07 December 2011

Beached boat, Puerto Natales

I could spend hours, days, maybe more, on the shore in front of Puerto Natales.

Having written that, I wonder why the sea is always in front of a coastal town, never behind it? How widespread is the compulsion to look out at the sea in preference to back towards the land? Thoughts appreciated (but I won't be able to reply until I'm on land again in a few days).

[4 December 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 14 mm, ISO 100, 1/125 at f16]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

I think there are quite a few British coastal towns where a harbour and its servicing buildings are on the sea front, and the main residential areas are tucked round a corner for protection - for instance, parts of Cornwall and North Devon, Wales, and places further north up to Scotland. It all depends on the strength of prevailing winds and the stability of the coast line. An open sea view isn't always the best idea.

Safe journey.

Zhoen said...

This boat looks more like it's retired, one of the old guys at the diner bs-ing the afternoon away from the wife.

robin andrea said...

I think there's something about looking out for as far as your eyes can see that appeals to the brain. I remember once driving across Canada and getting to Saskatchewan, the vast Canadian prairie, and having a sense that I could see so far that I could see the curve of the earth. I don't think it has to be the sea for that far-off gazing, but a place that lets you look a great distance beyond ourselves.

Me from Cali said...

“How widespread is the compulsion to look out at the sea in preference to back towards the land?”

The sea is eternity
The land anteriority
The unresolved annularity
The beckoning of reckoning our aseity

pohanginapete said...

RR, I'm trying to think whether the same is true in New Zealand. Certainly the services are where they need to be — at the waterfront — but I think maybe here a view of the sea takes precedence over shelter.
    I won't get into the whole controversy over coastal 'development' — the privatisation of coastal land for the exclusive enjoyment of the rich — as that would get me angry.

Nice one, Zhoen. I've met a few of those guys — not all of them old, though.

Robin, that's an excellent point; I think you might have got it. I think back to some of those kinds of places I've seen on this journey — the Salar de Uyuni, the Argentinian pampas, for example — and now you've pointed it out, I recognise the feeling.

Paul, thanks — plenty to think about there (and you've taught me a new word!).

Leonie said...

I don't know the answer to your question about why sea-facing, though (after visiting a number of coastal towns and villages in the UK) I have seen a lot of places where the houses ARE tucked away in the lee side of a hill.

I just know what I like... To feel the sea winds filling my nostrils with salty air, and to hear the waves and the call of the gulls. I wonder if it's because I grew up so close to the sea...

I find that as looking outward, I can also look inward and the sea is the place I return to when life gets too crazy.

I feel like I could sit by (or in) that boat and gaze outwards for hours.

pohanginapete said...

Leonie, I know what you mean. I find the sea intensely contemplative; calming, too — and sometimes exhilarating at the same time. I grew up near the sea also, and like you, I wonder how much that influences the way it affects me.