Sunday, November 24, 2013

FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS











capn's new boat
My brother Captain Geordie King, of Eliot, Maine, is a commercial fisherman based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Turns out he's selling his old boat, the Ocean Pride and buying a new boat from a guy up in Newfoundland.

He'll be "steaming" up the coast shortly.

"Fair winds and following seas" is a traditional nautical blessing.

I found this other blessing in an old book of Celtic prayers.

SEA PRAYER

HELMSMAN: Blest be the boat.

CREW: God the Father bless her.

HELMSMAN:  Blest be the boat.

CREW:  God the Son bless her.

HELMSMAN: Blest be the boat.

CREW: God the Spirit bless her.

ALL: God the Father,
         God the Son,
         God the Spirit,
         Bless the boat.

HELMSMAN:  What can befall you
                         And God the Father with you?

CREW: No harm can befall us.

HELMSMAN: What can befall you
                        And God the Son with you?

CREW: No harm can befall us.

HELMSMAN:  What can befall you
                         And God the Spirit with you?

CREW: No harm can befall us.

ALL: God the Father,
         God the Son,
         God the Spirit,
                 With us eternally.

HELMSMAN: What can cause you anxiety
                        And the God of the elements over you?

CREW: No anxiety can be ours.

HELMSMAN: What can cause you anxiety
                        And the King of the elements over you?

CREW: No anxiety can be ours.

HELMSMAN: What can cause you anxiety
                        And the Spirit of the elements over you

CREW: No anxiety can be ours.

ALL: The God of the elements,
         The King of the elements,
         The Spirit of the elements,
         Close over us,
                 Ever eternally.

--from Carmina Gadelica, Volume 1, by Alexander Carmicheal, [1900] 

young geordie and our father with lobsters
fresh from dad's traps.
kitchen, 108 post road, north hampton, nh,
circa 1968

2 comments:

  1. Well, the beauty of "The Sea Prayer" sure put a lump in my throat this morning! Thanks for posting, Heather. When I read something like this, I realize I have a serious poetry deficiency in my life. This helps. ; p

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  2. Good morning, Heather: The lump in my throat remains there for 6 months after I come home from a visit to my beloved California. I have only been to the east coast once and it was absolutely stunningly beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing.

    My sister now lives in Arkansas and I live in Texas. I have the Gulf of Mexico, but she has only lakes and streams. After you've been introduced to the sea (Atlantic/Pacific), there is nothing to compare. The Gulf of Mexico is okay, but that's all!!! Just okay. My sister and I lament often about the ocean, our childhood memories and our beautiful ocean heritage. We all fish, we all swim and both of my brothers own boats!!

    Love you, Heather, and thanks so much for the poem. When possible, we always go for the blessing of the fleets. We (my family and anyone exposed to the beautiful sea) are the most blessed on earth. While mountains and valleys, deserts and mesas and flatlands are gorgeous and breathtaking, there is NOTHING like the ocean, NOTHING!!!!

    Blessings, M.

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