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3 corrections, most recently by sabm - Show corrections

BEN GERMEIN

Well, you've gone on the long cruise at last, Ben; You've sailed for the mystical strand ; Mayhap while we write some old friend, robed in white.

Points out the 'lay' of the land.   What we call the sun and the moon, Ben; What we call the planets and stars. Mayhap you will hear in the course that you steer, Are the lights on celestial bars. For 'tis a marvellous space-stretching sea, Ben, And though millions upon it have steered, No one ever came back to tell us the track To take when life's vessel is cleared. Perhaps there's something depends on the freight, Ben, And white deeds are still in demand, Then the wrecked ones you've saved, and the dangers you've braved Will help you in making the land. You know the grand secret at last, Ben, And which sailing direction is right. Some point east, some point west, north or south, as the best. And each has his own coloured light. We take out our charts and our rules. Ben, We try very deep casts with the lead, Take cross-bearings each side, correct for leeway and tide. But no man can pass till he's dead. We know the point of departure you took, Ben, But know not the course you have shaped. And though we almost pierce space with our glasses no trace Shows the ship in which you escaped. Mayhap you've found navigation quite new, Ben, And our steam innovation — your bane— But a baby's toy to the ships they employ On that unknown and wonderful main. You knew ev'ry cape on the blue, Ben, Of our South Australian seas. Ev'ry island and nook, and could tell like a book The course and the distance with ease. The shoal, without beacons or buoys, Ben, You knew to an inch how to clear; But haply at port, your restlessness past On tho jasper-hued waters you steer. There's no clnb or hoxhauling there, Ben, No easing the sheets in a jump, No starboard nor port, no wind slants to court, Nor meeting the yaws in a lump. There's no Humbug Reach in the course, Ben, No watching the tides or the vane. No Luff Point, or shoals, to trouble the souls   Of the pilots up there, Ben Germein. G. M. Port Adelaide, September 20, 1893. "Humbug Reach'' is just below "Luff Point,"       and was so called in the old time because the wind headed the vessels bearing up to the Port more in   the "Reach" than at any other part in the stream.     If they could weather "Luff Point" by an extra   luff they could make a good long stretch on the starboard tack. In the Reach the tacks were short. I have drawn attention to "Humbug   Reach" and "Luff Point" because for some time past your yachting and rowing correspondents have been misinformed, and persist in calling the point Bluff Point. It is well, I think, to stick to the old   appropriate names, whose meanings are in evidence. G. M.

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