Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This post is not about anything in particular but I learned this poem in school and it is one I have always loved. It is "Sea Fever" by John Masefield and I am sure you all know it quite well, but just in case you have forgottene it I quote it now:


I must go down to the seas again, to the lovely 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 sails 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 cannot 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 seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gulls 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 a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

I have always loved the sea, especially in winter when one can watch the huge waves rolling into the shore with the wind whipping the tops of the waves. I can imagine
why John Masefield loved the seas so much and what an exciting and dangerous life it must have been centuries ago to have been a mariner on the oceans of the world. I don't think people then found it at all glamorous (as poetry can make it sound) but the call of adventure in far off lands would beckon them.

I may never have been on an ocean liner (or on a large sailing ship) but I did quite a bit of yachting in my teen years and even owned my own little yacht for a couple of years. Most of my sailing was on the Swan River athough we did venture out into the Indian Ocean one day which nearly ended in disaster. It blew up quite rough and we were taking in water (there were 4 of us in a sharpie - a racing yacht about 19'6" in length and quite narrow) and the pumps weren't dealing adequately with it. We headed back for Fremantle Harbour while bailing madly and because we were so young I guess we didn't realise the danger we were in. We made it back OK and then had to sail all the way back to the ANA Yacht Club in Perth. Four very tired people were glad to call it a day.

As said at the beginning, this is not about anything in particular but just sharing some random thoughts about my love of the sea. The strangest thing though is this....I have never enjoyed 'going to the beach' or swimming in the ocean. I don't like the salt, sand, surf or sun.....I just enjoy watching the sheer majesty of the ocean. I have a lot of respect for it and for the creatures that live in it.


  1. When I was in primary school we started to learn The man from snowy river, I got to about verse 3!!! I still can remember those three verses though. One kid in the class memorised the entire thing and its a very long poem. I also memorised Bible verses and chapters (particularly Psalm 1) in primary school and I can remember those still too. I hope they still teach that for my girls.

  2. Yes, it is amazing how certain things are retained in our memory even though other things can be easily forgotten.