“When the doors of Winter open
And Spring is once more free,
There’s the sound of voices calling
To the men who love the sea.
There’s the voice of Nature singing
To those who’ve learnt to know
That life is worth the living
When the cool North-easters blow.
So spread your snow-white canvas
To catch the fleeting wind;
The deep blue sea invites you
To leave dull care behind.
Inhale the breath of Heaven
And the fragrance that it brings,
And hear the joyous melody,
The cool North-easter sings.”
“W.J.C.” – ‘When the cool North-easters blow’ – The Australian Boating Annual (1936)
(This uplifting but anonymous poet of the 1930s apparently believed that “behind” rhymes with “wind”, but that’s surely a minor quibble. COVID-19 notwithstanding, for most of us in Australia the Spring sailing season gets underway this week. But these days it’s “snow-white Dacron”, not canvas – or maybe even “pitch-black carbon” .)