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The Storm at Sea - A Sea Shanty

Updated on October 25, 2016
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

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The Storm at Sea

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      what a good story poem.. all the dramatics lay easy to read..Love it bro :)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Very well done, Jodah. Emotions, visions, all there and powerful. I love it.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A strongly expressed poem and you have such great talent through all your work thank you.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      A storm at sea must be so frightening. Modern ships can now navigate around them, but, at one time, they couldn't. This is a good reminder of how perilous sailing once was.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Fran for the kind comment , glad I managed to capture the dramatics of fighting a storm at sea.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading Phyllis. I'm pleased you found this poem enjoyable

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I appreciate your kind praise DDE. Glad you enjoy my writing/poetry.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      You are right Ologs, modern technology and meteorology has made shipping a lot safer, but some are still being shipwrecked and lost at sea. It was once even more perilous though as you say. Thaks for reading.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I would not give up one second of the times that nature has threatened my life. It is the epitome of living. Great hub.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Eric, yes we have to experience all the wonders of nature, good and bad to have really lived.

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      Michael Snow 2 years ago

      There is something about a storm at sea like no other place on earth. Mother nature at its finest! She can heap havoc on a sailors lot and bring him to Davey Jones locked fairly quickly or spare his life to sail another day. I am in awe of her majesty, the sea is a place of beauty and ugliness all rolled into one. Wonderful description here of a Storm at Sea, loved the video too, but sure wouldn't want to be in that boat.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your wonderful and insightful comment Michael. You are so right. There is nowhere to hide from a storm at sea. You are left to the will of nature.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Jodah, your poetry paints such vivid pictures. I felt my heart breaking for the man lost at sea. What he must have been thinking in his last minutes on Earth, I can only imagine.

      Awesome poem, my friend!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for such a kind comment Shauna. I have never been in that seaman's shoes fortunately and never want to be.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for such a kind comment Shauna. I have never been in that seaman's shoes fortunately and never want to be.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One has to have great faith in one's abilities to work raging seas. That kind of life would not be for me....then again, if you are born to it, it probably is so natural. I prefer to look at my raging seas from a distance...or look inside my heart from time to time, where the waves crash constantly. :) Have a wonderful weekend my friend. Beautiful work.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Far out John. It was as if the storm came by for that one seaman. Nobody else and not even the ship, except for that mast, was hurt. Voted up.

      Kevin

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your in depth comment Bill, you are right about waves crashing in one's heart. I don't have a lot of experience at sea either, but love to read about maritime adventures. You have a great weekend too.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Such a great story, and beautifully written. The sea is so powerful, yet serene while watching the waves come ashore. Loved it. Thank you...

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      beautifully written Jodah; Thanks for sharing...Oh, by the way have you started on the story of the Elfin's when they went to explore the downstairs? Me and my little cousin loved that story, so creative. I just love your work, keep it coming.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

      What a great story and poem. Reminds me of "The Perfect Storm".

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for the kind comment Dana, and for reminding me about the elfin story. I was thinking I should get back to that one. Meanwhile if you and your little cousin haven't read my other children's story 'Where the Lost Things Go'...here's the link. It may give you something to read him while I'm working on the other. https://hubpages.com/literature/Where-The-Lost-Thi...

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Kevin, yes he was just an unlucky casualty. Should have forgotten about the mast. Too many heroes out there.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Lisa. Glad you enjoyed. Yes it was loosely based on 'The Perfect Storm', and I tried to call my hub that but it was already taken.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      This was a very vivid story, John. Great job!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading Flourish, and for your kind comment.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Such a powerful, descriptive poem! Thank you for sharing it with your hub friends.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I thank you for reading this poem Blossom. It is a pleasure to share my writing.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very descriptive and dramatic poem with vivid imagery, Jodah. I enjoyed reading it!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Alicia, glad you enjoyed the adventure.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading and the kind comment Alicia.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      You have captured the powerful force of the raging sea here perfectly in your wonderful poem. My mother was in Rockport, MA visiting my aunt back when the "Perfect Storm" hit ... whew! Life can be like the raging sea at times and the calm before the storm too.

      Up and more and away

      Blessings

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Faith for the kind comment. The 'perfect storm' sure must have been frightening. You are right that life can be turbulent too. Thanks for the vote up too.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Enjoyed this dramatic poem and the stormy ride on the sea.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Gypsy, glad you didn't get sea sick...lol.

    • joedolphin88 profile image

      Joe 2 years ago from north miami FL

      That writing was moving and powerful great drama in poetry

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading joedolphin, I appreciate your kind comment.

    • joedolphin88 profile image

      Joe 2 years ago from north miami FL

      absolutely my friend, was truly nice to read something out of my normal hub categories

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 2 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I would so love to rewrite the poem with an alternate ending and have the wave fling the man's body onto the shore where he is found by the locals, after the storm, battered but still alive. But that would be in a perfect world. My husband and his uncles used to work on cargo ships. Your poem paints a very real picture of what the crewmen face in a very real storm.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Wow - what power the elements hold over us and so well expressed in this poem. Your photo's totally add to the dramatic situation. Reading this I'm pleased my feet are on dry land.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading this poem cmmoneyspinner1tf,

      Who knows, maybe the man was washed up later battered but alive. Let's hope so. I'm glad you could relate to the story through your husband and his uncles.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi travail, I am a bit of a landlubber too, though I love to read the adventures on the high seas. Glad you enjoyed this. Yes I agree good photos can add to the drama of a poem or story so I like to use them.

    • joedolphin88 profile image

      Joe 2 years ago from north miami FL

      hey I just wrote a poem called Lucifer's Question, wondering you'd be willing to critique it for me. Could use some constructive criticism if you have the time.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Sure thing Joe, I'll check it out now if it's a hub.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I was moved by your poem, even though it ended on a sad note. I love the ocean but the high seas and wind are a bit scary.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you very much teaches. The ocean is captivating, but I wouldn't like to be at sea in a storm.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      Oh, how nice! I started out looking for rhyme and found a wonderful story instead. This was a great poem! Voted up, awesome, beautiful.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Rachael. I do sometimes surprise and leave out the rhyme if I think the story can carry it alone. Glad you enjoyed this, and I appreciate the vote up too.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is so wonderfully expressed story through a poem!

      You painted the picture of storm at the Sea so effectively as if it is happening right in front.

      Lively pictures and video, voted up!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thankyou Chitangada for your kind comment and vote up.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 2 years ago from Lagos

      A good and wonderful write. You captured the scene in such a wonderful way. They braved the storm even with a loss; but lessons they must have learnt never to sail in bad weather. good job.

      (I am certain i saw your mail, but it just disappeared like magic as i was about opening it. I'm stunned!)

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading Thandi. The email was just in regard to your comment on "In the Name of Progress". I guess it was magic, if it disappeared...weird.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      It is always about the pictures for me. Loved the first one. I am a visual learner and see images first.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I find that also Paula. As they say "a picture is worth a thousand words", and I find good images really enhance my poetry especially. Thanks.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Just update and improved this hub. Hope it's score starts to rise.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      John,

      Beautiful poem and with such wonderful imagery. Whenever I think about shipwrecks, the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot comes to mind. Now, I have another poem that will come to mind whenever I am thinking about shipwrecks. Also, I had no idea that there were so many shipwrecks covering the ocean's floor. Great Hub as always and voted such.

      Hope you are enjoying a wonderful day.

      Kim

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Kim, wow Gordon Lightfoot and "the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"..that brings back memories. It is amazing the vast numbers of ships that have been and are still being wrecked. I am glad you enjoyed this poem. You have yourself a great day too.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi John. I was on the deck, that's how good your poem was. First class. Then the information all of great interest. I enjoyed it.

      voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for the kind comment Graham. I am glad I was able to bring the scene to life and that you enjoyed the read. Vote ups are kindly accepted as well. Cheers.

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