This poem by Capt. Joe Earl tells you all you need to know about our Members, a fine body of men – say some:
We could man a battleship, we could sail a scow,
Association members have not forgotten how,
We still remember Morse code and streaming of the log,
How to sail the wide world and navigate in fog.
We can wield a trusty sextant and box the compass round,
Pull a heavy piston to a chain block’s rattle sound,
We could feed all hands, with plenty left for suppers,
Though the vessel’s pitching and rolling to the scuppers.
We could anchor anywhere and count the shackles home,
Cleaning up, outward bound, use the holy stone,
Rig a stage or boson’s chair – throw a heaving line,
Most things being nautical we can do just fine.
We bade farewell to splicing and seamen’s ‘work by hand,
The cranky coal fired engine and steam emitting gland,
But one thing may be lacking in these modern days,
Is how to work the Sat. Nav. or ‘push the button’ ways.
So we sit back in retirement and think of olden times,
Like sweating in the tropics supping juice of limes,
Perhaps a Russian convoy freezing half to death,
As well as mighty hurricanes that take away one’s breath
Still, we know it’s over as we contemplate a glass,
Nothing like a full life to make regrets so sparse,
We are baffled by technology and systems that are new,
This ever-ready bunch of ours – this out of date old crew.
The Merchant Navy Association