The Storm at Sea (a sea shanty)
The Storm at Sea
by John Hansen (c) 2014
Black clouds gather against the white
Like orcas stalking seals.
The air is still but ominous,
The calm before the storm.
On the far away horizon
Chain lightning can be seen.
Rolling thunder follows on
Like a ghostly drummer's beat.
The small craft bobs on gentle waves,
It's sails dropped and secured.
I've battened down the hatches,
To await the storm at sea.
The crew is brave but nervous,
Having seen these signs before.
The 'warning!' forecast came at last,
But too late to abort.
Suddenly with increase force
The wind begins to blow,
Heavy rain pours from the sky
To pound the fishing boat.
All conversation ceases
As men assume set tasks.
The bilge pump working overtime
As huge waves swamp the deck.
Thank you Kim for reminding me of this song
The fearsome storm attacks with ire,
Like a dreaded Mongol horde,
With Ghengis Khan instead of God,
Controlling nature's force.
One faithful seaman climbs on deck,
A sail has come untied.
A crushing wave thwarts his attempt,
And sweeps him overboard.
All rescue efforts fruitless,
He disappears from sight.
Huge seas steal his life away,
Like a robber in the night.
The boat is rocked by rain and waves
But somehow stays afloat.
Lightning strikes the tallest mast,
It's shattered in the wake.
Then just as quickly as it struck,
The violent storm is gone.
The clouds disperse in minutes,
And the surging seas now calm.
The battered vessel limps to shore,
Like a dog to lick its wounds.
Sadly with one crewman less,
Who braved the perfect storm.
Shipwrecks That You Can Visit
There are estimated to be approximately three million undiscovered shipwrecks scattered on the oceans’ floor across the world, some dating back thousands of years. Even the number of known wrecks are incredibly high. The website Wrecksite.eu contains records of more than 148,000 wrecks at the time of this writing. Many shipwrecks are historically significant and protected under UNESCO as underwater cultural heritage. Most have been abandoned and remain either submerged or grounded near beaches, left to the effects of nature. Some of them have turned into tourist attractions because of the many photographic opportunities they offer.
The most recent shipwreck that acquired huge media attention was the Costa Concordia that overturned in the waters near Isola del Giglio, on the western coast of Italy, in January 2012. The capsized ship attracted tourists from all over the world to the area. Salvage operations are still ongoing but it is expected that the ship will soon be towed out of the bay.
Other Famous Shipwrecks You Can Still Visit and Their Locations
The MS World Discoverer: Roderick Bay on Nggela Island, Solomon Islands
Mediterranean Sky (originally called City of York): Eleus us Gulf in Greece
The MV Captayannis: River Clyde in Scotland
SS America (later renamed American Star): Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands
Dimitrios (previously named "Klintholm"): Valtaki in the prefecture of Laconia in Greece
Olympia: Katapola, on Amorgos island in Greece
BOS 400: Duiker Point near Sandy Bay, South Africa
La Famille Express: southern waters of Provo in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean Sea
HMAS Protector: Heron Island, Queensland, Australia
Evangelia (previously known as Empire Strength, Saxon Star, Redbrook): Costinesti, Greece
SS Maheno: Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia
Santa Maria: Boa Vista and Cape Verde
(For the full enthralling histories and amazing photos of these vessels please visit www.amusing planet.com)
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