See also the 'Thames Estuary' page under Distribution/Sightings for details of Germander's Thames Estuary project.
THE SHIPPING NEWS, QUEENBOROUGH, WINTER 2012
Written as part of The Shipping News Room project - see the menu for full version and details.
"...Car-carriers loom over Lappel Bank
With PORGY perceived throught the Abbott Lab Gap;
A container ship shape is made out in the mist
And a careful watch kept for the VIGILANT..."
The language of Britain's canals.
'...Fen lighters, Clyde puffers, Ampton flats and Shroppie flies
Humber sloops, Severn trows, Calder keels and Scots scows...'
60 WAYS TO LURE A FLOUNDER
The lurid and curious names of fishing lures.
"...Sinking minnows, surface lures; jerkbaits, jigs, spinners, spoons and chuggers:
Heckham Peckham, Reckless William, Mulberry Bumble, Devon Dumpling..."
Trade conveyed via the Thames Estuary today (from the Soundings from the Estuary project).
"...Ballast and bitumen, cement clinker and gypsum, pallets of bricks and waste silt for landfill;
Contaminated waste, granulated slag, bottom furnace ash and ironstone hoggin..."
Shipping movements in the Thames Estuary today (from the Soundings from the Estuary project).
"...RIX CONDOR to Rotterdam, STOLT GANNET from Belgium,
STAR EAGLE to Bremen, and MARTIN passing parliament;
BRAVERY to Belfast, AUDACITY at the Oaze,
ENDEAVOUR to sea for orders, and HERO to Northfleet Hope..."
Occupations, activity and apparatus of the dockyards of the Thames and Medway.
"...Cabin keepers, ballast heavers,
Scuffle hunters, carrot-crunchers,
Oakum pickers, coal-whippers,
Hog grubbers and rat-catchers..."
COMPLIMENTS TO HEART'S CONTENT
Written for the Atlantic Basin Project - see www.atlanticbasinproject.com.
This piece follows the route of the Atlantic telegraph cable, from Valentia Island in Ireland,
across the Atlantic seabed to Heart's Content in Newfoundland. (See the Dictations page for a recording).
"...A land of Happy Adventure and telling nomenclature:
Come-by-Chance, Run-by-Guess and Blow-me-down
Quidi Vidi fishing village, the whalebones at Dildo..."
COD SMACKS AND CATCH SMASHES
Fishing and shellfishing in the Thames Estuary.
"...Clam digging, shrimp dragging
Cockle raking and winkle picking,
Catch smashes and riddle rejects..."
THE RHYME OF THE WAYWARD MARINER
A playful collage of nautical terminology, shanty songs, maritime and modern culture.
"...To the poop-deck, jib-boom, snap head and butt joint,
The parrel tackle, joggle shackle, barrack stanchion and anchor shank..."
IN HIS MAJESTY'S SERVICE
A collection of curious, surprising, and aggressive names of British naval ships, these ones being especially from the 19th & 20th centuries.
"...Destroyers named Cheerful, Vanity and Vivacious
But there's no mistaking the destination, of HMS Devastation..."
THE END OF THE ADVENTURE
Romantic, ambitious and unfortunate ship names, with their fates and misadventures. See full version below.
"...The scuttling of the Implacable, the wrecking of the Impregnable,
The sinking of the Invincible, the grounding of the Indefatigable..."
Nautical knots and ropework.
"...A cuckold's neck; gouty ends
A locking tuck to a becket bend
A snuggle hitch or a strangle knot..."
ESTUARY ENGLISH - see Place Names page
MERMAIDS' PURSES - see Flora and Fauna page