by Thomas J Camp
Which way, you ask? Do I perchance wish the wind would blow?
S I prefer a Southerly. For me, the best one, don't you know.
The warmth of the Gulf Stream tampers the air of the brisk green sea,
Still deeply cold there at the dark depths where the sun's seeking rays seize to reflect,
And occasionally the South wind will blow a lee.
A southerly wind is a most favorable breeze especially for a sailing.
A most delightful mix, its Finest Kind,
And when the compass flux north the Sea is still a tailing.
Whilst coasting clear of the oyster beds near and beneath the oaken hill,
Black Skimmers while away their time chasing away the chill.
Past the harbor of Rock Hall who’s entrance now is shallow,
We plow toward the open sea, once we navigate the Narrows.
A fleeting breeze blows all the way in from distant Capistrano,
Lifting frail and beating wings of homeward flocks of sparrows.
Whilst overhead the snow geese fly in their distinctive arrow.
All the while the Southerly wind assists them in their journey to lands at wind’s end still.
Southern windward evening,
Misted skies does the moon shroud,
A sailor’s delight! The sky of Cimarron glow framed by cirrus clouds.
The fearful storm has long since passed,
Weatherworn sailors leave port alas
Whilst better weather still, approaches fast.
Leave early in the morning haze they must, fore to coast the canal and the bay.
All to arrive b’ fore the dusk of day by the foot of the light of Cape Mey.
W Westerly winds fill the sail and guides many a full laden ship.
Never mind the Weather blowing softly or more sternly, it’s Time to set the jib!
Hug the low lying land closest along the brim of the vast open oceans.
This diu is not a day for depths offshore, you can forget any notions.
A quartering assist makes way for a mighty good sail up and down the waters.
But if you dare head t ‘without site of land, you’ll find a following foamy sea
Of massive green walls of undulating waves and wispy foam tops allowing for no safe quarters.
Hence, by the summer, the west wind will be soft and warm blowing across the farm land.
Bringing back biting black flies that show up in swarms upon the fjord.
I wonder where they learned to swim. Try smacking them with your hand.
NW The Northwest wind is a howling wind.
One which delivers the brisk winter snow and ice.
She loves to howl and she doesn’t play nice.
Make stout those dock lines, it’s better to stay bound all snug and tight to the port.
Mend the pots and sew the nets, stow away the gear,
Practice your knots, you know, work of that sort.
Once you are thru you can visit the pub and pile away the beers.
N The wind from the North is a powerful menace who bullies his way around.
Twisting tree limbs and branches, until knocking them down clear upon the ground.
He'll deliver a punishing blow to the forward quarter, if you’re on the steam home.
Make sure the anchors fetched clear, or she'll break loose and unleash your worst fear.
It’s best to go slow and let the sea do a soaking wet roll foamy first over the bow.
Breaking waves will burst upon port and stern alike,
Foamy wet swill fills and sifts on deck, yes that's true!
But the hatches are turn buckled tight, so as all will sweep thru.
This is not the kind of wind you wish to ever fool around.
She’ll sink your ship and take your life then dump the remains aground.
Best to be cautious and safe, while loved ones at home still beckon and wait.
NE The Northeast wind is the North’s second cousin.
It’s meaner and trickier than all of the winds.
It blows gently at first then suckers you in.
Wind whistling shrill the rigging plays the tune, all the while blows the white foam crests,
And rocks the sea backwards and forwards at best, stern to bow.
Stirring up a mess of frightening tall surf that thunders on thru,
Blue water by the ton above the beam and over the waist.
And sometimes overruns the transom, it seems.
Dog those hatches and batten the supplies.
Break out those beers and save all your tears.
Tell the green horns all of your lies,
For you are in for a hell of a ride.
E The east wind is pleasant and has none of the traits
Of the aforementioned ill winds troubling our state.
The east wind is best for seeking them out, the fish that is, and watch for the spouts!
You can see them for miles, the back of Gray whales are rearing ahead,
And the pilots are plying along with their stead.
The sky is thick with diving least terns and sailor gull feasting on fishy morsels till full.
The best of friends, at least you might think.
But it’s all over before it began,
When all of them disappear as quick as a wink.
SE The southeasterly wind is neither friend nor foe.
Its steady winds often lift with the blow,
The deep cold water rises up to the top,
Leaving you in the shallows for working your stuff,
Set your cod nets deep so that they can be dragged in the slop.
The fish don’t care for the wind from the southeast,
So they swim further in and away from the deep, but ne’er fish on top.
SW When the southwest wind decides to make up its mind,
She really can blow and blow hard for a time.
But this rarely matters if you are caught in the thick,
Just turn the wheel west and head back home there real quick.
Since all the way home "side to” you will be,
All the way home, “side to”, to the sea.
The bow and the stern will lift the same way
As long as the trough’s not too deep in her stay.
Otherwise, she may roll quite incessantly.
So ask me again which wind I like best,
And I’ll reply differently than all of the rest.
Because all of the winds are favorites of mine.
It all depends on what you need from them at the time.
Bring them all on for me, the sea doesn’t care.
So neither do I, and that I will share, brazenly.
Last updated April 23, 2015