Updated: Dec 13, 2018
Harvey the sailor finds solace in the depths of his thoughts. In the morning he's walking the cliff tops with his girlfriend Marianna but his heart's been called to the sea.
When the winds are fair and the full moon is high, Harvey believes it writes a message across the sky for all to see. It's time to set sail.
His galleon drifts in the shallows. The harbour fog lifts to mast height. "Please tell my girl. Tell her no tears." From deep inside he pleads that no-one understands him and there's nothing left here. He owns nought but his ship. Through the mist he calls his command, "Weigh anchor! I'm sailing away".
He steers the deep channels that lead to the sea as the sand shifts below. Clearing the coastal mist he sets the sails beneath the moonlit sky, dancing over the water like a river stone.
Marianna loves him but won't follow. Standing at the cliff top she watches his navigation lights glow through the fog and his silhouette is moonlit as he makes clear weather.
At sunrise next morning, Harvey picks up a Captain and crew in their life raft. On board Captain Entwistle tells of being adrift three days and nights in their ship after storm damage. A coastal reef breached the hull causing her to take water and sink in the shallows.
Harvey asks if the Captain needs help with re-floating for temporary repairs and a tow to his harbour, but Entwistle can't afford that. The ship's in a poor state from years of neglect. Harvey can re-float well enough to tow the ship out and scupper her in deep water so she's no threat to the navigation of other ships. Harvey will convince local authorities to pay him for that.
"I'll get you to a safe port," says Harvey.
Entwistle smiles and says, "I like the cut of your jib, Captain Harvey".
After Captain Entwistle and his crew disembark Harvey returns to the shipwreck but after the repairs he decides to tow her to his home port. She's more elegant than Harvey's Man-O'-War and they work on her day and night. As a finishing touch he paints the brown ship white and names her Trinity. She'll never have the character of his old galleon but she's ready for sea trials.
While out at sea, he's intercepted by a ship and they call Harvey by name. Recognising the trading vessel he accepts a boarding party. They are Captain Entwistle's crew. The first mate wants to interrogate and makes Harvey walk out on the plank, stopping at the end for questioning. Harvey loses his footing on the wet surface and falls to the water, striking his head hard against the planks edge on the way down, opening a bloody wound.
A sailor reports to Captain Entwistle about blood on the plank and he promptly makes his way to the Trinity.
Losing consciousness for a moment, Harvey sinks fast, his mouth is open and full of water. His demeanour is other worldly. His body curved forward, limbs floating back and eyes staring straight up.
Harvey's air is finished and he panics. He looks up for the light but everything's going dark and he realises he won't make it. His body goes weak and his mind's flickering on and off. He can see Marianna and mouths her name. He should've been her rock, made decisions together and lived in love with her forever. He surrenders. His body is suspended in the salty water. There's no more pain, just comfort.
A full-tilt explosion of lifeblood surges through him and the need to escape comes back strongly. He's rising at speed. Breaking the surface he realises someone's rescuing him. He's looking into the eyes of Captain Entwistle. The first big breath of air was exquisite.
Recovering on board, Captain Entwistle confronts Harvey. Recognising the Trinity as his own, he accuses Harvey of deceiving him and stealing his ship.
"You're a passionate man, Harvey, but you can't see how you're hurting the people around you. A magistrate will make you pay for what you've done." said Entwistle. The constabulary are notified and they meet the ships at the harbour. They take Harvey away and he is convicted of his crimes. Locked in prison, he's sentenced to four seasons.
Marianna stands atop the cliff overlooking the harbour and the sea. On the horizon she sees the island where Harvey will be incarcerated and the prison ship sets sail. Fully loaded, the ship is deep in the water, but not as deep as Marianna's love and she doesn't know if she's head above water or drowning.
Marianna trusted the Norfolk Island pine that grew strong and tall. In a storm she felt safe holding onto the pine tree but it yielded to the wind and fell to the ground, just as love proved to be untrue to her.
Love is sweet and tender as a flower when it first opens but the passing seasons bring change.
Young love becomes old and melts away like the early morning frost.
Across the water Harvey is imprisoned and there's no way she can reach him. If she could fly from the cliff top she would be with him.
Four seasons pass and Marianna is at the prison jetty to meet him and they take a rowboat out to his old galleon, looking smart with light brown timber and white sails. They climb aboard and Harvey comments on how clean and shipshape it is. They weigh anchor and Harvey insists Marianna take the helm and call her say. As they work together to get underway she looks up and laughs, Harvey put on the music and they face each other across the heavy wooden deck.
She walks slowly towards the centre to a flamenco guitar's Alegrias para Baile, dramatic in her white top and long black skirt slit to the thigh. He walks slowly to her in his white shirt and black trousers to assume the lead. Alegrias ends and they wait for the Tango's strong rhythm and circle each other, never breaking eye contact. He throws his jacket across the deck like a great bull fighter. They lunge towards each other and, opposite facing, their arms link for the dance.
Each looks sideways to the other but their arms pull in different directions. Does he want her or is the sea his mistress? She grips his arm firmly, the rolled sleeve exposing the tattoo inside his forearm, the trinity knot, exchanged by lovers to symbolise affection. She meets his gaze and he turns her once, on her own axis, ending in the closed position. She watches his eyes and his attention is on her.
They cross the floor. She spins twice, slowly, in front of him and as they dance to the centre, he turns her, catching her hand at full arm's length. She was the only one when he was drowning. She begins another turn but he loses his grip and lets her go. She looks at him in disbelief. He's looking up to the light.
Falling to one knee she's the wounded bull. It could end here. Harvey has the straight stance of the matador who raises the sword high, sees the artery in her neck, but he can't strike the blow that sets her free. He wants her to wait for him. She embraces him from behind. She wants a new life after prison. She runs backwards, leading him away and he pursues her to the other side of the deck where they take the closed position again.
The ship cuts slowly through smooth water and steers seaward. The Tango drifts across the high cliffs and the townsfolk crane their necks for a glimpse of the sensuous dance. The Tango becomes faint. Like a painting, the ship is centred in a vast expanse of deep blue with steep cliffs to the port side and the final cove of the lush green prison island to starboard. The ship glides on out and the dance continues for Marianna and her love.
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Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash