Sunday, 10 June 2012

Nostalgic for the Sea

'On the bridge, a warm competent calm prevails....From here the icebergs ahead look like a jumbled barrier, as if there were no way through, but the radar shows otherwise. I like to look at the radar screen, and I like to watch the ship's captain and officers as they consult it...The officers move calmly between window and radar, radar and window, studying now one, now the other, checking one against the other, determining a course. In an alcove behind the bridge, screened at night by curtains, is the desk where the charts lie, with compasses and pencils, under an angle-poise lamp; a digital readout gives the ship's latitudes and longitude, as transmitted by satellite. It's quiet on the bridge, like a public library, but for the constant faint reassuring drone of the heating or ventilation.'

From the essay 'Aurora' in 'Sightlines' a books of essays by Kathleen Jamie, published 2012, by Sort Of Books.

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