The harbor this weekend, was full of Classic Wooden Boats on display, it brought back memories bitter sweet, for all that Godfrey loved horses, disliked beets and the pompous, he adored wooden boats, and if he were visiting during the Festival, always went. He would look for a particular yacht, ask after Alex, the hard drinking old single-hander, who had taught him to sail. “I spent a lot of time heaving, to Alex’s glee, recalled Godfrey…
Cicadas and dust, a loud, steady hum in the bush, as slowly I left the roadway for steep track. I could see cross the bay to Russell town, looking backward as I climbed, and down. “Be still, gallant heart, you will soon scent the tea tree, North Island green on the horizon, bay blue..the vast sea, the hard ships will all be behind you.
Was early in the New Year, 74′, we meandered about these fair islands their snug golden coves I recall..the sparks of beach fire, the cold damp of mornings on board, how she fetched the breeze to her, battered yet sturdy old ship, the “White Squall”.
Some town folks say she was sold, a loner, years ago bought her. I asked at The Stone Store, the bars down the docks, have all gone to the tourist, but one old chap reckoned, she was wrecked years ago on the jagged “Black Rocks”.
Two inches of free-board in the dinghy I rowed, Alex drunk, singing, his crates of beer safely stowed. Neath the stars we circled, he flicked gems at me, from the trail of phosphorescence, the emerald path my oars churned from the sea.
Be still, gallant heart, wherever you be, I heaved over the side, as you laughed at me. your life’s dream was to fix up your boat and head west, I seek your name, midst the buccaneers, fishers, the poets, the reckless ones, and those high on this sunny hill top they call “Sailor’s Rest”