I must down to the seas again…

…which as anyone of a half-decent education should know is the opening line to Sea-Fever, a poem by John Masefield.

By way of CNN and LawDog, I have found much to my dismay that the Cutty-Sark, the fastest ship of her class ever built has been severely damaged by a fire. There is a belief that the fire may have been intentionally set, and I agree with LawDog in that someone who would burn a ship that lovely on purpose needs to be dragged through the streets and shot in the mouth.

There is nothing quite as lovely as a vessel under full sail. Like all cadets at the Coast Guard Academy, I spent a summer on USCGC EAGLE, which when it comes to ships is quite simply “where it is at”. I had the (mis)fortune of greatly enjoying my time underway, and acquired a taste for sail which is difficult to sate in landlocked Indiana.

While I would not call myself a salty man by any stretch of the word, operating under sail is quite simply the best way to go. If I can convince my wife, our “cruise” vacation will be on one of these.

From time to time I find myself staring out the window of my office, and my mind drifts away to the snap of canvas in the wind, the feel of line in my hands, and the feel of the deck beneath my feet. I can almost smell the saltwater now…

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and 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 grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down 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 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.

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