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Poem by Ron Ducker

We sailed down the river as far as the hope
With a cargo of Canadian wheat
I‘d covered the hatches and coiled down the rope
And drove in the wedges all neat

Next day we were up with the sound of the lark
Had breakfast and ready to go
At this time of day it was still quite dark
And it looked as though it might snow

One or two more barges lay close by
Their windlass’s clanking away
I had a look up into a murky old sky
Saying this looks like not a good day

The tawp’sl was set and we ghosted along
The other’s sailing along side
We are all hoping that nothing go’s wrong
And we’ll make Harwich Harbour this tide.

All sails are now set as we pass Chapman head
A bone in her teeth to be sure
It’s cold and I wish I was still in my bed
For I am frozen right down to the core

Southend pier is under our lea
To windward the other barges sail
I peer over the bow to look at the sea
As it comes lapping over our rail

It’s down through the spit way then onto the Naze
The cork light make’s its bellowing sound
I can see Harwich Harbour as I look through the haze
It feel’s good to be homeward bound.

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