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'The time has come,' the Sailor said...

(With apologies to Lewis Carroll)

The sun was shining on the sea,
And glinting off the waves.
The wind was gently blowing:
It was the best of sailing days.
But our Sailor’s lovely yacht was dry –
On land it still did laze.

The Sailor and Non-Sailing Spouse
Were walking on the shore,
And talking of the sea and boats,
As they’d often done before.
‘Cept now the Sailor’s anxiousness
Was growing harder to ignore.

‘The time has come,’ the Sailor said,
‘To talk of many things:
Of paint – and brush – and anti-foul –
Of sandpaper – and strings –
And where the time has upped and gone –
And what the summer brings.’

‘We have no time to lose,’ said He,
‘For as you well do know,
A boat that’s on the hard stand,
Just simply will not go!
And I must be on the water,
When good sailing winds do blow.’

‘It’s up to you,’ his Wife did say,
Though boats she couldn’t stand
‘I certainly will help you,
If the yacht’s still on the land.
But remember - I know nothing,
When I try to lend a hand.’

‘In return I want a dinner out,
Good food, a laugh, and wine.
No talk of wretched sailing,
So we’ll have a smashing time.’
‘You’re on,’ agreed the Sailor,
‘If you get the boat to shine.’

‘To work!’ declared the Sailor,
In the middle of the lot,
Atop a blue-hulled Dehler,
Thick with barnacles and grot.
And it was then his darling Wife really
Began to lose the plot.

‘When I said that I would clean this boat,
I didn’t have a clue,
That it would take a blinking month,
Give or take a day or two!’
‘A deal’s a deal,’ the Sailor said.
(He was a lawyer too!)

And so with lots of grumping, frowns
And great gnashings of teeth,
The boat was cleaned inside and out,
On top and underneath.
But all along the Sailor got
A huge amount of grief.

‘At last, it’s in!’ the Sailor crowed,
As his shiny yacht did creep
From hoist into the water,
After a long cold winter’s sleep.
‘And thank you for your help, my dear!
Now my promise I shall keep!’

‘But first, I think I’ll try her out,
Have a sail, if that’s okay.
For the wind is from the west again,
And it is such a lovely day.’
With that the Sailor hoist his sails,
And was soon quite far away.

The Wife, she ordered coffee,
Read the papers, lazed around,
Until her phone began to ring,
With a horrid, boppy sound.
Oh no! It was the Sailor –
Who had run his boat aground!

‘I do not understand it!’
Growled the Sailor once on shore.
‘The depth gauge wasn’t working!
I couldn’t see the ocean floor.
But the little eye upon the hull
Has always worked before!’

‘What little eye?’ the Wife did ask,
‘I’ve not seen that at all!
And I anti-fouled the whole darn hull –
Which, I might add, is not that small!’
‘Oh, no!’ groaned our poor Sailor,
And banged his head upon the wall.

So the moral of this sorry tale,
Of an accident so dear,
Is – if you want to keep your boat intact,
Don’t let your loved ones near.
And when you are anti-fouling
Make sure you keep your depth gauge clear!

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