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by Harris B. Stewart
August 23, 1996

Poem for the decommissioning
of the NOAA Ship Malcolm Baldrige
(formerly the Researcher)

This vessel meant a lot to me,
Her gentle roll in a moderate sea,
The curtain swaying at my
stateroom door
And a pencil rolling in an empty

The steady pounding of her
sturdy hull
And the raucous cry of a
wheeling gull,
The sibilant sight as a swell
slides by
On a moonless night ‘neath a
starry sky.

Her ensign snapping in a
spanking breeze
And flying foam from wind-
whipped seas,
The silent splendor of a rising sun
And a few hours sleep when your
watch is done.

The creaks and groans of an
aging ship
Were friendly sounds on her
final trip.
And those who worked on her
at sea
Will know the joy of these things
for me.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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