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Old 19-12-2015, 19:06   #1
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Christmas At Sea

Christmas At Sea

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things alee.

They heard the surf a-roaring, before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light that we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck, instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we haul'd the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature, we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard;
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'longshore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how, (of all days in the year),
This day of our adversity was blessed Christmas Morn,
And the house above the coastguard's, was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household, and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
'All hands to loose topgallant sails,' I heard the captain call.
'By the Lord, she'll never stand it,' our first mate Jackson cried.
'It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,' he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home, and my folks were growing old.

........................................Robert Louis Stevenson
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Old 21-12-2015, 11:26   #2
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Bump bump

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Old 22-12-2015, 16:10   #3
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Bump bump

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Old 23-12-2015, 19:27   #4
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Bump bump

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Old 23-12-2015, 19:32   #5
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Christmas At Sea

Merry Christmas!
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Old 23-12-2015, 20:06   #6
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Enjoyed that. Thought for sure he was coming home not heading out until the end.
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Old 24-12-2015, 11:03   #7
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Four winds, where are you on the Gulf Coast, if I may ask?
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Old 24-12-2015, 11:19   #8
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Four winds, where are you on the Gulf Coast, if I may ask?
Still hanging out in Gulport, Fl. A great little town but thinking about heading further south after the new year arrives. Had to put on a pair of socks for my cold toes the other day. Don't want to dig out my only pair of long pants.

I have a no-plan plan but think in about heading up the East coast in the spring.
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Old 25-12-2015, 10:14   #9
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Re: Christmas At Sea

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Still hanging out in Gulport, Fl. A great little town but thinking about heading further south after the new year arrives. Had to put on a pair of socks for my cold toes the other day. Don't want to dig out my only pair of long pants.

I have a no-plan plan but think in about heading up the East coast in the spring.



Have you spent any time up in the panhandle? Thinking about the Pensacola area..
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Old 27-12-2015, 16:04   #10
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Yes, that's where I've spent the most of my time on the water.

Orange Beach, Pensacola, Panama City, Appalachacola, Port St. Joe, Carabelle, Cedar Key. Been back and forth several times. Usually at anchor though.

Looking to new unexplored areas for the new year.
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Old 30-12-2015, 08:52   #11
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Been thinking about moving up to that area, maybe Santa Rosa island, Pensacola Beach or nearby. What are your thoughts about that part of Florida?
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Old 31-12-2015, 17:09   #12
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Generally, I think I like the panhandle area more than the rest of Florida. But haven't seen it all from the water yet.

Pensacola Beach area. Can't speak to the marinas or night life there, maybe others will chime in. Have anchored many times along Santa Rosa Island and always enjoyed good holding and usually solitude. That is near the pass or over to the eastern end. Of course the built up part around the bridge is different. Free city dock there, lots of restaurants and shops. Spring break and the summer season is crazy busy there. In those areas I usually stay put on Sat. and Sun.

I understand there are some reasonable marinas there. That and having the bay for day sailing and the easy pass to offshore are the best attributes for the area to me.
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Old 01-01-2016, 22:45   #13
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Re: Christmas At Sea

Four Winds, if you eventually make your way around to the Daytona Beach area please get in touch with me. Worth at least a free beer. If I haven't already moved up to the Panhandle, that is...
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