October 4, 2009

Tillerman's Next Writing Project?

Arrgh, there's nothing like a salty sea tale to start the salty week. But, what's this? Is there a Tillerman twist? Will he be nagging us to follow suit?

(Update: Arrgh, is he predictable, or what?)

The ninth of November, eighteen eighty-three,
Dawned blustery cold upon the gray sea.
The wind had been raging a gale for three days
And the crew knew, if tested, their ship would miss stays.

Ahead lay the reef that all of them feared,
From the cookie's new hand to the grayest of beard,
For old Colyer Rocks had done many in
With hardly a thought for the next of kin.

They would bear off and run, if only they could,
But the garboards were mated to softening wood,
Which the seas had been working and now flooded past,
More than pumps could contain,
    though they pump till the last.

So they worked up to weather and said quiet prayers
As the ghosts of old Colyer descended the stairs.
And time was their demon as well as the sea
On that ninth of November, eighteen eighty-three.

The captain was stone-faced and knew well their chances,
His eyes bore ahead, avoiding the glances.
This course had brought him a hundred times home,
But in ships that were sounder, in seas with less foam.

As he turned to the mate to order a change,
Old Colyer struck first, having measured the range.
There was no time for boats, no time for goodbyes,
Around them the sea had begun her sharp rise.

She leapt over the rails, the ship was now hers,
Her eyes met the captain's, there were no words.
Around him her chilling arms did entwine,
Reluctant, he tasted her bitter dark wine.

She pulled him down deep, in close to her breast,
He started to weaken, then under a crest,
Her wine dark waters he heavily drank.

(This line has been left intentionally blank.)

2nd update: Curses! Now I've been DQ'd from Tillerman's writing project because I was over early. I correctly predicted the subject of the next writing project hours before it was posted.

Shouldn't I get some points for clairvoyance? Through the ages, we visionaries have often been scoffed at. Copernicus, Einstein, now me. How much scoff can we take? Well, I'm saving this post for the next Tillerman writing project - Most Nautical Clichés In One Blog Post.



  1. Is today tomorrow yet? Or is tomorrow yesterday? Senor O, please stop playing with your time machine, I'm confused to begin with, adding fire to the water makes steam...maybe. It's not fair to have the answers to a test before it exists.

  2. Joe, I'll try to explain this the way I think Tillerman would, because he writes very clearly about mixups like this.

    It's all very simple.

    The day before yesterday, I posted about what I thought Tillerman would post yesterday, which was tomorrow when I posted it the day before yesterday, and then yesterday, Tillerman posted almost exactly what I thought he would post yesterday, which was tomorrow when I posted, and told me that what I'd posted the day before yesterday was too early to make the deadline for what he posted yesterday.

  3. You weren't DSQ. You were OCS. Just go round one of the ends of the start line and start again.

    And please stop trying to read my mind. It will make you go blind.

  4. With a race committee of one and a Class of Experts, OCS is death. Just retire to the club and order all of us drinks. (I'm DNS, so I'll meet you there)

  5. Best suggestion yet, Michael!