FASTNET TRAGEDY

Posted by Admin on Sunday, 29th June 2008, 00:00

“The only challenge left,” a yachtsman said,
and I, an armchair sailor, hid my envy with
a smile.

I saw them in Cowes High Street, on the Quay –
a race apart, those healthy, hearty men,
all tuned to racing pitch, there buying stores
or spares, or chatting in a dozen tongues
while linked by common aim.
I saw them go close-hauled on starboard tack
in Gurnard Bay – a fleet of fifty grouped –
saw, too, a gleam from broken cloud that seemed
an omen light their sails – illumine their
departure.
A misread ocean, for Atlantic caught
them, took its toll, and taught again
that those who sail frail craft and live,
so do by dispensation.

“Adventure every time you put to sea,”
a yachtsman said, and I, a landsman,
no longer envious, agreed.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.

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