’Twas the Night Before Shove-Off

‘Twas the night before shove-off, and all through the boat

Not a creature was stirring, not even a goat!

(A goat on a boat??  Think it, I don’t!)

The produce hammock was hung above the settee with care,

In hopes that Annie & Phillip soon would be there.


The many spare pumps and parts were nestled snug in their cubbies,

As visions of blue water told them they would soon no longer be landlubbies.

While Wendy in her UV cover and Westie in his nest,

Had just settled in for a long winter’s rest.


When out on the dock, there arose such a clatter,

Westie perked up to see what was the matter.

He peeked out the portlight in the quarter aft berth,

Roaming the marina, his eyes in great search.


The moon lighting the water with a bright winter glow,

Gave the brilliance of day to the bobbing boats below.

When, what to Westie’s wondering eyes should appear,

But Annie & Phillip, with a dock cart and eight boxes of beer.


With Annie steering the cart, so lively and quick,

Westie knew in a moment, a midnight departure they’d picked.

More rapid than eagles their many bags and boxes came,

And they whistled and shouted and called them by name.


“Now Produce!  Now Rum!  Now Stuff for Drink Mixin’!”

“Here’s our Foulies!  Our GFlex!  And other Stuff for Leak Fixin’!”

To the lockers and cubbies, in the bilge in bins big and small,

“Stash away!” they shouted.  “Stash away it all!”


As bags and cardboard and packaging did fly,

They stashed it away all, so they could sail light and dry,

Out into the great Gulf, where the water is so blue,

With a boat full of provisions, supplies and Christmas goodies, too!


In a twinkling, Westie heard over his head though he could not see,

Footsteps behind the helm and the high squeal at the turn of the key.

As his glow plugs began warming, the silent tension could be cut with a knife,

Until the ignition sparked and Westie grumbled and sputtered and rumbled to life.


Phillip and Annie were dressed in their foulies from their heads to their toes,

All bundled and ready to point their bow south with light winds on the nose.

With Wendy at the bow, this year they would be more prepared for headwinds,

Although with Spinny on board, they were hoping for more sailing downwind.


But, Westie knew, oh he knew, finally to the Bahamas they were headed,

All the work and cost of the projects that had to be completed first they had dreaded.

But now here they were, with every last project complete,

And Plaintiff’s Rest was more ready than ever to whisk them off their feet.


It would be a Christmas adventure, with their Rosemon aboard, as a miniature tree,

And warm fuzzy Santa hats to wear with board shorts and bikinis.

Their broad smiles and bright eyes were certainly telling,

When Annie shouted “Cast-off!” from the helm, jiggling like a bowlful of jelly.


She’s been docking the boat more this year, although it makes her shake in her knees,

But she’s getting quite better, Westie knows, because, while doing it, she no longer pees.

Annie calls to Phillip, “Jump on board!  I’m good!” Her Annie arms penguin-flapping,

And Phillip smiles, hops on and hollers, “Take us out, Cap’n!”


The boat rounded the pier, her sights set on the Bahamas alright,

And Westie trilled with excitement, knowing he was in for a voyager’s delight,

When he heard Phillip and Annie exclaim, as they sailed out of sight:


12 thoughts on “’Twas the Night Before Shove-Off

  • Hi Captain Annie, you and Phillip have a great trip and a very safe time .
    Can not wait until you tell us all about it.

    And what did I read, Captain Annie is saying the right Nautical words and now given Orders to let go and proceed to sea and DE DOCKING sorry letting go.

    And now at the helm , great job there Captain Annie. Hope your first Mate knows you are the Captain, but then again he is the chief engineer .

  • Bon voyage!!! May you encounter much glitter, and sing some healthy choruses of “What do you do with a drunken sailor?”!

    • Ha haaaa. Thank you Jim. Glitter abounds on Plaintiff’s Rest. And, what do you do with a drunken sailor?? Coat him in glitter and point him towards the strip club, of course! Ha!

    • Thanks De-De. I know exactly where I get my creative streak from! And the motivation to write and inspire. YOU! Merry Christmas. Enjoy our trip vicariously to the Bahamas! We’ve been loving the sailboat blanket (soooo soft) and the festive stocking flask. You’re the best! Love you!

    • Why thank you! I love to write and play with words. Dr. Seuss renditions are my favorite, but I had a helluva time with this one too. Thanks Warren. Appreciate the kind words. Thanks for following!

  • Thanks for the poetry. Have a super trip. I just finished the book by Van Sant about the thorn-less path and thought about the Bahamas again. If you get to Rum Cay, I lived in the white house on Cotton Field point for a few months. It was fun. Maybe take a pic for us all?

    I’m in the USVI. Maybe next year we’ll see you all there?

    Keep well, Norm

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