The Atlantic was smooth under the night sky,
It made a very welcome difference.
Nights were hard on this solo sailor,
A quick scan of the horizon every twenty or thirty minutes and then back down to my bunk.
But what was that!
For the first time in ages there was a strange light off the starboard bow.
Impossible to gauge the distance.
Then I had it!
It was no ship’s light,
It was the edge of the rising moon.
My bunk below was forgotten in an instant.
The sight of the rising full moon was everything.
It rose seemingly rapidly and now cast its light over the ocean.
My ketch sailed in its golden light.
We seemed to sail on forever.
Now that’s coming on for thirty years ago,
But it is still clear in my mind.
Clear as if it was yesterday,
Reminded of it each full moon.
My ketch still sailing in its golden light.
The following is not Songbird but a much more appropriate photograph.
And the poem came to me just the other day. The memory of that full moon out in the Atlantic en-route to Plymouth from Gibraltar in 1991 will be with me for ever.