Alan passed away on September 25th, 2021 after a battle with cancer. Alan has been a valued club skipper for many years and has made a huge contribution to BSA.
There’s a crossing to be made, in the dead of night
And winds will be howling, though the forecast is light
Long watches to be done, and the sails need to ease
Get the provisions aboard but please, don’t bring cheese.
Departure bearings with care, as the land slips to black
Lights loom in the night, as we make our first tack
Many times he taught us, in situations adverse
You control them with a question, or action or curse.
The soul of the ancients, resided in him
And he sailed with great certainty, never a whim
By chart and compass, and clock and star
Like mariners for centuries, who sailed afar.
As the watches come up, and the watches take rest
Never sleeping just napping, the skipper knows best
Keen eyed and wakeful, as the ocean slips by
Grappa sipped from his flask, to help focus the eye.
We sharpen our plot, as first lights are sighted
Dawn breaking on France, with an entry to pilot
Long forgotten transits, hidden by nature’s hand
Trust in his knowledge, as we’ll safely make land.
Say Adieu to the sea, as ashore we all roll
For a coffee and Calvados, to reset the soul
There’s so many adventures and stories to tell
We all knew him in some ways, but ne'er so well.
Recounting lavishly of exploits, or customs or law
But not given to prayer, at any time that I saw
With the slightest of reason, he’d be climbing the mast
Harness clipped to the halyard, upward bound to the last.
We’ve all had our times, when prayer seems to matter
As our rigging, like life, starts to shake bang and clatter
We end life’s long journey, our crew left behind
On the shore of their souls, as the memories unwind.
Your crew’s staying land-side, bon voyage my old friend
Fish soup in your pressure pan, awaits watch’s end
Sail safely and smoothly, storms find you no more
Alan, we’ll see you again, on that far distant shore.