I have just sailed from the UK to Australia in the company of a man called Nick
Okay… it only took a couple of hours and it was viewed on my computer screen but it was a really interesting way to spend an evening.
First of all the sailing is well shot by people who love the way a boat moves through the water – which is really what sailing is about.
Nick made a great choice of yacht – a 1972 deep keeled Contessa 26. He also made a great choice of producer collaborator in the form of Jack Rath. But Nick had no money – or not enough for his planned journey and that became part of the journey.
They showed you some shots of the old, worn out rigging on the Contessa. Not much of it was due to be replaced before he set off – and lots of it broke
His preparations and interviews with people he met – the old sea dogs who you find living in boatyards were beautifully filmed by Jack Rath who has a real cameraman’s eye for light and details. They left some of the shots running – there was room to breathe,
The sound mix and music was wonderful. For me the sounds of sailing are almost as important as the visuals and Markus Stempler did a great job. The music from Jorg Diernberger and Hagen Hinklemann really adds to the feeling fo the movie – especially in those Slocum moments of fear or introspection.
I was really warming to him as a bloke and then on the day he left the marina in Southampton where he had been prepping the boat for weeks, or maybe months, he got up early so as to avoid paying his bill….
Which must have been fairly substantial – the figure of £850 was mentioned.
Then he called into Brighton marina… I was wondering if he was going to settle up there before leaving.
He then set off across Biscay – suffered from a shortage of sleep, became a bit weird, frightened himself, motored a lot but got to Corunna in one piece.
Nick has a really engaging style with the camera – just talks to you as though you are a friend, confessor – it a pretty intensive relationship at times.
After six weeks in the Canaries he headed off west. Jack Rath, the director, had given him a set of questions to answer while going across the Atlantic – such as when asleep do you dream of land or sea. He also made the classic mistake of not taking enough books with him – or maybe not the right ones.
He mentions things that annoy us all – the constant rattle of stuff on the boat, the variable sound of the radio, the darkness.
Amazingly he did not miss company while at sea – but he certainly missed his friends when ashore.
I understand that all debts to mariners have been paid to the entire satisfaction of all parties involved
I really enjoyed the film – it is a 3 gig download that costs $14.99
worth every penny
Dylan Winter July 2012