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Eight Bells: The final watch of 2020

Published on December 31st, 2020

The ringing of bells at sea signifies the end of one’s watch, with it being a long-held maritime tradition to recognize the passing of a sailor by the ringing of eight bells. Scuttlebutt honors this tradition with 68 published tributes to recognize the contributors in sailing who had their final watch in 2020:

Bill Alcott
Harry Anderson
Arthur Bugs Baer
David Barnes
Charlotte Barringer
Bill Bell
William (Bill) Bentsen
Becky Milton Bioty
John Browning
Louise Kevin Burke
Kevin Burnham
Frank Butler
Peter Campbell
Dayton Carr
Phil Dyer
Geoff Ewenson
David Freye
Doug Fryer
Scott Gilbert
Elsa Green
Oliver Grin
Fred Hecklinger
Fred Hills, Jr.
Dave Irish
Tim Irwin
Byron Jessup
Linda Knowles
Larry Leonard
Ginny Long
Meade Maxwell
Howard McMichael, Jr.
Timothy Mills
Gary Miltimore
Mark Murphy
Jocelyn Nash
Tom Nute
Warren Oldroyd
Larry Pardey
Richard Parker
Clinton Pearson
Charlie Phifer
Dave Philips
Oliver Lee Pitts
Charlie Proctor
Linus Ralls
Mike Rawbone
Suzi Reese
Toby G. Ritter
Carlo Rolandi
Wayne Schafer
Charles Schifino
Scott Self
Drew Shea
Susan Sinclair
Harry Sindle
Bertie de Speville
Charlie Steigerwald
Dick Tillman
John Tinker
Jim Titgemeyer
Juan Torruella
Jerry Tretter
Bill Wakeman
David Wilber
Ceri Williams
Johnson Wooderson
George Zaimis
Zvi Ziblat

Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying…

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