The Boat at Morecambe Bay

The Boats at Morecambe Bay

On a spring morning Morecambe Bay glitters under a sun dripping her way through an knackered colander of clouds that fights to keep her in, but eventually loses to her inevitable strength. Right this moment, however, the boats beached on the muddy silt wait for their tide. Like characters in an old people’s home, they share mute stories from one cracked and battered hull to the next. Different paint jobs are but old cardigans, fixed countless times and still torn from elemental onslaught and the bite of decades’ worth of salt.

Anchored by the Tide The Red Girl

Moored by rusty chains and algae-slick ropes, the boats are kept from drifting in body, while their ghostly features rock on the waves far out by the squint of an eye, like the curlews that weave through the skies.

Curlews in Flight

And when the clouds withdraw, the basking boats catch the light as a cue to wake up, to be taken out once more. Their well-crafted hulls have years left to carry their masters and cargos across life’s waters. Only the unwitting, streaming tides against whose eternal rhythm the boats are but a second’s imaginary spectres, keep on without pause, forever more.

The Old Dinghy