Poems of Adventure

Poems written during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2014

Poems written during the Ireland Challenge Yacht Race April 2006

The Mountains

Second fragments

Monday afternoon, heading north up the Atlantic cost in Force 6 South Westerlies

Mist thickens to a low ceiling of rain
Clouding the wave tops.
Seas rise thunder-grey
Pitted with wind-angry scars,
We surge on, canvas stretched.

Rising behind, ancient rollers lift
With brutish delicacy high and
Skew into the trough;
To leeward foam resentful waters
Blanched by our wake.

False, jagged horizons rise behind our backs,
Wind whipped crests in frenzy of foam and howl of air,
We sit, armchair-perched on the stanchion,
Looking steeply at the grey cauldron and
Sudden mass of spewing green and hiss
Of foam below.

Bare faced and grim,
Braced vertical hard angled
Against the tilting of the sea,
The helmsman anticipates each
Bullying twist.

A sudden crash,
No kindly oblique wave, but square on,
Cracking foam into a fountain upwards
And cascade down.

Emerald and white erupt from the
Bitter grey of carved waves,
Spitting resentment in vast cascades
Then surging proudly
Reformed, untouched by our passing.

Ditch grey and silver grey
Flecked white and lace dragged over
Heaving crests:
Tower, lift and surge.

Turning Valencia point,
Massive swells heaves and lift
Prow dipping deep,
Roar and thunder of seething white under our hull:
Hold it . . . Surf it . . .Race the precious green before
The dump.