Our wild-roving days are now over,
And all of our watches are done;
We’ve embarked on a pleasing farrago
Of lassitude, reggae and rum.
Like Columbus (and Brendan?) before us
We have safely traversed the Pond;
In our eighties-style teak-finished schooner
We have been to the back of Beyond.
Yet we are not wasted by scurvy,
Not bedraggled, abject or forlorn;
We had freezers and pure water makers,
And bread freshly baked every morn.
We fished, and we caught fish a-plenty,
Wahoo coming out of our ears,
Enough mahimahi in storage
To keep us in sushi for years.
How we flew on that final five hundred!
Twelve knots from a thirty-knot squall
Sent us reaching half-way to Recife,
So we gybed... then got no wind at all!
We’ll miss all those bicycle stories,
And finding the angles at noon,
And gourmet-style lunches with croutons,
And listening to Tom Lehrer tunes.
No more whisky with ice in the moonlight,
No swimming in four thousand (metric),
No skanky T-shirts soaked in diesel,
No spinnakers flying (asymmetric).
Farewell, Ocean Science, we thank you
For chafing your sheets to the bone
To bring us across to Antigua
And (mostly!) on wind power alone.
Amid all the clanging and chafing
You stuck to a westerly run;
And I know all sixteen of your siblings
Will be proud to hear what you have done.
Now all of us fearless seafarers
Have reached our safe havens at last;
We promise to live for the moment,
And never to dwell on the past.
But if ever discombobulated
Or laid low by our lives on the land,
We’ll seek out that old Ocean Sixty,
Shut up shop, walk away from the band
And bid farewell to our loved ones,
Leave them, uncomprehending, on shore;
And we will go down to the seas again;
And we will be wild rovers once more.
©2014 Ben Dowson
Lines said to have been written on the eve of docking in Antigua.docx