Off-shore perspective

The off-shore perspective is managed both geographically and poetically. It is perhaps most readily discernible in those instances where remote situations and registrations abroad are made in order to take advantage of lower taxes or less stringent regulation such as for deposits in off-shore accounts. The off-shore perspective (popularly reflective of the singularly minded individual) is as well not uncommon for those devoted to the barrier islands (although there is a recognizable ephemeral “seasonal “ feature to be acknowledged). And it too, like the commercial manifestation, is a psychological characterization of the off-shore perspective not for the pusillanimous:

In April this year, Mr Justice Baker of the English Commercial Court dismissed proceedings brought by the Danish national tax authority (SKAT) against over 100 defendants in connection with more than DKK2.5 billion in tax refunds that SKAT alleged it had been induced to repay by misrepresentations: SKAT’s claim failed, at the trial of a preliminary issue, on the grounds that it was offensive to “Dicey Rule 3”, a rule which disallows claims for the enforcement, directly or indirectly, of the penal, revenue and public laws of foreign states.

Chains of barrier islands can be found along approximately 13-15% of the world’s coastlines. They display different settings, suggesting that they can form and be maintained in a variety of environments. Numerous theories have been given to explain their formation.

A human-made offshore structure constructed parallel to the shore is called a breakwater. In terms of coastal morphodynamics, it acts similarly to a naturally occurring barrier island by dissipating and reducing the energy of the waves and currents striking the coast. Hence, it is an important aspect of coastal engineering.

For about the past decade we have by design wintered on one or another of the barrier islands along the North Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, from Hilton Head Island, SC to Longboat Key, FLA. It was only this year that we transitioned to Key Largo on the Florida Keys (an even more acute environment, this time of coral).

When asked, my standard response concerning the appeal of the off-shore perspective is the desirability of blue sky and a bucolic landscape. Surely it would be facetious of me to suggest there is any other paramountcy. It is the hallmark of Hollywood movies – right down to the choice of colours of red,  white and blue. Nor  can one diminish the gentle social atmosphere. It represents an estrangement from the typical urban texture. There is a proliferation of mom-and-pop outlets, off-setting the commensurate absence of predictable retail. Nesting for the winter upon a narrow rocky reef adjacent a sometimes rollicking sea is guaranteed to have its distinctions and memorable moments whatever may have been intended. And on occasion there are romantic images of paddlers in flat-bottomed boats upon the river, disappearing along the shore among the confusion of vegetation.

Clearly I have yet to punctuate my existence by opting solely for the ocean view, a perspective I have harboured and cherished for years.  Only yesterday my friend Jill and I convened a rather serious and critical examination of that particular off-shore perspective. We both agreed we are haunted by the scope and allure of the maritime intellectual, artistic and poetic expression. It is however easy for me at this advanced age of 75 years to settle comfortably for the riparian alternative to the wintertime oceanic perspective.

But admittedly it was only until very recently that I have abandoned the hearty contemplation of the sea in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland. Contemporaneously an upriver view has insinuated me. Whether it were mere fortuity and serendipity that has aligned me so strenuously is irrelevant.  My declining memory is sufficient for me to recollect the myriad of tasks arising from a move from one property to another. I have no intention of repeating that drudgery. In addition my lingering approbation of Almonte for an equal number of reasons has stimulated my ready acceptance of this chance occurrence.

From which you can safely conclude I have no present intention to relinquish my grasp anytime soon, if ever. It may even be that I have stood back further enough from this incomparable view to enable me to see it clearly without being inordinately or unjustifiably overtaken by its majesty.