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[Sea Horse]

Between the innocence of infancy and
The recklessness of adultery comes that unique
Specimen of humanity known as a seaman
Seamen can be found in bars, in arguments
In bed, in debt and intoxicated.
They are tall, short, fat, thin, dark, fair but never normal.
They dislike ships food, chief engineers, writing letters
Sailing on Saturdays and dry ships.
They like receiving mail, paying off day, nude pin ups,
Sympathy, complaining and beer.
A seamans secret ambition is to change positions
With the owner for just one trip, to own a brewery
And to be loved by everyone in the world.
A seaman is a Sir Galahad in a Japenese brothel,
A pyschiatrist with Readers Digest on the table,
Don Quixote with a discharge book,
The saviour of mankind with his back teeth awash,
Valentino with a fiver in his back pocket and
Democracy personified in a red Chinese prison cell.
No one is subject to so much abuse, wrongly accused,
So often misunderstood by so many as a seaman.
He has the patience of Job, the honesty of a fool,
And the heaven sent ability to laugh at himself.
When he returns home from a long voyage
No one else but a seaman can create such an atmosphere
Of suspense and longing as he walks through the door
With the magic words on his lips,

[Rope Line]

Some quotes :

[Sea Horse]

Believe me , my young friend , there is nothing --
absolutely nothing --
half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats .

- The Wind in the Willows

Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that flow.
'Tis the set of sails and not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast.
- William Penn

We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation,
a ship going to discover the New World.
And the Beatles were in the crow's nest of that ship.
- John Lenon

A few quotes by the one eyed English Naval Officer Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) . He was quite a character by all accounts and fought the French winning many victories including Trafalgar in 1805 ---

I have always been a quarter of an hour before my time, and it has made a man of me.

I have only one eye, I have a right to be blind sometimes.

When I came to explain to them the 'Nelson Touch',
it was like an electric shock.
Some shed tears, all approved -
'It was new - it was singular - it was simple!'.

Something must be left to chance; nothing is sure in a sea fight beyond all others.

No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.

Horatio Nelson

A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.
Grace Murray Hopper

No dust have I to cover me,
My grave no man can see;
My tomb is this unending sea,
And I lie far below.
My fate, Oh stranger, was to drown,
And where it was the ship went down
Is what the sea-birds know.

A great ship asks deep water.
George Herbert

Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
Zora Neale Hurston

To the ships of our seas ,
And the women of our land ....
May the former be well Captained
And the latter well manned .

Here's to tall ships
Here's to small ships
Here's to all the ships on the sea
But the best ships are friendships ..
Here's to you and me .

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth;
Whenever it is damp, drizzly November in my soul;
Whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing
before coffin warehouse,
And bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet;
And especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me
that it requires a strong moral principal to prevent me
from deliberately stepping into the street,
and methodically knocking people's hats off - then,
I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of drowning.

How long have you been a sailor ?

All my bloomin' life.
Me mother was a mermaid.
Me father was King Neptune.
I was born on the crest of a wave
And rock the cradle of the deep.
Seaweed and barnacles are me clothes,
The hair on me head is hemp,
Every bone in me body's a spar,
And when I spit, I spit tar.
I'se hard, I is, I am, I are.
--- an old answer to an old question

A Rare Phenomenon

The Captain's note to the Chief Officer
Early in the morning there will be a total solar eclipse at 09.00 hours.
This is something that cannot be seen every day, so let the crew line up
in their best clothes on deck in order that they may see it. To mark this
rare phenomenon I will myself explain it to them. If it is raining, we will
not be able to see it clearly. In that case the crew should gather in the

The Chief Officer's note to the First Officer
On Captain's orders there will be a total solar eclipse early tomorrow morning
at 09.00 hours. If it is raining we will not be able to see it clearly from
the deck in our best clothes. In that case the sun's disappearance will be
fully observed in the messroom. This is something which does not happen

The First Officer's note to the Second Officer
On Captain's orders we shall fully observe in our best clothes that the sun
disappears in the messroom at 09.00 hours. The Captain will tell us if it is
going to rain. This is something that does not happen every day.

The Second Officer's note to the Bosun
If it is raining in the messroom early tomorrow, which is something that does
not happen every day, tha Capatain in his best clothes will disappear at
09.00 hours.

The Bosun's note to the crew
Early tomorrow at 09.00 hours the Captain will disappear. It is a pity that this
does not happen every day.

The following quotes came from Anne Blacklers web site;

"If in danger, never fear, you can always blame the engineer!"
+ + +
"The best captains sail the roughest seas"
+ + +
"As I stood on the bridge at midnight,
A thought came into my head:
Why the hell am I standing here.
When I could be home in bed?"
+ + +
"Oh seagull i'm grieving to find you relieving,
Yourself on the Merchant Marine,
I presume you've good sight, and can see by this light,
That Orontes is not a latrine.
God gave you the oceans for your little motions,
And Italy offers a Po,
But if it's finer to aim at a liner,
Then why not a nice P&O? "

All poems , quotes and shanties listed here are believed to be Public Domain . Credit is given where known .

Thanks go to the following for their contributions ;
Edward Hinckley.
Martin Leduc
Ann Blackler

If you know any maritime songs , shanties , quotes, letters, or poems and would like to see them published here please drop me an email

[Rope Line]

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This page was last updated on 23rd July 2000