Alexander helms the good ship Mariner on Whangarei Harbour.
Yesterday I went sailing with my son Alexander - it was a good sail with the breeze building over the day to about 20 knots. It is good for dads and sons to do things together and yesterday was one of those kind of days.
This poem by John Masefield is one that I remember from my childhood. I remember it impressing me greatly at a time when I was an avid, obsessed small boat sailor. I well remember riding down Bexley Road in Christchurch NZ and seeing in the distance the shimmering, flapping of sails of yachts rigged ready for sailing at the Pleasant Point Yacht Club - I remember pumping the pedals on my bike and pulling the front wheel of my bike off the ground and into the air in anticipation and excitement as I rushed to rig my own little P class 'Elusive' and go sailing - to be part of the wonder and excitement of it all.
I MUST 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 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.