Shapes on the Wind
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Shapes on the Wind is the autobiography of David Lewis, one of the world's old sea salts, sailors and adventurers.An uncompromising participator in the varieties and vagaries of active life, he has ventured onto sea, land and ice in every corner of the globe, investigating and testing the elements — and himself—for emotional and aesthetic potential.This account builds up a comprehensive portrait of a most unusual person in our present culture, a person dedicated to experiencing life outside the usual value systems of money, material possessions and conventional morality. His mistakes and misjudgments are many and freely admitted, yet we learn to tolerate and understand them as we move through his life story, realising that the gains could not have been achieved without some error.He is truly one of the old sea salts, an old man of the sea and younger sailors, pioneers and expeditioners should all know his story.
for my spirit expands mightily in the vast spaciousness between peak and sky. Then there was skiing. No matter that New Zealand didn’t have teachers or ski lifts then, and that I floundered about developing uncorrectable faults in technique (a beginner could learn in less than a week what we picked up over many years), we had lots of fun on Mount Ruapehu in the North Island while I was still at school and on the Rock and Pillar Range in Otago. This 2000-metre treeless escarpment lies some eighty
through the rain in my MG. The canvas hood had worn away from carrying a dinghy on top, but I confidently explained that if we went fast enough, the rain would pass harmlessly over the windscreen. Regrettably, I had not allowed for the serpentine Welsh mountain roads that kept our speed down. ‘Don’t think much of your theory,’ grunted the soaked Tilman, with considerable restraint. ‘You can be leader,’ he informed Fiona as we approached the crags the next day. ‘I can’t lead someone who was leader
Society Islands of French Polynesia went well, and there I met Curt Ashford, who was to become a lifelong friend. Curt and his wife Jenny’s little schooner Sea Wyfe had lost her rudder and been swept over the reef. The couple had built a kikau shack on the beach and spent a year making repairs. Their three-year-old son Eric spoke only Tahitian and their daughter Ngaire was about to be born. We were to renew the family’s acquaintance a decade later in Hawaii in dramatic and tragic circumstances.
happily involved in the more artistic activities of the nation’s capital (she later had an exhibition of her silkscreen designs at the opening of Shapes on the Wind e-book 12/27/01 1:38 PM Page 89 the Sydney Opera House) and the children went to school, where they went through a stage of hiding their seagoing past, so anxious were they to appear exactly like their fellows. Their parents were required to conform too. ‘Why don’t you wear pretty clothes when you go to work like the other
103 we followed old graded tracks and then no tracks at all along the Tropic of Capricorn, 1280 or so kilometres from the Aboriginal reserves beyond Alice Springs to the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia and back again. I never ceased to be amazed at my companions’ profound spiritual affinity with their ancient land. They were patient teachers. Rubbish has been written to the effect that Aborigines were ignorant of the role of sex in conception. Of course they weren’t. All Aborigines