Jerry's Cruising Poems

Electric Fever

I must go down to the seas again, in a modern high-tech boat,
And all I ask is electric, for comfort while afloat,
And alternators, and solar panels, and generators going,
And deep cycle batteries with many amperes flowing.

I must go down to the seas again, to the autopilot's ways,
And all I ask is a GPS, and a radar, and displays,
And a cell phone, and a weatherfax, and a short wave radio,
And compact disks, computer games, and TV videos.

I must go down to the seas again, with a freezer full of steaks,
And all I ask is a microwave, and a blender for milkshakes,
And a watermaker, air-conditioner, hot water in the sink,
And E-mail and a VHF to see what my buddies think.

I must go down to the seas again, with power-furling sails,
And chart displays of all the seas, and a bullhorn for loud hails,
And motors pulling anchor chains, and push-button sheets,
And programs which take full control of tacking during beats.

I must go down to the seas again, and not leave friends behind,
And so they never get seasick we'll use the web on-line,
And all I ask is an Internet with satellites over me,
And beaming all the data up, my friends sail virtually.

I must go down to the seas again, record the humpback whales,
Compute until I decipher their language and their tales,
And learn to sing in harmony, converse beneath the waves,
And befriend the gentle giants as my synthesizer plays.

I must go down to the seas again, with RAM in gigabytes,
And teraflops of processing for hobbies that I like,
And software suiting all my wants, seated at my console
And pushing on the buttons which give me complete control.

I must go down to the seas again, my concept seems quite sound,
But when I simulate this boat some problems I have found,
The cost is astronomical, repairs will never stop,
Instead of going sailing I'll be shackled to the dock.

I must go down to the seas again, how can I get away?
Must I be locked in low-tech boats until my dying day?
Is there no cure for my complaint, no technologic fix?
Oh I fear electric fever is a habit I can't kick.


Published in the “Commodores’ Bulletin” of the Seven Seas Cruising Association, July 2000 & August 2007.

Published in “Good Old Boat” magazine May/June 2001.

John Masefield sailed around Cape Horn before 1900 and then quit the sea to devote his time to poetry, eventually becoming England's Poet Laureate. His famous poem "Sea Fever" describes what he needed to go sailing. Today's sailors have a wide range of electronic gadgets available and many modern cruising boats seem to consider many of these absolutely necessary. In this parody Jerry takes gadget mania to an extreme and suffers the consequences.

Click to read “Sea Fever” by John Masefield.

Click to read “Yard Fever” a parody by "Join Mastweld."

Click to read “Sea-Chill” a parody by Arthur Guiterman.