Wednesday, February 10, 2010

RIP - Captain Phil Harris

Sorry to hear about the loss of Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie operating out of Alaska who came to fame on the Discovery Channel's The Deadliest Catch. Learning of his loss saddens me as I think on the generations of my family that are and have been watermen on the Chesapeake Bay. Many days I wonder how I chose a divergent path and didn't follow in my family's foot steps of earning my living from the sea. This poem by Henry Vann Dyke sums up things quite well. It goes out to you Captn' Ralph, Grandma Jean and Captain Phil.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone"

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"