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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 8 (November 2, 1936)

All at Sea

All at Sea.

Christopher Columbus had nothing on the average couple pushing off into the uncharted seas of Matrimony.

What with “raising the wind,” getting on the rocks, battling with crosscurrents and the tides of adversity it is amazing that so few matrimonial mariners succumb to the hazards of the high seize. They suffer minor damage, of course, such as slightly strained relations, leaks in the exchequer, a little trouble with the steering gear or misunderstandings in the galley, but the matrimonial “Lloyds” report comparatively few total losses.

Merrily they sail away without compass or chart in happy defiance of the advice of old shellbacks who sit in the inglenook and tell hair-raising tales of the terrors of the matrimonial main.

On Sunday afternoons you sight them, some with a full crew—in prams and on foot, some obviously undermanned, but nearly all bowling along merrily with upper and lower spars dressed and the best bunting fluttering from the maintop.

Aye, aye, me hearties! ‘Tis a pretty sight. What makes ‘em do it, asks you? ‘Tis the beckoning finger of glorious uncertainty, of adventure, of discovery, that urges ‘em to brave the terrors of the deep. For, when you go in you go in deep, me lad. First, you're deep in love, then you're deep in domesticity; then, maybe, you're deep in debt until you get your bearings. Later on you're likely deep in parenthood—and getting deeper. There's no half-tide in matrimonial deep-sea sailing. When you're in you're in up to the neck. But who cares? The first mate may mutter, the “old man” may kick the binnacle through the scuppers, the crew may mutiny and get a lick of a rope's end. But, bless yer spanker, when the sky-pilot gives sailing and sounding you're too busy getting her under way to notice where you're going; and when you get into a rip you're too busy getting out of it to notice you're in it until you're out of it. It gets a hold of ye, fair weather or foul.