still like that there will be insects, their weight indenting the water.

Looked down over the side of the boat and the seaweed and kelp will float free above the seabed their colours indistinct and murky and then suddenly caught by a shaft of sunlight and drawn into focus.

Pick up the oars and row the boat slowly, savouring the quiet, take it past the other boats at anchor in Kitchen Cove, to the gap between Owen Island and Luke’s place on the shore. As you move out the surface of the water stays still but a gentle swell starts to roll in almost imperceptible from the open sea and the boat rides gently on it. As you pull out look over your left shoulder and watch as the Bay opens out.

First you can see the end of the Mizen and then beyond Owen Island the whole Bay lies open the water running down to the fat swell of the Atlantic and the milky point on the horizon where the sea meets the sky.

As you row back and the heat of the sun starts to beat against the water a faint breeze starts to pick up rifling the surface of the water. Later in the afternoon the breeze will be steady hum down from the hills corrugating the water and each ripple will catch the light of the sun until the water blazes in silver light.


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