A Proper Goodbye to a Departed Sailor
Published on July 14th, 2014
by Donald Street
I dislike the announcement Eight Bells that denotes the end of the watch, the end of the sailor. Rather I always say “_________ has crossed the bar for the final time, he is off to sea, never to return.”
Then I say goodbye in the manner the Venezuelan sailors say goodbye to a fellow sailor. They pour the favourite drink of the departed sailor, and go to the end of the pier. They drink half of the drink, then pour the other half into the sea for the departed sailor.
Patience Wales, the long time editor of Sail, had a remembrance gathering of old friends of her departed partner Freeman Pittman and wanted all to toast Knowles and pour half their drink into Ipswich harbour.
But it was mid-winter, the party was at her house, there was no way she would be able to talk the assembled group to walk through the frozen streets to the harborside.
Patience is a resourceful gal and solved the problem. She found a good old fashioned iron wash tub, filled it with Ipswich harbour water, then during the remembrance party, everyone gathered around the tub, hoisted a glass to the departed Freeman, drank half and poured the other half into the tub or Ipswich harbour water!
Freeman had crossed the bar for the last time.