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Discussion Starter #1
Pilotage Lore - A Maritime Education.

What have I learned? Not much. Except, I was a pilot, then,
Serving, and obliged to serve, with many other men:
Privileged, by law, as it created obligation,
And, at the same time, taking pleasure in the situation.

Unique, perhaps, or maybe not. Our lot was self-employed.
Independent. Obligated. All of it enjoyed.
Trusted to provide a service. Reason we were paid.
A necessary evil in protection of all trade.

Difficult and dangerous? Yes, all of that, for sure,
Where knowledge saved the day for all concerned. That is for sure.
Uniforms and braids of gold? Not much, I do not think.
Not much saves a pilot if he falls into the drink.

Answerable? Yes, of course. He’s not above the law,
Yet given due protection in the role he’s licensed for.
Privileged to supersede a man unqualified;
A privilege maintained since last the state chose to decide.

A pilot is a child of statute. That is what I am:
And so are you; and so were all our ancestors, quondam.
Bound we are by something which is better, far, to hide:
It comes before a fall. It is the foolish thing called pride.


BY
10.08.2019
 

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Beautiful words Barrie, it is sad that those who have had no professional association with the sea have no appreciation of a Pilot's skills, training or obligations.
 

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#2

Very many thanks Duncan.

Pride is a paradox. We were all - in any and every walk of life- brought up to take a pride in doing things properly - and at the same time learned that pride is a sin which comes before a fall. Am still trying to work it out!

Perhaps the cardinal sin is to wear one's pride on one's sleeve - as I have done here!
 

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#2

Very many thanks Duncan.

Pride is a paradox. We were all - in any and every walk of life- brought up to take a pride in doing things properly - and at the same time learned that pride is a sin which comes before a fall. Am still trying to work it out!

Perhaps the cardinal sin is to wear one's pride on one's sleeve - as I have done here!
I think the distinction is between having pride in ones calling or family which is good and displaying hubris which is tending toward an arrogant belief in ones abilities. You can be justly proud of your literary abilities (as I hope you are) without displaying the arrogance that you are certain to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Duncan,

Please allow me to say that I know that the stuff which I write here for amusement is light verse - and some parts of it are less bad than other parts of it.

As to pilotage, I also know that those who serve today are called upon to do things far more difficult and dangerous than ever I was called upon to do in almost thirty years in training and practice. I salute them.
 

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Hi Duncan,

Please allow me to say that I know that the stuff which I write here for amusement is light verse - and some parts of it are less bad than other parts of it.

As to pilotage, I also know that those who serve today are called upon to do things far more difficult and dangerous than ever I was called upon to do in almost thirty years in training and practice. I salute them.
Thanks Barrie,

The descent to the bottom by certain seafaring companies has certainly made the Pilot's life hazardous, beyond all, particuarly boarding. In the early '90's I was Second Engineer on a vessel trading between NZ and Japan. The Chief Officer entered Pilotage in Lyttelton and used to come and see us in port (At that stage he was restricted so could not actually undertake the Pilotage but commanded one of the tugs). One trip he said the previous day he was bringing a Korean fishing vessel in and climbed the ladder to find, rather than properly secured it was made fast by two Korean Seamen standing on the top spreader. Mike was a bulky guy , like me, and very upset!!

The point of this is, whilst we can accept the normal hazards of a job we should not have to accept hazards of stupidity.

None of your verse is in any way bad, in my opinion tending to follow the tradition of Robert Service - keep it up!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Very many thanks, Duncan.

Your kind words are much appreciated. It is not only the general slippage in basic standards which has made life more difficult for pilots. I have in mind more the matter of the obligation to squeeze ever-larger and more technically complex ships into places which steadfastly remain of the same size. That is a challenge indeed.

It all makes the pilotage of what was once a standard-size general cargo ship (now vanished) seem like a piece of cake! In the case the many British shipping companies which are now but a memory, the pilotage of their ships was invariably a pure pleasure - and to be paid for it was privilege indeed!

Repeated thanks,

Barrie
 
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