Pick me up along the way. Nostalgic Poem for PSNC Personnel


Where have all the West Coast boats gone?
The buff funnelled liners of PSNC?
The ships I flew alongside, as I followed the sun?
The boats I guided into the blue Pacific Sea?

I'm still here waiting, waiting all day and night
Hoping they soon return to Panama Bay
My legs are old and weak, and I need to take flight
Please come back again soon, and pick me up along the way

I'm old now, and can't fly for long
But how I wish, for one last time
To sing the Sailor's West Coast song
And fly South, once again, with the PSNC Line

I'd fly around the Caribbean Sea
Watching and waiting, just waiting at rest
For the ships of PSNC
To appear on the horizon, and steaming West

Have you left Liverpool yet?
Are you on the way?
Have you dropped the Pilot at the Bar?
And rung Full Away?

Are you fully loaded yet?
Are the hatches battened down?
Have you done the stowaway search?
Has the Chippy sounded round?

Is the Sparky in his shack?
Or still in the bar, and on his back?
All those dots and dashes!
If he doesn't sober up, he's in for the sack!

Have the Deck Mates got their sextants?
The tools of their trade
An Instrument so precious, and never abused
Beautifully crafted by Kelvin Hughes
And, always, by them, hand made

Are the Velle cranes stowed and fully secured down?
Same for the deck cargo, and in the hatches
Are the mooring ropes stowed and bound?
Are the anchors housed, and the chains well lashed?

Has the Navigator drawn up the charts?
Done his course cards, and passage plans?
With his Compass, Dividers, and Parallel Rulers
? Courses and Distances, avoiding rocks and banks of sand?
Most importantly of all, are the cans of Tennants
Safely stowed away in the coolers?
The West Coast was always a Wild West coast
But suitable for the cargo ships of PSNC
Word hard, Play hard, was always their boast
"If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't be at Sea"
I've watched many ships go up and down,
In these locks, up and down,
Up and down, pull them through,
Up and down, pull them through
Clear of the Atlantic and into the Pacific blue

But where are the classic cargo liners now?
Where have all their crews gone?
All I see now are floating blocks of flats,
Full of fat passengers, stuffing their faces, and taking photographs

My friend the Albatross is also waiting for you
Skimming the waves of the deep Pacific swell
Along Latitude parallel Forty Two (42S)
Flying alone now, with no cargo ships to follow,
Like myself, flying alone, and feeling hollow
Spending its life above the cold Humboldt Current
Spending its life at Sea
Such a beautiful bird to watch
Such a beautiful bird to see

Maybe, one day, I'll see once again
A Pacific liner, flying the Red Ensign
Proof indeed the Merchant Navy's still alive
Will it be a ship of the PSNC Line?
A sure sign that the company has survived

The West Coast is full of hazards,
Heavy swells, rough seas, strong currents,
Rocks, reefs, and boulders,
Navigation had to be exact
Alone on the Bridge, I was always with you
I was your Angel, the Pilot on your shoulder

So please come back again soon
So we can sail together again one day,
Until then, I'll be waiting
All alone, here in Panama Bay

Now, I fly alone, just me, only me
I can't stop, I can't settle down
I can't stay on land, my heart's still at sea
I don't have a home, through all that I've seen
My homes in transit, and everywhere I've ever been

Like the West Coast Seafarers, I live to be free
A nomadic life, we were all born to lead
I've left a piece of my heart
I've left a piece of me
In every Port, in every Ship, in every Sea
You may never pass this way again soon,
But once you've crossed the bar,
Your seafaring soul and spirits may.
So just remember to tell them
To slow down, cast a wave,
And pick me up along the way