John Masefield (from Salt-Water Ballads, 1902)
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.
I must down go to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
I’d always enjoyed this poem, but it wasn’t until last month that I really understood it. It all changed for me when the Enterprize ( An 1830’s replica) visited Portland, and I was able to take a trip on her. My first experience of being on the water under sail – and I was well and truly hooked! Alas, the trip lasted less than an hour, and only part of that was under sail, but those times of eyes closed, listening to the water and feeling the wind on my face were total enchantment.
Here’s just a small selection of the many photos I took, but I hope it conveys a little of the magic.
Today it is the summer solstice, and a friend and I went out for lunch at a cafe overlooking the Portland Harbour. A beautiful day in a beautiful place.
Season’s greetings to everyone, may your holidays be full of joy and goodness and blessings. xx