I find something very beautiful about decay. Partly it is down to the colours and shapes, partly it is the wonder of nature reclaiming her own despite what we might think something should be made into, and partly it is to do with the beauty that lies within death itself. I know, I know, not a popular statement to make in today’s modern world were death is all but hidden and talked about in whispers. Anyway I wasn’t going to talk about death but boats and how in different continents the slow decaying of a boat can have very two very differing impacts.
As we drove along one of the many coastal paths we traversed during our holiday we rounded a corner to be met with this view.
The waters of the west coast of Scotland slowly reclaiming a boat which once sailed them. The bright Autumnal colour it once had disappearing with each tide and the wood soaked by the sea water first looses its paint then crumbles and sinks into the silt unforgotten until maybe in a million years it will be rediscovered as coal or oil. Where had that boat sailed? What has caused it to be abandoned? Who were its crew? Why had they stopped loving her? Lying listing on her side still tethered to the land, foreign to her being she retains a forlorn beauty as her younger sisters bob on the waves behind her. Will those fiberglass youngsters have such a repose?
It is not just abandoned wooden boats that grab my attention, I do like a bit of rust. Like this rusty post from a long unused jetty, something once so strong and secure now flaking away under the elements.
Which brings me to the title of this blog. While a one wooden boat in Argyll might be beautiful in Africa off the coast of Nigeria rusting ships are less so, not in the nature of their decay, but in the impact that they are causing. Oil companies which make huge profits are in part to blame using cheap ships which are not really seaworthy and then abandoning them along the coast. You can read and see the BBC news report about the problems they are causing for the locals here.