I have a ship both sleek and fine
I point her bows wherever I will
The seven seas they all are mine
I call the winds
I call the winds her sail to fill

If you will flee away with me
And bid farewell to the land you know
I`ll show you marvels presently
And wonders
And wonders that the earth does show

From: Come with me (Incredible Stringband)

When coming of age, I was filled with the romance of leading a life as a sea gypsy. Likeminded friends, who successfully converted old wooden fishing boats back to sail, encouraged me to roam Scandinavia in search for a project of my own. This I found in the shape of a Norwegian double ender in bad need of repair. Alas, without sufficient knowledge in boatbuilding techniques, nor having a wallet thick enough to pay experts do the job, the undertaking had to be doomed. So I took it with H.D.Thoreau, who I remembered saying  that castles in the air are quite alright, if you were just able to give them a solid foundation. I went back home, where I was fortunate enough to find a boatyard which was still building boats the old way and whose master was willing to take me as an apprentice. Together with a fellow workmate, we soon decided to build ourselves two small, Norwegian double enders, one for each. Our girlfriends faithfully stood us aside. So three years later, we not only had a seaworthy boat of our own, but also a profession, that should come quite handy for making a living, when on our way.
Sailing the same coasts that I formerly used to roam by land, filled our first summer afloat. Anna was built and furnished in no different way than her original, constructed by Colin Archer as a custom boat in 1901, except  that she had a hand cranked, one cylinder diesel engine, to get her in and out of harbours. Life was simple, life was good. The end of the season made us arrive in Ireland, which became our home for the next three years. By now, building traditional sailing boats, had not only become a profession, but rather a passion for me. This is why, when sighting my first Galway Hooker, I was quite enthusiastic to build one of these peculiar boats myself, if ever circumstances permitted. Not for long, this wish became true. Ireland turned out, to be a rather magic place anyway. Our aim accomplished, we were longing for to visit some really exotic places, such as Morocco or even the tropics, so on we went.

Well we knew the woods and the resting places,
And the small bird sang when winter time was over
Then we'd pack our load and be on the road,
Those were good old times for the rover.

From: The Travelling People (Dubliners)

There followed three years of extensive cruising, molding ourselves into the pattern of the seasons and their prevailing winds. Twice we crossed the Atlantic, with prolonged periods of stay wherever we fancied. I never missed the opportunity to visit places of special boatbuilding activities, talking to other craftsmen, or sometimes taking off the lines of local workboats, but it wasn`t before returning back to Germany, that I actively  got involved in boatbuilding again. Jobs in building new vessels had become scarce. It was mostly repair work, one had to be content with. I soon started a new boat from scratch. Even though we didn`t outrule the possibility of moving aboard and picking up the old gypsies life once more, in the end, we optioned for restoring an old farmhouse, in order to present our two children, who by now had joined us, a steady social surrounding. Thus, being landlocked and without means to buy a boatyard of my own, the diversity of jobs around became rather limited. Even in a fishing port like Cuxhaven,  Soon I picked up work  in reeducating young folks as craftsmen.
I never quite understood why, while jobs on real boats where rapidly diminishing, the demand for reeducating people for building boats by manpower offices and the likes, was steadily growing. I mostly worked part time, in order to spend the rest of the time self employed. This combination proved to work quite well and left room for some rather interesting projects.. until certain health problems made a sudden end to it all. Only slowly I recovered and today, I am working as a woodcrafts teacher on a local private school, teaching the kids, well, you may guess: The mysteries of building and sailing wooden boats!

Seasons they change while cold blood is raining
I have been waiting beyond the years
Now over the skyline I see you're travelling
Brothers from all time gathering here
Come let us build the ship of the future
In an ancient pattern that journeys far
Come let us set sail for the always island
Through seas of leaving to the summer stars
Seasons they change but with gaze unchanging
O deep eyed sisters is it you I see?
Seeds of beauty ye bear within you
Of unborn children glad and free
Within your fingers the fates are spinning
The sacred binding of the yellow grain
Scattered we were when the long night was breaking
But in the bright morning converse again.

From: The Circle Is Unbroken (Incredible Stringband)