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Old 12-14-2007, 08:59 AM   #1
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Vessel Name: Anastasia III
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,716
Christmas at Sea

Christmas at Sea
Robert Louis Stevenson

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand,
The wind was a nor'-wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tack'd and tack'd between the South Head and the North;
All day we haul'd the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tack'd from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roar'd;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard;
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'longshore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volley'd out;
And I vow we sniff'd the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days of the year)
This day of our adversity was blessed Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves
Go dancing round the china-plates that stand upon the shelves!

An well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
An O the wicked fool I seem'd, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
'All hands to loose topgallant sails!' I heard the captain call.
'By the Lord, she'll never stand it,' our first mate Jackson cried.
. . . 'It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,' he replied.

She stagger'd to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We clear'd the weary headland, and pass'd below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:07 PM   #2
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Christmas at Sea

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the yard
Not a boat was floating-all on the hard.
The fenders were hung on the railing with care
In hopes that the T-lift soon would be there.
The mates were asleep all snug in their beds
While visions of Nordhavn floated in their heads.
The captain and Boss were sleeping on board
As pleas to be launched were all but ignored.
And Boss in her jammies and me in my glasses
Had just settled down to rest our poor *sses
When out on the dirt there arose such a clatter
I jumped up to see what was the matter.
Away to the port, I stepped on some trash
And fell on my head giving it a sound bash.
The moon on the rust of the anchor below
Gave rise to the thought of something to stow.
When what to my blood shot eyes should I see
But a jolly short fat man with a case of Wild Turkey
With a wart on his nose and an eye with a tick
I knew in a moment this must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his course was not stayed
He tripped on the anchor, fell down, legs splayed
Oh gosh darn how stupid, a blunder no doubt
The air was blue with the curses hed shout
Oh Marin and Baker and Rufus and Bill
Old fishboat and sloboat and dont forget Phil
The swearing went on for just but a sec
He gathered his wits and rubbed his sore neck.
To the top of the deck ! To the top of the cabin!
Ive too much to do to keep on with this blabbin
So up to the flybridge the curses they flew
With arms full of bourbon and St. Nicholas too.
And then in a twinkling I heard once again
The clinking of bottles the quiet refrain
One for the road Ill have just a sip
No one will mind a quick little nip.
As I drew in my head and was turning around
St. Nick made the aft deck with one small short bound.
He was dressed for the rain with a bright red slicker
And wobbled a bit from all the hard liquor
He had on his back a bag cum red border
No Radar for you its all on back order
His eyes how they watered all rum soaked and such
I got you some stuff but its not very much
He reached in the case and pulled out a brochure
You want a new boat and this is the cure
My eyes glazed over as he gave me the material
Its my dream, a Cheoy Lee, something ethereal
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread
Its yours if you want just go to the bank
Im screwed I know, too speechless to thank
And laying his finger aside of his nose
The payments will kill you youve got the big hose.
And giving a nod he fell just aft
To get a new boat is simply too daft
Ill soldier on with the one we have now
A recore a paint job and a bit on the bow
We all make do with what weve got
And what is wrong with a bit of rot?
With this silly verse Im happy to say
Its a pleasure to know you so dont go away.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:46 PM   #3
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Christmas at Sea

I don't think any of the above authors were anywhere close to Ft. Myers when the verses were pinned. Who Knew?
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