History is ship-shaped

I did it;  said goodbye to the river, to damp duvets and the curlew’s cry.  I moved off the boat and into a small flat so I am now in winter mode, turning inwards and facing every creative’s dilemma – the pull of what you feel inspired to do versus the pull of what you need to do to pay the rent. If I get the balance wrong I’ll be back with the curlews!

I’ve also brought more of my books out of store and resumed my voyage into maritime history. So for your delight and edification, I have summarised the history of the last 1,000 years in all my favourite ways; words, music and drawing.  It may have lost a teeny bit of accuracy in the telling, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story or song!

Captain Cook’s ‘Endeavour’













The Great Explorers (Tune: Spanish Ladies)


When Columbus set sail, he didn’t go to America

No-one had said there was a continent there

He sailed to Cuba and thought it was China

And he only lost one ship but had two to spare



Let’s give a loud cheer to all great explorers

With no maps or charts they got there more or less

If only they’d had satellite navigation

They’d have given their soul for a good gps


Magellan was sure he could sail round America

‘Surely it can’t be as big as all that!’

After months in the channels of Tierra del Fuego

He muttered, ‘Oh b****r, oh hell and oh drat!’




Brave Captain Cook sailed the wide Southern Ocean

For thousands of miles there was nothing to hit

Until he bumped into a bit of Australia

Made a hole in Endeavour and muttered ‘Oh s**t!’




A bold pirate sailed with a hold full of treasure

From plundering ships on the wide Spanish main

He buried the lot on a lone desert island

And then damned if he ever could find it again




An arrogant Admiral sailed home from battle

Leading the fleet with its hundreds of troops

Until he crashed into the rocks off the Scillies

As he drowned with the others his last word was ‘Oops!’


If you want the chords, here is my version:

Bm D A/  Bm D A/  D A D A/ Bm D Bm (A) Bm


You might have guessed – I made up the bit about the pirates.  But it could have happened!


While you’re in blog-reading mood, hop over to http://seamagic.org/, a delightfully eclectic blog for lovers of the sea. I’ve been doing a guest post or two, and there are some fascinating snippets so far – it shows much promise.




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