Onboard Snark we provide a temporary refuge from the trials and tribulations of daily life and the seemingly endless stream of negative influences that abound in the world. We strive to provide a safe and stress-free environment in which you can relax and leave these troubles behind. Whether it's joining one of our yoga retreats or coming for a sailing trip you can totally immerse yourselves in a different world, just go with the flow and leave having learned something new about both the natural world and hopefully about yourself.
We encourage people who come on our trips and events to take a ‘digital detox’, to focus on the present and the natural world around them, to share time and conversation with a new and diverse group of people, to learn a new skill or simply do nothing.
Our ambition is to send you away in a positive and receptive state of mind, ready to respond to the wider world in a constructive way.
The Rhythms of the SNARK
Life aboard Snark follows the rhythms of the world.
The changing seasons dictate the length of the day and bring dynamic weather in changing proportions, influencing when and where we can sail and the kinds of activities we can offer.
They bring changes to the landscape, particularly the hills and woods surrounding the Dart, the wildlife we share the river with, and they bring different foods that directly influence the menus we offer onboard.
Each day the tide rises and falls and each month, the height of the tides changes with the waxing and waning of the moon. The tidal currents ebb and flow at different times and rates, opening up different destinations and directions of travel.
The wind in our sails oscillates and the weather changes as the eddies and waves of the atmosphere roll across the oceans; providing challenges and opportunities in equal measure.
Waves rise and fall in response to the wind, time and tide, they can be soothing or daunting and will influence how we sail and where we go. The mood of the sea changes with every influence, its colour, texture, shape, and behaviour are a direct reflection of the world above.
Some rhythms we can predict years in advance, others only hours ahead. We will help you understand and feel their influences and in doing so help you share our sense of being in the world.
Our itineraries seek to be in harmony rather than fight these rhythms. Although planned ahead they will evolve depending on the immediate circumstances.
The Naming of the SNARK
Snark is named after the mythical beast in Louise Carroll's poem ‘The Hunting of the Snark’, which was written in 1876. It is often described as a nonsense but it is anything but. It follows the hunt for the elusive Snark by a disparate group of men each burdened with his own struggles and how some of them at least find themselves on the hunt.
Towards the end of his life Carroll, or Charles Dobson as he was properly known, finally conceded that the poem was an allegory for the pursuit of happiness. At the end of the poem the Baker meets with the Snark and;
'In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away,
For the Snark was a Boojum you see.'
For those of us who continue to search for meaning and purpose in life, the pursuit of happiness may sometimes appear to be a false destination. It seems it cannot be a permanent state, being on one side of an apparent continuum from despair to ecstasy. We should remember however that Dobson was writing at a time when Epicureanism was still very much in vogue and that his idea of happiness is closer to that of the US constitution, also written under the influence of Epicurean philosophy.
In this world view the greatest good is to seek only modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquillity, freedom from fear ("ataraxia") and absence from bodily pain ("aponia"). This combination of states is held to constitute happiness in its highest form, achieved through the pursuit of a simple life.