This week's prompt of a ship launch invites us to consider not only ships, but new beginnings. However I am focussing instead on the past and connections (very loose) with the sea, plus memories of poems and sea shanties from school days.
A traditional view of the River Tyne ( taken from South Shields
looking across to the Norwegian ferry at North Shields.
The occupations of the Donaldson's and their extended family (White and Moffet) ranged from merchant and master mariner to seaman, caulker, roper, ship's carpenter and river policeman.
Edgartown on the island of Martha's Vineyard off Cape Cod were harmonious and the population grew from 19,00 in 1850 to in to 4, 067 in 2010. By the 19th century Edgartown was one of the main whaling ports on the American Atlantic coast. Scrimshaw is the craft of decorating or carving whale bone or ivory, done by sailors as a recreational activity.
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.
Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores
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 grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go 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.
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.
Finally to my very tenuous sea connection - taking part in a student production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "HMS Pinafore". In the first photo, I am second from the right with the pink parasol.