The Year of the Nottingham

The lights confuse us in the night

Tracking right to left and left to right

Steady beacon constant on the bow

Torch flashing sail; waves on metal plough

 

All eyes front, gazing at the steady stream

Of fishermen, leisure yachts passing near abeam

Pitch black warrior of steel, cruising twenty knots

Through a minefield of coral reef and sandy spots

 

In the dead of night watch, that steady light ahead

Lost our nerve, our confidence, woke captain from his bed

Stop all engines, reassess, ignore the fuming Nav

No saving face, or gold of rank, sleeping sailors we have

 

Keep them safe, secure in racks dreaming of their home

On the bridge the young watchkeeper has eyes like radar dome

It was the year I did execute the perfect come ’round

Aft of the Nottingham, the day before it ran aground