Must I go down to the sea again? …

yachtThis is a poem I wrote on board a gale-bound yacht in St.Peter Port Harbour, Guernsey, waiting for time, tide and weather to sail back to England and work.

SEASORE

Must I go down to the sea again?
The Skipper`s mate oft cries
As she stands in the shower of some far-flung shore
Counting bruises on her thighs
Her nose has peeled, her hair`s like string
And she`s broken all her nails

But the Skipper stands in the Yacht Club bar
Drinking gin and telling tales
`She goes to windward like a dream
`It was a fantastic trip
`The old girl averaged seven knots!`
Were they sailing the same ship?

It had lurched through the sea with frightening speed
With waves washing over the bow
A frightened plea from the mate went up
`Please God, don`t make it now.
`The dog`s in kennels, the kids in school
`The jam-making season is nigh
`Please let me survive this `orrible trip
`Cos I`m really too young to die.`

He`d looked at her as she cooked the lunch
Trying to hide her fear
`I`m lucky to have you with me you know
`Where shall we go next year?`

This is really only appreciated by the small band of women who go cruising on yachts with partners – it is the fascination of the abomination! Most women absolutely hate being out of the vertical whereas most men delight in pushing the vessel to its limits. I was very fortunate in my 10+ years of sailing/cruising – my skipper was a very competent seaman and I felt safe in his hands but there were times when we were both scared out of our wits!

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