“Don’t be scared of being a wreck, just be a beautiful one.”
(Photo: Shipwreck of the Meisho Maru 38 at the coastline at Agulhas, South Africa.)
The backstory: The coastline of Agulhas is infamous in the history of Africa for bringing many a sailor face to face with the claws of death. This place is littered with nearly over 140 shipwrecks and they each tell a story of the lives, cargo and death of the brave men and women who fought to save the ship and the lives who sailed in it. Strong ocean currents and gale force winds were the most obvious reasons for the waves to reach as high as 30 metres. This often caused the ships to splinter like toy boats on this harsh coastline with jagged rocks. Naturally, it offered a very slim chance of survival.
But, this Japanese fishing trawler—the Meisho Maru 38, which ran aground on 16 November 1982 between Suiderstrand and Cape Agulhas proved lucky as all its’ 17 crew members survived the wreck to tell their story, and so, it all ended happily for them.
Our tour guide pointed out how, over the years, the ship has actually been falling apart, with large chunks of its’ body giving way, every time there is a storm. But, it still stands tall and probably will, for another few years. And, quite proudly so, I think!
That evening as we stood by the edge of the coast, the winds lashing at our faces and nearly sweeping us off the ground, I was struck the with inexplicable brokenness of the vessel—which reminded me of how we all are a bit cracked or broken on the inside, differing only in degrees.
It is a beautiful wreck, don’t you think?
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