Fa – the Green Dragon

A Place for the Odd Musings of an Expat Bristolian


Obscure words explained 93. – chockablock


A nautical term

when blocks drawn close together

permit no movement

Note: Originally chock and block, part of the tackle on rigged sailing ships


The Burnham Light

The Burnham Light

Peering through the darkness and descending fog

We see the Burnham Light

It will surely guide us

On this frightful night.

It’s a welcome beacon that we see,

 off our starboard side.

We start our final homeward stretch

Upon the rising tide.

At Avon’s estuary we sound

Two blasts upon our horn

But there is no returning sound to us,

 on this cold and wintry morn.

Slow steam ahead the captain calls

And through telegraph relayed

And in the engine room below

Slow steam ahead displayed.

The engines go quite quiet,

Just the surf we hear.

As through the mist we forge ahead

Our hearts filled with fear.

The cold night air upon the deck

Chills one to the liver.

Upon the bridge, a friendly smile

Hello captain, my name’s Tom

Your pilot for the river.

We enter in the stream

Green and red lights in our spotlight beam

Steady on the port side Sir

And slow astern I deem.

Our vessel she’s the Monterrey

And she has served us well

With St. Brendan as our guide

She’s brought us through the swell.

The worst is Biscay bay

When storms come from the west

The back of our old vessel

Is put unto the test.

But now we approach home port

And hearts we left behind.

This sailing an adventure;

No regrets for which I signed.

I’ve got my book and pay galore

And glad to step ashore

But I know that in a week or two

My heart will yearn for more.